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Extinct Animals

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Jasper Narvil

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Extinct Animals

Extinct Animals (post-Mesozoic)
By: Jasper Narvil

Africa
- Prehistoric animals in the past were just as diverse and massive (if not more massive) as modern-day animals on the African continent
South America
- Also consisted mainly of megafauna, although the rainforests provided cover for other more unique forms of life
Eurasia/Europe
- Cool climates limiting tree growth prevented much diversity, but Eurasia was the birthplace of today's most well-known prehistoric fauna
North America
- Consisted mainly of megafauna (really big animals, more specifically mammals)

- Eventually intermixed with South American wildlife, creating several variations of the same types of animals
Australia
- Isolation from the rest of the world and vast open-spaces allowed unique animals to evolve and thrive here until the first humans began arriving
Southeast/Central Asia
- The rainforests present here provided a haven from predators and plentiful food for many early humanoids
Marine Life
- The biggest threat to marine life was the delicate eco-systems aquatic animals depended on, as the ranges and population sizes of algae and plankton were extremely susceptible to climate change
- Nevertheless, extremely large, dangerous animals managed to evolve and thrive in the world's oceans
American Lion

Stats:
- 930lbs
- 1.27m tall
- 25% bigger than the modern African lion
Facts:
- Hunted mammoths, horses, bison, and camels
- Lined their caves with leaves and grass for warmth
- Found as far as Maryland
Giant Camel
Stats:
- 11ft. tall (Giraffes avg.
about 16ft.)
- Scientific name is
Titanotylopus

Prehistoric Horse
Stats:
- About the same size as a dog
- Preyed on by birds
Cuban Giant Owl
Stats:
- 1.1 meters tall
- 20lbs.

Facts:
- Pounced on prey from trees
- Likely only flew in immediate emergencies, preferred method of escape/pursuit is via running
- Based on behaviors of modern owls, could likely take down prey that weighed over 77lbs (or the size of a small-medium sized deer)
Uintatherium
Stats:
- 13ft tall
- 2.25 tons

Facts:
- Thought to possibly be a descendant of rabbits
- Horns were used either to attract mates or for duels
Giant Ground Sloth
Saber-tooth Cat
Phorusrhacos
(or "Terror Birds")
Doedicurus
Titanoboa
Modern-day Sloth
Stats:
- 4 tons
- 20ft. tall

Facts:
- Lived in groups, probably hunted together although mostly herbivorous
- No known predators; extinction believed to be caused by humans 10,000 years ago
- Walked on the sides of its feet
Stats:
- 490 - 880 lbs
- 47in. tall

Facts:
- Hunted in groups with strategies similar to modern-day lions
- Canines could grow up to 11in.
- Could open
mouth up to
120 degrees
Stats:
- 290 lbs
- 8.2ft. tall
Facts:
- Beak was not strong enough to kill prey via biting, so it held its prey down and "pecked" it to death
- Could run at up to 30mph (2.5mph faster than the fastest human in history)
Extinct Birds Size Comparison Chart
Macrauchenia
Stats:
- Weighed up to 2,300lbs
- 9.8ft. tall

Facts:
- Preyed on by terror birds and
saber-tooth cats
- Has nostrils on the top of its
head which caused
early scientists to
believe that it
used its trunk
as a snorkel
Stats:
- 2.6 tons
- 1.5m tall; 13ft long

Facts:
- Fat was kept under the 'shell' (or caraspace) to store energy for the dry season
- Club was mainly used between members of its species, not against predators
- Ground sloth theory
- Existed when the first human settlers arrived (were probably hunted by them)
Stats:
- 1.5 tons
- 43-49ft long

Facts:
- Discovered in 2011
- Full-scale robotic replica powered by electromechanics is currently being made by Charlie Brinson (a smaller version has already been created
- Ate crocodiles
- Largest non-marine animal on the planet at one time

The Great American Interchange
- The movement of the tectonic plates eventually connected North and South America via the Panama Isthmus
- Although it was a thin strip of land, it allowed nearly all species from North America to cross into South America and out-compete the native fauna there for resources
- Even though the bridge was available for South American fauna to travel north as well, they were limited to the continent as they thrived on its tropical climate
Ancylotherium
Elephant Bird

Metridiochoerus
(or "Giant Warthog")
Dodo Bird
Deinotherium
Batodonoides
Stats:
- .8 - 1.8g

Facts:
- Ate insects
- Smallest mammal
to ever be discovered
Quagga
Passenger Pigeon
Stats:
- 300g
- 40in. tall

Facts:
- Population ranged anywhere from 3-5 billion in the 1800s
- One flock in Ontario measured a mile wide and 300 miles long and took 14 hours to pass
- Use of bird as slave
meat eventually led
to its over-hunting
and extinction
Stats:
- 882lbs
- 2m tall
Facts:
- Walked on its
knuckles
- Herbivore
- People claim
to have seen
some still
alive in Africa
Stats:
- 880lbs.
- 10ft. tall
Facts:
- Eggs are 1m tall
- Went extinct in the 17th or 18th century (eggs ate by local villagers)
- Native to Madagascar
- Egg 180x larger than chicken egg
Stats:
- 1.5m tall

