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Extinct Animals of the Rainforest

Angela, an animal lover, has a passion for learning and understanding God's creatures. As a born teacher, she enjoys sharing her knowledge.

The more your yard looks like a rainforest, the more animals you are giving a home to.

The more your yard looks like a rainforest, the more animals you are giving a home to.

Extinct Rainforest Species

The rainforest is rich with life. Despite being such a great home for so many, more and more rainforest animals have become either endangered or extinct each year. The declining population of many species will continue to decline since the rainforest's trees continue to be destroyed every day.

As natural habitats become depleted, more and more animals risk losing their homes. If one species becomes endangered, that species' predators and prey also decline. For this reason, the extinction of any species is a huge concern for our ecosystem.

Extinct Bats: Greater Short-Tailed Bat

Many species of bats populate the rain forest. Unfortunately, with the destruction of more and more land, some species of bats have not survived. The great short-tailed bat is one of them. Its last sighting was in 1965.

The great short-tailed bat was unlike any other. For one, these bats lived during the time of dinosaurs. It occupied New Zealand and like a mouse, it spent a lot of time running on the ground using both its front and back paws, while hiding its wings. When they flew, they did not fly very high. Its primary protection was inside trees, specifically beech trees, where they would build homes. At 9 cm long with a 30 cm wingspan, it was smaller than most bats, but not the smallest. It was large in comparison to most that live in New Zealand. Due to their size, they mainly ate insects, although occasionally larger prey. Their numbers dwindled when humans settled in New Zealand and began destroying the forest, causing these bats to lose their protection from predators.


The great boa, also known as the titanoboa, became extinct millions of years ago.

The great boa, also known as the titanoboa, became extinct millions of years ago.

Great Boa

Unlike the short-tailed bat, which became extinct relatively recently, the giant boa became extinct along with the dinosaurs. It was also known as the Titanoboa because it was the largest discovered snake. It weighed 2,500 pounds and could grow as long as 40 feet.

It most likely became extinct when its food supply died off. The giant boa used to eat crocodiles, specifically the Cerrijonisuchus. Cerrijonisuchus means "small crocodile from Cerrejon," although don't be fooled by its name. It was still seven to eight feet long. Although big, it was even smaller than most crocodiles.

It is unknown whether the Titanboa or Cerrijonisuchus died first, although we know there was a correlation between their extinction.

Extinct Rainforest Birds

Aukland Island Merganser

Of all the animals that have become extinct, birds make up the most significant number, and one of these is the Aukland Island Merganser. There are only four species of mergansers left on the earth, all endangered. They are most closely related to ducks, geese, and swans.

The Auckland Island merganser was the smallest of the bunch at 20.5 inches. It was first sighted somewhere around New Zealand in the nineteenth century by an explorer named Jules d'Urville. They did not survive long after. By 1902, the last pair known to exist was shot by the governor of New Zealand, Earl of Ranfurly.

Since then, there have been two searches to find this bird in hopes of restoring the species. One search in 1909, and the other in 1972-1973. Neither of these investigations successfully found the Auckland Island merganser, which died off due to humans hunting them and the introduction of pigs and cats in New Zealand.

Photos of Extinct Birds


Piopio: Extinct Birds

Another bird that has become extinct is the Piopio, also known as the New Zealand Thrush. Despite its strong resemblance to the thrush, DNA testing shows it was not as closely related as initially assumed.

There are two species of Piopio: South Island Piopio and North Island Piopio. Both species are unique, yet both have become extinct, in part because they were very tame and curious birds. Unfortunately, the combination of curiosity and tameness put them at risk.

Piopios were known for their beautiful voices. After rainfall, they would often sing beautiful songs.

The South Island Piopio was last seen in the wild in 1947 at Lake Hauroko. Many years passed when no one saw the bird before declaring it extinct in 1963. The last North Island Piopio was last seen in 1949 at The Aurora, Wanganui.




Another bird that lived with the dinosaurs was a group of birds called the huia that flew to New Zealand. They remained there, feeding off the land, until 1907.

