Although there are billions of species that have gone extinct from the beginning of time, some species have stood out in popular culture whether because of their enormous size, strength or the sheer numbers of their population that became extinct. Some of these impressive animals are discussed below. Although many dinosaurs and animals from millions of years ago have been extinct, others survived, including some birds, insects, frogs, some mammals and a few other reptiles. Some marine animals survived as well. These survivors also include alligators and crocodiles, while in the water it included sharks, snails and corals.
Tyrannosaurus Rex: These dinosaurs were large land living carnivorous creatures that inhabited parts of North America nearly 65 million years ago. They were considered giant in size and would be able to run an impressive amount of space in a short period of time, making them extremely effective predators. Most of what scientists know about the T. Rex has been discovered from the fossils that they left behind. Currently in the world, there are at least thirty complete T. Rex specimens available. The T. Rex species seems to have died out during the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, nearly 65 million years ago. The T. Rex species has become popular in modern times because of its sheer size and ferocity observed from the assemblage of its fossils. It has been featured in many books, television series and movies in the past century.
Ammonites (Small Invertebrates) and Belemnites (Squid-like species): Although most of the attention is focused on vertebrates and land-dwelling creatures, one of the hardest hit of the extinction events were the sea creatures known as the Ammonites and the Belemnites. These two groups of sea creatures are considered extraordinary in history because they have a thorough fossil record chronicled today. The fossil records show that these groups of creatures were completely destroyed in catastrophically large amounts. They are considered almost the hardest hit classes of animals in terms of sheer extinction numbers.
Plesiosaurs: This was a carnivorous creature found in the Earth's ocean fossil records. Their preserved fossils seem to show them as a large reptile, much like a snake except with a small amount of body. These creatures showed up at the very end of the Triassic Period and became extinct around the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. They're popularized in culture because of the strange and intimidating structure of their discovered fossils.
Mosasaurs: These were extremely large snake-like sea creatures found in the fossil records pertaining to the Cretaceous Period. They were assumed to have survived until the very end of the late Cretaceous Period where it is believed they became extinct. Mosasaurs are unique in that scientists believe they are the closest relatives to the modern day snake. This is because they conducted analyses on the head and jaw of these creatures and found striking similarities.
Triceratops: The triceratops was an herbivorous genus of dinosaurs that appeared during the Late Cretaceous Period and lasted until around the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Triceratops became popular due to their particular shape: even though the triceratops is not dominantly large in size, it possessed three distinct horns on its head.
Saber-Toothed Tiger: The saber-toothed tiger began showing up in fossil records around 42 million years ago. This family of animals lasted for millions of years until the last ones became extinct around 7.2 million years ago. These animals were famous mainly for their unique shape: they had large canine teeth that protruded outside of their mouths at all times, giving them a distinctly terrifying form. Scientists believe that the last of the saber-tooth tigers died out because of extreme weather changes in the environment leading to an ice age.
Wooly Mammoth: The wooly mammoth was a specific species of mammoth found throughout North America and in some cases even Siberia. The animal was large and had long, distinct horns protruding from out of its skull, thus making it a popular animal in modern culture. The wooly mammoth became extinct around 1700 BC, with large numbers dying out during the last known ice age. Although it isn't known for certain, there have been several factors leading to their extinction, including climate changes, disease and hunting by humans.
Recently Extinct Animals: As discussed before, although mass extinctions occurred millions of years ago, extinctions of a substantial amount of species are still occurring today. These animals are dying out because their habitats are being destroyed, they're experiencing catastrophic disease or they're losing essential food sources. Below is a list of recently extinct animal species.