Facts:
- Probably aggressive (as depicted as being
in documentaries)
- Likely omnivorous, eating both
carrion and
berries/bark
Stats:
- Weighed up to 51lbs
- 3.3ft tall
Facts:
- Lived on the island of Mauritius (east of Madagascar)
- Made famous by passing Dutch traders
and their culinary accounts of the bird
- Digested gizzard stones to help aid
digestion
- Were evidently very approachable and fearless,
allowing them to be
easily hunted
- Extinct by 1681
(although sightings had been reported on later dates)
Stats:
- Weight unknown
-5m tall

Facts:
- Resembled modern-day elephants, but much larger (less intelligent too)
- Found in same areas as early human ancestors
- Fossils found on Crete were used by
the Greeks to prove mythlogical stories
Stats:
- 770lbs
- 4.43ft tall

Facts:
- Native to South Africa; hunted to extinction by Dutch settlers
- Went extinct in 1878
- Basically an orange zebra
- Trying to be 'bred back' by scientists via selective breeding
- Very high-strung; used to guard livestock
Only photographed Quagga in
existence
Sivatherium
Bluebuck
Stats:
- Over 1100lbs
- 10ft tall

Facts:
- Depicted on Saharan wall paintings
Stats:
- 350lbs.
- 3.58ft.

Facts:

- Hunted to extinction by 1800 by Dutch settlers in South Africa
Woolly Rhinoceros
Stats:
- 6,000-7,000lbs.
- 10-12.5ft.

Facts:
- Found all over Europe and
Northern Asia
- Likely had poor eye-sight like
its modern-day
relatives
- One of the
potential
candidates
for
de-extinction
Cave Bear
Stats:
- Weighed up to 1,100lbs.
- 1.34m (foot to shoulder)

Facts:
- Many died during hibernation; cave hyenas and cave lions would attack them in their sleep
- Almost all preserved skeletons are male as scientists originally thought the females were dwarfs
as they were so much smaller
- Outcompeted for shelter by early
humans
Woolly Mammoth
Stats:
- Weighed up to 6.6 tons
- 9-11ft. tall
Facts:
- Went extinct 4,000 years ago (last survivors on Wrangel Island)
- At minimum, had
to eat 400lbs. a
day, foraging for
20hrs. per day
Facts (continued):
- Like modern elephants, lived to
about 60yrs old before its molars
wore out and it starved to death
- It is estimated that there are 10
million frozen mammoth carcasses
still in Siberia
- Hunted extensively by early humans,
one method of which involved scaring
the mammoths in masses over cliffs
Pyrenean Ibex
- Last member of subspecies died in January, 2000
- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) launched a project to clone the Pyrenean Ibex and succeeded in 2009, but the clone died in seven minutes due to lung
defects
Titanomyrma
Facts:
- Most likely to have been a raiding
animal, attacking large animals in hordes
- Queens had wingspan of 5.9in. and were 2.4in. long (the males were 1.2in. long)
Dwarf Sicilian Elephant
Stats:
- 4.9-7ft.
Facts:
- Reached the Mediterreanean islands when sea levels were lower during the ice age
- Skulls with giant, single naval
opening for trunk substantiated
proof for the
existence of the
cyclops to the
ancients
Gastornis
Stats:
- 385lbs.
- 6.6ft. tall

Facts:
- Although there is much debate, the scientific community has started to classify Gastornis as a
herbivore due to
its bone structure
- Common all
over Western
Europe
Ambulocetus
Basilosaurus
Megalodon
Baiji White Dolphin
Josephoartigasia Monesi
Stats:
- Weighed up to a ton
- 5ft. tall; 10ft. long

Facts:
- Incisors were a foot long
- Were probably used as a defense against South American predators as well as fighting during mating season for females
- Most likely
lived in
swamps and
fed on
aquatic
plants
Stats:
- 400lbs.
- 10ft. long

Facts:
- Didn't have ears, had to lower their head to the floor and listen for vibrations
- Ambushed and drowned prey like modern crocodilians
- Relative of modern-day whales
Stats:
- Weighed up to 7 tons
- 40-65ft. long

Facts:
- Fossils were so common in the 1800s that they were regularly used as furniture in the American south
- Also a type of whale
- Ate mainly fish and sharks
- State fossil
of both
Mississippi
and
Alabama
Stats:
- 70 - 100 tons (More than 13 full-sized elephants)
- Up to 66ft. long

Facts:
- Likely to have been cannibalistic
- Preyed on giant sea turtles, whales, dolphins, etc.
- Killed whales by biting off its
fins and then feeding on it


- Bite force of over 182,201 N (Largest recorded Great White had 18,216 N)
Stats:
- Up to 507lbs.
- 7.8ft. long

Facts:
- Last known one died in 2006
- Pressures of living on the Yangtze River (where 12% of the world's population resides) and China's rise led to the dolphin's numbers to plummet
- Electric fishing was huge cause of
decline
- Species is
"functionally extinct",
meaning if there are
any remaining adults,
they won't be able
to successfully
propogate
Haast's Eagle
Purussaurus
Diprotodon
Giant Goanna
Thylacine
Giant Short-faced Kangaroo
The Marsupial Lion
Stats:
- Weighed up to 33lbs.
- Wingspan up to 9.8ft.

