The Top 5 Best Known Extinct Animals

Name as many extinct animals as you can! Ready, set, go!!

Chances are you probably managed to name at least 10 species, bonus points if you used their Latin name too! And we reckon that in your list will be at least one of our top 5 best known extinct animals. Want to see who we’ve chosen? Then read on.


5. Irish Elk/Giant DeerGiant-deer

Image credit – Pavel.Riha.CB

This magnificent beast is believed to have died out roughly 7000 – 10,500 years ago, sometime after the last ice age. They apparently roamed the lowlands of Ireland for quite some time, although their fossils have been found in countries such as Italy, Hungary and France. You’d have had a very hard time trying to hunt one of these bad boys!

Weighing in at roughly 450 kg and standing at 2 metres high, at their shoulder, these were creatures you’d have given a wide berth! Especially if you didn’t fancy being skewered like a kebab on their impressively huge antlers!


4.  Megalodon

The stuff of nightmares, the Megalodon makes Jaws look like a helpless kitten. This huge monster is the biggest shark to have existed and is suspected to have been able to grow to over 60 feet in length! With teeth that were 7 inches long and the most powerful bite of any predator that has ever lived, you definitely did not want to meet this scary creature in the deep blue sea!

If you want an idea as to what it looked like, think Great White Shark, but bigger! No-one really knows how they became extinct, so maybe they’re just really hiding in the murky depths – that’s sure to put some people off getting in a boat for life!


3. Woolly MammothWoolly_mammoths

Who loves the Ice Age series? Many of you probably know and love the Woolly Mammoths after watching Manny and his tribe stomping around in the frozen world of the prehistoric. So it makes sense that the loveable, fluffy beast makes it into our top 5. Being just one of many species of Mammoth, the Woolly Mammoth actually wasn’t the biggest and it wasn’t the only “woolly” one either.

Impressively, however, some had tusks that grew to up to 15 feet long and they weighed in at around 5 – 7 tonnes! Unlike many prehistoric creatures, the Woolly Mammoth managed to hang on in there until about 4,000 years ago, when it is believed they went extinct.


2. Tyrannosaurus Rex

It would be rude not to include this vicious dinosaur in our top 5. Ask anyone to name an extinct animal and, next to the Dodo, this is possibly one of the best known. Made famous thanks to the Jurassic Park films, this dinosaur is a pretty fearsome beast! These films taught us that they are huge, fast, incredibly territorial creatures that can’t see you if you don’t move.

But did you know that they grew up to 40 feet long and 20 feet tall? That they could eat 500 pounds of meat in one bite? No? You do now! Let’s be thankful that this magnificent predator is long since dead and that there are no plans to clone them in the future…..


1. DodoThe_Dodo

You just knew the Dodo would be number one, didn’t you? Who doesn’t know about this silly, loveable bird? A big, flightless bird, the Dodo was native to Mauritius until it became extinct in the 17th Century after the island became home to Dutch settlers. We know very little about the Dodo but it is believed that it had no natural predators and would lay its eggs on ground. If scientists were to successfully clone extinct animals, it would be pretty cool if they were to restore the Dodo back to prominence!


So there you have it, our top 5 Best known extinct animals. Are any of your favourites there?

About Cassie Raine

Cassie is a home educating mum-of-two, living in the Kentish countryside. She has a keen interest in history, especially ancient history, literature, myths and legends, theology, environmental issues, self-sufficiency and current affairs. In her spare time she enjoys reading, country walks, knitting and learning new skills. She believes passionately that learning should be a pleasure, never a chore.
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