Mother Nature and humankind have obliterated countless species. Survival of the fittest has led to the extinction of some rather astounding creatures. None can last forever, but it's a shame we'll never see some of the most magnificently unique in person.
Though they weren't named until 1894, koala lemurs existed long ago during the late Pliocene to the Holocene period. Scientists believed they might be related to modern lemurs. However, fossil testing revealed no relation between the small Lepilemur and extinct Megaladapis edwarsi, which had a skull the size of a gorilla's.
Megaladapis edwarsi grew to 1.5 meters long (5 ft), and weighed up to approximately 75 kilograms (165 lb), possibly more. Its arms were longer than its legs, and they were made for climbing trees. It was too large to leap, and likely spent most of its life on the ground. Megaladapis edwarsi could have traveled on all fours much like an orangutan.Humans arrived in Madagascar about 2,000 years ago. Since then, 17 known species of lemur have gone extinct. Megaladapis edwarsi is among the most notable because of its size. Being so large made it slow and easy to hunt. Radiocarbon dating shows these koala lemurs went extinct following European settlement on Madagascar; the last one died about 500 years ago.
9.Giant Australian Python--Wonambi Naracoortensis
Wonambi naracoortensis lived during the Pliocene epoch in Australia. "Wonambi" is the Aboriginal word for "rainbow serpent." This enormous snake lacked the jaw flexibility of most evolved snakes. The most advanced snakes can disarticulate their jaws, while lizards have zero jaw flexibility. This means the wonambi was, in evolutionary terms, at a phase between the lizard and the modern snake. The wonambi skull resembles fossils of the Cretaceous period more closely than the skull of any modern snake.
This non-venomous wonambi grew more than 4.5 meters (15 ft) long. It had recurved teeth without fangs, and constricted its prey. Most scientific estimates peg extinction at 40,000 years ago, though it's possible they could have survived to as recently as 7,000 years ago. Similarities to other extinct snakes in South America and Africa suggest a common ancestor from the days of Pangaea. Something tells me none of them were ever house pet material.
The great auk was a whimsical black and white flightless bird. Nicknamed "the original penguin," it stood about 1 meter (3 ft) tall and had tiny 15-centimeter (6 in) wings. Hundreds of thousands—possibly millions—thrived in North Atlantic ocean waters for centuries. They lived near places such as Scotland, Norway, Canada, the US, and France, but only ventured onto land to breed.
Great auks became highly valued in the 1700s. They'd been hunted for thousands of years, but during this period the killing spiraled out of control. Valuable feathers, pelts, meat, oil, and 13-centimeter (5 in) eggs tempted hunters and collectors. Great auks became endangered, and their rarity only heightened demand. On July 3, 1844, Sigurour Isleifsson and two other men visited the last breeding colony on Iceland's Eldey Island. A mother was incubating her egg with her mate nearby. Two of the men strangled the live birds, and the third crushed the egg with his boot. The destructive trio had been hired by a merchant to hunt the birds. The great auks they asphyxiated were the last mating pair ever seen. The last known live great auk was spotted in 1852 at The Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada.
Plentiful numbers of Schomburgk's deer once roamed Thailand. The animal was described and named in 1863, after the British consul of Bangkok at the time, Sir Robert H. Schomburgk. It's estimated to have gone extinct in the 1930s. Some believe the deer still lives, but scientific observations have not validated this assertion.
曾有大量的熊氏鹿活跃在泰国。熊氏鹿在1863年时被描述入册，并以当时曼谷的英国领事罗伯特·朔姆布尔克阁下（Robert H. Schomburgk）命名。人们猜测熊氏鹿可能是在1930年间灭绝的。也有一些人相信熊氏鹿依然存活，但并没有任何科学证据验证这一说明。
Schomburgk's deer antlers were believed to contain powers of magic and healing. The species became widely sought after by hunters, and fell victim to the traditional medicine trade. During floods, they gathered at high points; this made them especially easy to kill. Boaters targeted them when they had nowhere to run. Human settlement and commercial agriculture destroyed much of their habitat.The last wild Schomburgk's deer was killed in 1932. The last domesticated one died in 1938. Interestingly, in 1991, UN agronomist Laurent Chazee photographed a pair of antlers at a traditional medicine shop in Laos. The antlers were later identified as Schomburgk's deer antlers.
6.Jamaican Giant Galliwasp
The last recorded sighting of a Jamaican giant galliwasp occurred in 1840. Also known as a sinking galliwasp, it grew to around 60 centimters (2 ft) long and terrified locals. Its extinction was likely due to the introduction of predators—such as the mongoose—in Jamaica. Habitat destruction by humans may have also played a part in their elimination.
Galliwasps are a subject of fables. Jamaican natives believe the animal is venomous. After a bite, legend explains, the galliwasp and the person who was bitten will head for water. The first to reach it will live. The other will die. This is no longer a worry pertaining specifically to the Jamaican giant galliwasp, though. This species is believed to have gone extinct more than a century ago. Very little is known about this swamp-dwelling lizard, though we can tell it ate fish and fruit. Few specimens exist today. Bleached and preserved Jamaican giant galliwasps are kept at a small number of museums.