There are more animal species out there than you could probably imagine. With many of them having become extinct over the past decades and centuries, you’d say humans learnt their lesson and are now more protective of the endangered species. Unfortunately for them, here are 10 animals to become extinct before you die. Most of these are primarily threatened by habitat destruction or human predation, which translates into people being the main reason for their extinction. It’s hard to believe so many species are going extinct at the same time, and it’s certainly a wake up call that we should change our behavior towards nature.
10. The hooded seals
This animal is mainly found in the North Atlantic. It can reach up to 900 pounds (over 400 kg) and they can become 8 feet long (2.5 metres). They have become an endangered species because they are hunted for leather and their oil deposits. The peculiar nasal cavity sets it apart from any other animal out there. Also known as a hood, it’s only possesed by males, it’s very elastic and it inflates as it prepares to go underwater.
9. The Bearded Vulture
This beautiful bird of prey feeds mostly on carrion and lives in European and African mountains. The bearded vulture populations have steadily decreased in the last years because of the fear of attacks on children or lambs. A recent report estimated there are only 10,000 bearded vultures left in the entire world, and the numbers keep going down even as we speak.
8. The saiga antelope
Although it looks like it was taken out of a SF movie, this species is also on the very brink of extinction. The saiga antelope can be found in the Eurasian steppe. They sport a highly unusual nose that is very flexible, allowing the antelope to filter the dust caused by the migratory flocks. A glance at the numbers is disconcerting. It has been reported that no more than a few thousands of this species survived a mysterious illness that decimated entire herds.
7. The Langur Chato
This animal might look like a pet from the future, but in reality it’s just a primate that lives in Asia and is threatened by deforestation. Also known as the golden snub-nosed monkey, they live at 1,500-3,400 m above sea levels and they feed on leaves, fruit, seeds and lichens. Because of habitat loss, their main course of their diet, the lichens, are slowly becoming a luxury. Since the Langur Chato is quite selective with its food, they are now on the verge of extinction.
6. The Irrawaddy dolphins
What sets the Irrawaddy dolphin apart from the regular dolphins we’re used to is their domed foreheads and their short beaks. The Irrawaddy dolphins’ biggest threat is overfishing. A recent study suggested there are only 77 of them left.
5. The Coconut crabs
This is the largest terrestrial arthropod that can grow to be 3 feet (1 metre) in length, sometimes weighing 17 pounds (9 kg). They feed on fruits, seeds, nuts and of course coconuts. This species is known to climbing trees, picking coconuts and crushing them with their claws. Their extinction is a result of habitat loss and human predation.
4. The Gooty Spider
These arthropods display gorgeous colors of deep blue and violet, which makes them very popular amongst collectors, leading to a fall in their numbers. This spider species only lives in small Indian forests, also known under the name Gooty sapphire ornamental tree spider, metallic tarantula or peacock parachute spider.
3. Loris elusive
Located in Sri Lanka, the Loris elusive has only been spotted a handful of times in the last decades, leading us to believe they are already extinct. They are nocturnal animals and their big eyes help them have an accurate night vision. The loris is surrounded by superstition rumours that say their flesh can cure leprosy.
The national animal of Pakistan, the Markhor, resembles a creature from a fantasy movie. More realistically, it’s a species of wild goat that is found in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Although their numbers have increased in the last few years, these goats that can weigh as much as 243 pounds (110 kg) are still considered an endangered species, threatened by trophy hunters.
1. The Okapi
Looking at this animal you’d think a giraffe and a zebra had a baby. You wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The Okapi is related to the giraffe and it was discovered by British explorers in the 1800s. Nowadays these animals can only be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They can reach a height of 8.2 feet (2.5 metres), weighing as much as 770 pounds (350 kg). Recent estimates put their number somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000.