25 Extinct Animals That Scientists Want To Bring Back

Posted by , Updated on June 5, 2017

There have been many extinct animals in the last 100 years. But scientists are considering the possibility of bringing some of these animals back through a process called “de-extinction.” In choosing extinct animals to bring back, scientists consider certain factors such as their ecological functions and the availability of tissues with quality DNA samples. Some of these animals have already been identified. If successful, this could be a huge win for not only extinct animals but animals that are endangered as well! These are 25 extinct animals that scientists want to bring back.

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25

Gastric-brooding Frog

Gastric-brooding Frogphenomena.nationalgeographic.com

This ground-dwelling frog was native to Queensland, Australia and became extinct sometime in the mid 1980’s. However, scientists at the University of Newcastle and University of New South Wales announced in March of 2013 that this frog would be part of the “Lazarus project”, a cloning attempt to resurrect the species.

24

Moho

Mohoxhorni.com

A genus of extinct Hawaiian birds, the moho became extinct due to hunting and habitat loss. The last moho was seen in Hawaii in 1934.

23

Huia

Huiawww.taxidermy4cash.com

This large species of wattlebird from New Zeland went extinct in the 20th century due to rampant over-hunting to procure huia skins for mounted specimens and the massive deforestation by European settlers.

22

Caribbean Monk Seal

Caribbean Monk Sealwww.andrewisles.com

Last seen in 1952, the Caribbean Monk seal was brought to extinction due to excessive hunting for its oil and the overfishing of its main food source. Though unconfirmed sightings from local fishermen in Haiti and Jamaica exist, there is no conclusive evidence that this seal is still in existence.

21

Steller’s Sea Cow

Steller’s Sea Cowwww.rmdrc.com

Related to the dugong and manatee, this species of sea cow was once abundant in the North Pacific. However, within 27 years of its discovery by Europeans, the slow-moving and easily captured Steller’s sea cow was hunted to extinction.


20

Thylacine

Thylacine

More commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, the thylacine was a marsupial that inhabited Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. Its population died out in the 1960s, for reasons that are still unknown.

19

Baiji

Baijiwhitleyaward.org

The baiji used to dwell in one of the most famous and oldest rivers in China, the Yangtze River. This freshwater dolphin was nicknamed Goddess of the Yangtze but became extinct due to the industrialization of China. A group of scientists conducted an expedition in 2006 to find this dolphin but their efforts turned up nothing.

18

Smilodon

Smilodon

The smilodon is an extinct subspecies of machairodont felid. More commonly known as the saber-toothed cat, it used to live in North America during the Pleistocene period, but its entire population died out 10,000 years ago by the end of the last Ice Age.

17

Quagga

Quagga

An extinct subspecies of the plains zebra, the quagga lived in South Africa but its population started to decline in 1870 and by 1883 was considered extinct.

16

Pyrenean Ibex

Pyrenean Ibex

The Pyrenean ibex used to inhabit Southern France and the northern part of Pyrenees. More commonly known as bucardo in Spain, this animal was common during the Pleistocene period but became extinct in January 2000.

15

Passenger Pigeon

Passenger Pigeon

Also known as the wild pigeon, the passenger pigeon is an extinct bird from North America. It used to live in migratory flocks but became extinct throughout the 20th century because of abusive hunting.

14

Elephant Bird

Elephant Bird

This enormous flightless bird used to live on the island of Madagascar. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, this bird became extinct because of reasons that are still unknown. However, abusive human hunting activity is believed to have played a part.

13

Moa

Moa

The moa was a giant flightless bird that used to live in New Zealand. One of the largest birds that ever lived, it could reach 12 feet (3.7 m) tall and weigh over 500 pounds (226.8 kg). In the year 1400, this bird became extinct because of overhunting by the Maori.

12

Mastodon

Mastodon

This extinct mammal species was related to the elephants. It lived in Central and North America during the Pliocene and Miocene periods but became extinct some 12,000 years ago; part of the mass extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

11

Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammothen.wikipedia.org

The woolly mammoth was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene. The appearance and behavior of this species are among the best studied of any prehistoric animal thanks to the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska, as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung, and depictions of life in prehistoric cave paintings.

10

Great Auk

Great Auk

The great auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a flightless bird that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It was the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus (unrelated with penguins, although it was the first bird to be called penguin). It’s believed that the great auk died off due to climate change and rampant hunting.

9

Imperial Woodpecker

Imperial Woodpecker

The imperial woodpecker has not been seen in more than five decades, though some believe it may actually still be alive. However, it’s considered extinct because its entire habitat in Mexico was utterly destroyed.

8

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Known as one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, the ivory-billed woodpecker inhabited the virgin forests of the southeastern part of the United States. Like the Imperial Woodpecker, there has not been a confirmed sighting of this bird since the 1940’s. Today, it is considered extinct.

7

Heath Hen

Heath Hen

This distinctive subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken used to live in coastal North America and became extinct in 1932. It’s believed pilgrims used this bird (as opposed to wild Turkeys) for their first Thanksgiving.

6

Labrador Duck

Labrador Duck

This extinct duck from North America was known to migrate annually from New Jersey to New England. Though it was always known for being rare, this species of duck completely disappeared between 1850 and 1870. The reason behind its extinction remains a mystery.

5

Dusky Seaside Sparrow

Dusky Seaside Sparrow

This non-migratory species of the seaside sparrow used to live in southern Florida. In 1990, this bird was officially declared extinct after people sprayed DDT insecticide in its habitat.

4

Dodo

Dodo

The Dodo was a flightless bird with the unfortunate reputation of being dumb. It was naturally fearless because it evolved without any predator. However, when humans arrived on Mauritius, its home island, they were wiped out.

3

Aurochs

Aurochs

The ancestor of domestic cattle, aurochs used to live in different parts of North Africa, Asia and even Europe, where it used to be one of the largest herbivores.

2

Cuban Macaw

Cuban Macaw

Also known as the Cuban red macaw, Cuban macaw was a species of macaw native to the island of Cuba. It was the last species of Caribbean macaw that went extinct before the 1900’s because of deforestation.

1

Carolina Parakeet

Carolina Parakeeten.wikipedia.org

Known as the only species of parrot native to the eastern United States, the Carolina Parakeet was a small green parrot that had a bright yellowish red head. It went extinct in Florida in 1904.

SEE ALSO: 25 of History's Deadliest Dictators »

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