Rare Photographs of Extinct Animals Last Thylacine yawning: Note the unusual extent to which it was able to open its jaws From panthers and pandas to rhinos and tigers, dwindling animal numbers speak of the need to step up conservation efforts – if it’s not already too late. As a kind of wake-up call, we decided to take a look at seven extinct species captured on camera. With modern photography having only been invented in the 1820s, these snapshots are visible testament to just how recently the creatures shown were wiped out – and a jarring reminder of the precarious situation for many species still left on the planet. Karl Fabricius Scribol Staff
11 Extinct Animals That Have Been Photographed Alive Animals Published on April 2nd, 2009 | by Bryan Nelson The current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times higher than the average, or background rate, making our current period the 6th major mass extinction in the planet’s history. Although fossil reconstructions or pictorial representations can sometimes be difficult to connect with, it’s impossible to ignore the experience of seeing a photograph of an animal on the brink of extinction. Thus, what follows is a list of 11 extinct animals that were photographed while still alive. Tasmanian Tiger The last Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, known to have existed died in the Hobart Zoo, in Tasmania, Australia, on September 7th, 1936. Although commonly referred to as ‘tigers’, and despite having the look of a canid, the Thylacine isn’t remotely related to cats or dogs. >> Also see our latest post: 10 Animals on the Brink of Extinction Quagga Passenger Pigeon Colonial hunters happened. Golden Toad About the Author
Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning It has also increased the possibility that it will one day be possible to reproduce long-dead species such as woolly mammoths and even dinosaurs. Dr Jose Folch, from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, led the research along with colleagues from the National Research Institute of Agriculture and Food in Madrid. He said: "The delivered kid was genetically identical to the bucardo. In species such as bucardo, cloning is the only possibility to avoid its complete disappearance." Pyrenean ibex, which have distinctive curved horns, were once common in northern Spain and in the French Pyrenees, but extensive hunting during the 19th century reduced their numbers to fewer than 100 individuals. They were eventually declared protected in 1973, but by 1981 just 30 remained in their last foothold in the Ordesa National Park in the Aragon District of the Pyrenees.
The Rate of Extinction: 3 Species per Hour About 6 waves of massive extinction are known in the history of the Earth. The last one wiped out the dinosaur world 65 million years ago and was probably due to a meteorite collision. But the recent one has no natural causes. It is man made and rampant, eliminating three animal or plant species every hour. Scientists and environmentalists issued reports about threats to creatures and plants including right whales, Iberian lynxes, wild potatoes and even wild peanuts. Experts gathered on May 22, at the International Day for Biological Diversity, a report on the threatened species from whales and Iberian lynxes to wild potatoes and wild peanuts. The threats to the wildlife diversity vary from habitat loss due to land clearance for farms or cities, poaching, pollution and rising human populations to global warming. determination at all levels - global, national and local," he said. UE's goal is to stop biodiversity loss by 2010, not just to slow down the process.
Tasmanian tiger DNA 'lives' again Seventy years after the ferocious Tasmanian tiger went extinct, its marsupial DNA has been resurrected inside mice. This is the first time that genetic material from an extinct animal has functioned inside a living host. The technique has huge potential, say the researchers. Andrew Pask at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues extracted DNA from four 100-year-old Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, samples. The DNA was badly fragmented, but the team managed to isolate one specific DNA sequence from each of the animals. Bigger questions The team then copied the DNA snippet, coupled it with a gene that produces a blue pigment, and injected it into very early mouse embryos. "We could see it very clearly in the developing cartilage," says Pask. Other researchers have resurrected extinct DNA inside cell lines in the lab. This work isn't a step towards cloning the entire thylacine, Pask stresses. Mammoth revival Journal reference: PloS ONE (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002240)
Clouded leopard declared extinct in Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) A Formosan cloud leopard, now extinct in Taiwan. By Douglas Main, OurAmazingPlanet The Formosan clouded leopard, a clouded-leopard subspecies native to Taiwan, is now extinct, according to a team of zoologists. "There is little chance that the clouded leopard still exists in Taiwan," zoologist Chiang Po-jen told Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA). "There may be a few of them, but we do not think they exist in any significant numbers." Zoologists from Taiwan and the United States have looked for the animal on and off since 2001, to no avail. Now, the only one left in the country is a stuffed specimen at the National Taiwan Museum, zoologist Liu Jian-nan told CNA. The range of clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) spans from the hills of the Himalayas to Southeast Asia to China.
A moment of silence for the Western Black Rhino Officially extinct Another beautiful species that we won't see again. The western black rhino, which is a sub-species of black rhino, was was once widespread in the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa, but no more. Wikimedia/Public Domain The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa's northern white rhino is "teetering on the brink of extinction" while Asia's Javan rhino is "making its last stand" due to continued poaching and lack of conservation." Conservation efforts certainly are not futile! Here are some black rhinos (though obviously not western black rhinos...) filmed by the BBC: Via CNN See also: Aw, cute!
Extinct frog hops back into the gene pool In what may be considered an early Easter miracle, an extinct species of native frog has begun its rise from the dead. Australian scientists have grown embryos containing the revived DNA of the extinct gastric-brooding frog, the crucial first step in their attempt to bring a species back to life. The team from the aptly named Lazarus project inserted the dead genetic material of the extinct amphibian into the donor eggs of another species of living frog, a process similar to the technique used to create the cloned sheep Dolly. The eggs continued to grow into three-day-old embryos, known as blastulas. Extict since 1983: The bizarre gastric-brooding frog. "This is the first time this technique has been achieved for an extinct species," said one of the project scientists, conservation biologist Michael Mahony. Advertisement Frozen for 40 years In the beginning, the single cell eggs "just sat there", said Professor Archer. The egg donor frog. But the team's success so far did not come easily.