They were unique because the males and females were so different; their differentiation between genders was more striking than in any other bird species. The males and females had completely different beaks. Because of this, for a while, scientists thought they were two different species until they realized that they always fed in pairs. The male (who had a strong, short beak) would break up rotting tree trunks to find huhu bugs or other insects, and the female's curved long beak would reach unreachable spots to grab the insects.

The extinction of these birds was preventable, yet humans drove them to their extinction by hunting them and using their tail feathers in hats. In the nineteen-hundreds, people were ignorant about what their actions would cause. When the huia became extinct, so did another creature, the louse Rallicola extinctus. This louse lived within the feathers of huia. They have never been found anywhere else.

Although we do not have any living huias left, we have many preserved in museums. Another cause for the birds' extinction was that Walter Buller, an ornithologist, killed 646 Huias for his museum collection. Buller soon realized his error, became an advocate for land preservation and helped turn Kapiti Island into a sanctuary for endangered birds. He did attempt to revive the Huia population, but he was unsuccessful.

Laughing Owl

Laughing owls were named for their maniacal shrieks, which they used to communicate.

Laughing owls were named for their maniacal shrieks, which they used to communicate.

Laughing Owl

The laughing owl was first spotted in the mid-1800s. It gained popularity because of its unique vocal patterns: It has a vibrating shriek that sounds similar to a maniacal laugh. Those who heard it would tell stories of how they initially thought a madman was laughing until they looked around and only saw the owl.

Laughing owls often made this noise soon after it rained. They also made another noise that sounded like a puppy barking. We are unsure what each noise indicated, although the maniacal shrieking attracted other owls.

Laughing owls were declared extinct in 1914, but there have been alleged owl sightings since. Since the laughing owl would nest on the bare ground, predators easily captured it. Their extinction was most likely due to predation by natural predators such as cats.

How To Prevent Animals from Becoming Extinct

Preventing the extinction of animals is an important responsibility. We need to take care of our world, regardless of our religious or political views. Although we may not have individual influence over the rainforest, we can do things to protect nature and our resources. By following the saying "reduce, reuse, recycle," we help stop the destruction of the earth.

Reduce: Keep in mind what things you use that you don't have to. For instance, is it essential to drink bottled water? Will filtered tap water do? There are many other ways to reduce what we use, such as turning off lights when we leave the room.

Reuse: We should also choose items that can be reused, like wiping your hands on a towel rather than using paper towels each time you wash your hands.

Recycle: Recycling is an excellent way to reduce and reuse our resources. Some companies will pick up recyclables at your doorstep and places where you can drop off your recyclables.

Plant a Tree: Although reducing, reusing, and recycling will help prevent land destruction, planting a tree will help replenish new places for creatures to live. Planting trees is an excellent way to protect the animals in your neck of the woods from dwindling.

Join an Adopt-an-Animal Program: Another way to help is to donate money for the research and protection of animals. One fun way to give is by adopting an animal, where you will get information on a particular animal of your choice. is one place where you can find animals to adopt.

Questions & Answers

Question: Did the Titanoboa become extinct when dinosaurs were alive?

Answer: It is believed to have become extinct after dinosaurs became extinct according to carbon dating.

Question: What is the last animal to become extinct?

Answer: Unfortunately, that question is tricky to answer, since information is constantly changing. Animals who were thought to be extinct may be rediscovered. Animals that have become extinct may not have been identified yet. They also give a period of time of not finding a particular species before identifying it extinct to reduce error. One such example that was officially labeled extinct in 2017 was the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, an Australian bat. In actuality, it had not been spotted since 2009.

Question: When did the Laughing Owl become extinct?

Answer: Unfortunately, the last known laughing owl was one found dead on a road at Blue Cliffs Station, near Timaru, in New Zealand in 1914.

Question: Are there any more animals that have gone extinct?