Facts:
- Preyed on large, flightless birds such as the Moa
- Very possibly preyed on
early humans too

- Went extinct
around 1400
when humans
hunted the moa
to extinction

Stats:
- 8.8 tons
- Up to 43ft. long

Facts:
- Lived on the coast
- One of the largest known crocodiles ever discovered
Stats:
- 3.1 tons
- 10ft. tall

Facts:
- Females traveled in groups,
lone males fought for the right
to mate with all of them
- Were a type of marsupial (nickname is "Giant Wombat")
- Likely hunted to extinction by early aborigines as they were large and undefended
Stats:
- Up to 4,280lbs. (710lbs. being average)
- 23ft. long

Facts:
- Likely encountered by the first aborigines
- Was largest venomous
vertebrate ever known
- Preyed on
giant
marsupials
Stats:
- 40-70lbs.
- 24in. tall

Facts:
- 250,000$ award being offered to anyone who can find evidence of the existence of a Thylacine
- More closely resembles the behaviors of a tiger rather than a wolf (which it is commonly associated with)
- Hunted in packs
- Tasmanian gov. didn't
offer protection to the
species until 59 days
before the last

known Thylacine died in captivity
Stats:
- Over 440 pounds
- 6.6ft. tall

Facts:
- Had a single large toe on each foot
- Aborigines had accounts of giant kangaroos attacking people
- Ate leaves that stemmed from
trees that grew in arid environments
Stats:
- Weighed up to 290lbs.
- 30in. tall

Facts:
- Was very powerful for its size,
could take down Diprotodon
- Diet consisted of meat, eggs,
carrion, and bone marrow
- Could balance itself on its hindlegs and tail like modern-day kangaroos

- Fire-stick farming contributed to its eventual extinction
Fire-stick Farming
- The practice of Aborigines who regularly used fire to burn vegetation to facilitate hunting and to change the composition of plant and animal species in an area
Andrewsarchus
Indricotherium
Hyaenodon
Caspian Tiger
Gigantopithecus
Colossochelys Atlas
Homofloresiensis
Stats:
- 66lbs.
- 3.5ft. tall

Facts:
- Nicknamed "The Hobbit man"
- Had the same brain size as a chimpanzee
- Existed 12,000 years ago
- Study in 2009 proved that
Homofloresiensis was not a diseased modern human or dwarf, but rather an entirely
separate species
- Volcanic eruption said
to have killed off the
species, although
Indonesians have
reported seeing
small, hairy people
on the island
of Flores
Stats:
- Over 2200lbs.
- Up to 8.9ft. long; 5.9ft. tall

Facts:
- Could most likely retract into its shell when threatened like modern-day turtles/tortoises
- Had feet similar to an elephant's
- Lived as far
as eastern
and southern
Europe
Size:
- Weighed up to 1,190lbs.
- 9.8ft. tall

Facts:
- 5x heavier than the modern-day orangutan
- Used to substantiate myths about big-foot and the yeti
- If behaviorial norms are consistent with the present,
Gigantopithecus was likely a gentle, shy creature despite
its appearance
Stats:
- Weighed up to 530lbs.
- Up to 9.1ft. long (Height unknown)

Facts:
- Found throughout west-central asia; with pockets as far east as Iraq
- Second largest tiger subspecies after the Siberian tiger
- Reintroduction programs using closely-related Amur tigers have been proposed, but there is not enough suitable land to reintroduce
them
Stats:
- 1,100lbs.
- 3.9ft. tall (10ft. long)

Facts:
- Not related to hyenas at all
- Were ambush predators and hunted in packs
- Poor stamina, but muscular build allowed it to take down large prey
- Likely to have been vicious and not that intelligent
Stats:
- 18 tons (about equivalent to three adult elephants)
- 16ft. tall

Facts:
- Prehensile, trunk-like upper
lip was used to browse on trees
- Was as big as the dinosaurs
that preceeded it; largest
land mammal to date
- Inspired the AT-AT
walkers in Star Wars
- Ancestor of the
modern rhinoceros
Stats:
- 1.1 ton
- 6ft. tall (11ft. long)

Facts:
- Quite possibly the largest
mammalian carnivore to have ever lived (only competing with the short-faced bear)
- Bite was so powerful it could crush the bones of the largest herbivores in existence at the time and the shell of a sea turtle
La Brea Tar Pits
- Located in Los Angeles, USA

- Provides indispensable information on prehistoric flora/fauna as the tar preserves the bones incredibly well

- The remains of predators are much more common in tar pits, presumably because they would entrap themselves in an effort to feed on the already stuck herbivores
Videos
Andrewsarchus
Saber-tooth Cat
Woolly-Rhinoceros
Basilosaurus
Full transcript