Over the course of world history, over 99.9% of all species that ever existed are now extinct. Today, people make a big deal over individual species going extinct (even though they probably shouldn’t). When most people think of extinct species, some obvious examples come to mind, including the dinosaurs and large mammals like the giant ground sloth or the wooly mammoth. However, there are a number of interesting species that have gone extinct in the past couple of centuries.
Here are six species that used to live alongside humans but are now gone.
The Tasmanian Tiger
Not to be confused with the Tasmanian devil, the Tasmanian tiger was a carnivorous marsupial that was native to the island of Tasmania as well as mainland Australia. This creature also went by the name of thylacine.
Rare photographs of these animals still survive, showing their unique shape and coloring. You can see where this animal got its name. It has stripes that are immediately reminiscent of a Bengal tiger.
The Tasmanian tiger is fascinating for many reasons. First, their stature is very similar to that of a small wolf or wild dog. Despite their appearance, they are not canines but rather marsupials. This means they carried around their young in a pouch similar to a kangaroo.
Thylacine was on the decline for hundreds of years due to a number of compounding factors. Competition from invasive wild dog species brought by Europeans, a deadly disease outbreak, and loss of habitat, finally culminated in the last of the Tasmanian tigers perishing in the first part of the twentieth century. They were officially declared extinct in 1936.
It is believed that these animals had been extinct in mainland Australia long before Europeans arrived there. The last populations of Tasmanian tigers held out on the island of Tasmania for generations after most of the colonies vanished from Australia.