Answer: Unfortunately, there are a lot of animals that have gone extinct, and the number continues to increase. It would be impossible to list all of them. Still, some of the most famous extinct animals are the dodo bird, sabertooth cat, the wooly mammoth, thylacine, quagga, passenger pigeon, Pyrenean ibex, Javan tiger, and of course various dinosaurs.

Question: Is the titanoboa real?

Answer: Yes, it is real. They found 28 fossils in 2009 in a coal mine in Colombia.

Question: What is the deadliest animal to go extinct?

Answer: This is such an interesting question, and I do not know if it is possible to really know the answer to this question. My first guess would be the Sabre-Toothed Cat also known as the saber-toothed tiger. There is some evidence saying some of the dinosaurs that were viewed as deadly were not as deadly as originally thought.

Question: What percent of forest animals are extinct?

Answer: There is no way to truly know. Since the rainforest is so thick with animal life, it is hard to know how many have gone extinct without our ever knowing they existed.

Question: Are these the only extinct animals?

Answer: Definitely not! These are the most common. You can find out about a lot more if you check out the website I adore this organization as they are continually doing research and using conservation efforts to support many of these animals.

Question: When will the Amazon rainforest disappear?

Answer: Hopefully never. My hope is that we can revive the Amazon rainforest so that way it flourishes forever. The only way we can do that is to take care of this Earth that we have.

Question: How many animals go extinct a day?

Answer: According to HuffPost, scientists estimate that 150-200 insects, animals, and plants die every twenty-four hours.

Question: Are sloths about to become extinct?

Answer: Different species of sloths vary in where they are on a scale of endangered animals. The pygmy three-toed sloth is considered critically endangered. It is considered one of the most endangered mammals. The Mane-Three-Toed sloth is considered vulnerable, which means that the numbers are dwindling, but not yet endangered. The remaining species of sloths, which include the brown-throated sloth, pale-throated sloth, Hoffman's two-toed sloth, and Linnaeus's two-toed sloth are considered of least concern.

Question: What was the biggest cat to go extinct?

Answer: The smilodon, which is also known as the saber-toothed tiger, is the largest known prehistoric cat. There were several different saber-toothed cats, the largest being the smilodon populator, which weighed up to 500 Kg (1100lbs).

Question: Which one is bigger, the Eastern elk or the Irish elk?

Answer: The Irish elk, which is actually a large extinct deer stood about seven feet or 2.1 meters tall. Their antlers were massive and spanned nearly twelve feet, which is approximately 3.65 meters. This is the largest deer species known. The Eastern elk, which is also extinct, is, in fact, an elk. They are smaller, making the Irish elk larger. A male Eastern elk stood about five feet tall. Their antlers were also much smaller than that of the Irish elk and only spanned six feet.

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz


NICK on March 06, 2020:

this might be the best website I HAVE EVERY SEEN

Junior on January 31, 2020:

Thanks for helping me on this project

JDC on October 20, 2019:

I wonder if we haven't already turned the corner of no return.

So many things are at issue, in saving this planet.

Corporations play a major role with their strip mining, world wide logging/raping of important forests. Plus, we have the fishing companies, and this insane greed for animal parts.

Oh, I almost forgot global warming as well.

So, if we survive this mess, I see us in a very very different world 50 to a 100 years from now. Not a pretty one at that.

For starters, the weather as we know it will have changed. Things we are trying to save today will be gone along with who knows what else.

Will we be able to keep this Earth in balance? I say no.

Aahil Amjad on July 26, 2019:

Thanks, Author for helping me create my own website.

ruby on June 10, 2019:

I am doing some fact about the amazon rainforest that is very sad

Carter on May 30, 2019:


michelle on May 21, 2019:

yeah this is very useful

Pickle Chin on May 15, 2019:

Stop being rude people! It's sad how all these pretty animals are extinct. And it's all human kinds fault.

Nevaeh on May 09, 2019:

I would like it better if it had more picture other than that it was good!

Howard Daniel-Shumway on April 29, 2019:

what a boring article

Yeet on January 15, 2019:

I’m impressed by this website as it helped me loads on a project for animals

Owen on January 04, 2019:

This website helped me get an A- on my Extinct Animals project

Leo on December 03, 2018:

What a sad thing on these extinct rainforest animals.

nicki on November 15, 2018:

thanks for helping me, this is really useful information for my project

Zia Uddin from UK on November 03, 2018:

Great hub on these extinct rainforest animals. I quite liked the laughing owl, if only we could have seen them and hear them laugh. Unfortunately, a lot of animals of today are declining including some rainforest ones.

unknown on September 27, 2018:

thanks for helping me with my project

person on April 22, 2018:

thanx to you, I have an animal for my biome project for science, I really am thankful.

YAAAAAS :) on March 22, 2018:

That really helps thanks

Unknown on March 21, 2018:

Um what the heck!!!!!

Corn Bread on March 06, 2018:

thanks i like animals

TRASH on February 26, 2018:

Thxs really helped with my project! :)

Unknown on February 08, 2018:

Thxs. for helping me with my project/report!!!!!!!

person on January 31, 2018:

This helped me sooooooooooooooo much with my report!!!!!!!!

Elizaveta S. on January 08, 2018:

Thank you, your work is the best!!!!!!

hi on October 30, 2017:

thanks for helping me with my project!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on August 14, 2017:

Since cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are not endangered, I do not have a problem with them being used for meet. I personally do not eat dairy or pork for health reasons, but feel there is nothing wrong with raising animals to eat as long as they are not an endangered species.

Nam on August 14, 2017:

Please address animal agriculture and the need to reduce and even eliminate meat consumption, especially beef and dairy.

PERSON on March 09, 2017:


skylar on November 09, 2016:

wow this is so help ful can you put up more?

google user on September 27, 2016:

aww this is so sad. thank you for telling me this. ive never ever heard of these animals. thanks

connie!! on June 14, 2016:

thanks for the info!!!!! it helped soooo much with my project!!

Clara on July 18, 2015:

It is very interesting to read about the Greater-Short-Tailed-Bat and the Great Boa. I never new the great Boa is the largest snake in the world and lived 60 million years ago.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 24, 2015:

I am so sad that many animals are getting extinct. I hope they survive. I have not seen any of these ones you mentioned here.

sarah on February 20, 2015:

it is so sad that is happening

cjarosz on January 27, 2014:

Such a great and informative hub on saving animals. Thank you for this.

jamila sahar on November 13, 2012:

aaawww the rainforest a treasure and jewel of the planet, being destroyed by man, thank you so much for sharing these impressive hubs. this is of a great concern to me, and also learned about other birds and animals i did not know about previously. @ goodlady, that is indeed very heart wrenching. (sigh) thanks for sharing about the 'adopt an animal' i will look into that.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 21, 2012:

This is a very informative hub, but it's also very sad to learn about animals that have become extinct. Your hub is an excellent warning that we need to be more diligent about preserving wildlife! The Adopt An Animal program sounds great - I'll investigate this. Thanks for the information, Angela.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on October 12, 2012:

Thank you so much Goodlady. I always appreciate your insightful comments!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on October 12, 2012:

It's a heart wrenching tale of woe. Where I live, at the end of a country road in a valley in rural Maremma Italy, lots of amazing and interesting wild animals and rare birds come to live and hide and breed - until the shooting season opens! Some return the next year but it is awful to hear the shots ring out and think that any one of them is being killed. I think we are winning though because I do see a number of rare birds returning and NOT being shot at.

Your hub is full of interesting information about creatures, people and stories I knew nothing of. Thanks. Voting! Pinned it.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on October 12, 2012:

I will continue to look to find those who are extinct.

viewfinders from India on October 12, 2012:

really explained hub,like it and i think the more of them to be mentioned and like your suggestions to protect animals that are going to extinct

Dianna Mendez on October 11, 2012:

I have only heart of the laughing owl, all the rest are news to me. I like your suggestions on how to prevent the extinction of animals. Good post and very interesting.