The Last of The Last: We Caused Their Extinction

Updated on September 20, 2018
Gerry Glenn Jones profile image

Gerry Glenn Jones, a former police officer, has always enjoyed comparing predictions by others to the actual end result.

Things Are Born; Things Die

We live in a world of wonder, with each day bringing new things to bear in our lives, but this is also a world of death and extinction. There are many, many things that lived and thrived on this earth for untold centuries but were eventually deemed extinct due to different reasons. Let's look at some of them.

Dodo Birds

Have you ever been called a "dodo" or "dodo bird," because someone thought you did something dumb? Well, if you have, a good reply to the person saying that to you would have been, "I can't be a dodo; because they became extinct in the 1600s."

It is believed that a flock of pigeons, which possibly got lost, landed on the Island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean over 12,000 years ago. They probably had an abundance of food and didn't have a need to fly, thus evolved into a flightless bird. This turned out to be a reason for their extinction. When they were discovered by Dutch sailors in the late 1500s, they were killed an eaten, and it is believed the last dodo was sighted in 1662.


Passenger Pigeon

In a very unique turn-around of events, the passenger pigeon, which has been extinct since the early 1920s has been brought back by DNA cloning.

At one time there were approximately 4 to 5 million passenger pigeons in the United States. However, the slaughter of the bird began as cheap meat to feed the poor, and the killing of them as a sport. These events brought the species to extinction, with the last known one, dying in captivity in 1914.

Because feathers and other remnants of these birds exist in museums and other controlled environments, scientists believe DNA can be extracted and used to fertilize a female mourning dove, thus, reinventing the passenger pigeon. We shall wait and see.


Pinta Island Tortoise

Pinta Island is located in the Gal√°pagos Islands group in Ecuador and was once the home of the Pinta Island tortoise. These giant creatures lived comfortably on the Island until sailors and others began killing them for food, which many said was delicious. The killing continued until only one tortoise was captured and lived in captivity until it died in 2012. He was named "Lonesome George," for the fact he was the last Pinta Island Tortoise.

Stellers Sea Cow

Yes, even the oceans of the world have cows, but these do not have feet. One particular animal that is no longer with up is the Stellers sea cow, named for naturalist George Steller, who discovered the creature in 1741. This mammal was herbivorous, just like the cow, and only ate plants, such as kelp, found floating in the oceans. It was very large and weighed up to 10 tons, and is believed to have spent much of its time eating. It was unable to submerge fully, and this made it an easy target for human hunters.

This sea cow lived in the waters off Alaska in the Bering Strait. The total population was estimated at about 2,000 in 1741 but became extinct by 1768 because of human hunters.



Golden Toad

Some of you may have seen this amphibian if you visited Costa Rica before it became extinct in 1989. The golden toad inhabited the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Northern Costa Rica.

This frog, which was fluorescent, was believed to have become extinct in 1989 due to pollution, global warming, and fungal skin infections.


Quagga

The quagga was a unique species of the zebra family. Its uniqueness was the fact it only had stripes on the front part of its body. This animal also had another unique quality, it searched for food with domesticated animals, and would be seen amongst them eating. It too would leave this Earth because of human hunters. It went extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive quagga died in Amsterdam in 1883.


Madeiran Large White Butterfly

The beautiful Madeiran Large White butterfly was closely related to the Large White butterfly lived in the valleys of the Laurisilva forests on Portugal's Madeira Islands.

It is either extinct or very rare because the last one seen was in 1977. Its demise was believed to have been caused by a virus infection and possible changes in the atmosphere, caused by human neglect.

West African Black Rhinoceros

The West African black rhinoceros may have gone extinct because of its horns. This animal which lived in the southeastern region of Africa was prized by hunters who believed its horns (yes, horns-it had two) contained medicinal properties. Thus, hunting led to its extinction in 2011.


Tasmanian Tiger

The name Tasmanian tiger was a misnomer of this extinct animal because it wasn't a tiger at all. It was a large meat-eating marsupial that lived in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.

Bounties were placed on it by ranchers and others for fear it would kill their livestock. This and disease caused the Tasmanian tiger to go extinct in the wild in 1920, with the last captive dying at the Hobart Zoo in 1936.



Two Tasmanian Tigers
Two Tasmanian Tigers | Source

Canary Islands Oystercatcher

The Canary Islands oystercatcher was a bird who lived on the rocky shore rather than on beaches. Although it was named an oystercatcher, its diet consisted of small mollusks and crustaceans.

It is believed to have become extinct due to loss of habitat because of human encroachment. The last known Canary Islands oystercatcher was shot and killed in 1913.



Mandans

The Mandans were a Native American tribe who lived along the Missouri River, in what is know the state of North Dakota. They were buffalo hunters, but also had gardens and grew vegetables. within the western land, now referred to as North Dakota.

When they contracted the white man's disease of smallpox, it decimated the tribe. This, along with war with the whites, caused their numbers to dwindle to about 125 in 1837. By 1934, they were extinct as a tribe.

Karankawa

The Karankawas were a tribe of Native American Indians who lived in southern Texas along the Gulf Coast. The helped the United States in the Texas War of Independence. Some of the subgroups of them included the Cujanes, Cocos, Guapites (Coapites), and Copanes.

It is believed that disease killed many of these people, but Juan Nepomuceno Cortina led a group of Texan colonists in raids in 1858 that killed most of the tribe, with the rest becoming extinct in 1891.

Beothuk Tribes

The Beothuk was a dark and tall Native American tribe with black hair and dark eyes. They lived for a huge number of years, prior to the Vikings arrival, in present-day Newfoundland. When Europeans under the leadership of John Cabot started exploiting lumber and fish in their area of habitat, the Beothuk were forced out of their land. The worry of white individuals, tuberculosis and malnutrition decimated the population, and the last member of the tribe, Shanawdithit died in 1829.


Museum display from Boyd's Cove Beothuk Interpretation Centre
Museum display from Boyd's Cove Beothuk Interpretation Centre | Source

Mohican Indians

The novel, "Last of the Mohicans," by James Fenimore Cooper led us to believe the Mohicans were and extent tribe. However, the Mohican Indians are not extinct. There is a Stockbridge Mohican Indian community in Wisconsin, whose members are descendants of the 18th century eastern Mohicans.

We Are Responsible

I have listed only a small portion of extinct species; there are many more out there, including plants that are gone forever.

In the cases of extinct animals and people in this article, they all have a common denominator for going extinct; "humans." Yes, I said humans! We have done more damage to this Earth, animals, plants and ourselves than anything else. There are many programs that are working to change this, but until, we as individuals, become more aware of what were are contributing to the decimation of our Earth, the damage cannot be corrected, and in the case of the people and animals in this article, they are gone forever.

References

Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service https://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=4765

WWF https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/black-rhino

The Quagga Project https://quaggaproject.org/

Audubon Magazine https://www.audubon.org/magazine/may-june-2014/why-passenger-pigeon-went-extinct

For Animal and People https://www.thedodo.com/

Karankawa Indians - TSHA https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmk05

Legends of America https://www.legendsofamerica.com/

Encyclopedia Britannica - Mohicans https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mohican

BirdLife International http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/22693621

One Kind Of Planet https://onekindplanet.org/top-10/top-10-worlds-extinct-animals/

"The Last of the Mohicans" book
"The Last of the Mohicans" book | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Gerry Glenn Jones

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Gerry Glenn Jones profile imageAUTHOR

        Gerry Glenn Jones 

        4 weeks ago from Somerville, Tennessee

        Yes, Pamela, we don't consider our actions many times.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        This is a sad article when you consider all the extinct animals, and indians. I think that is heartbreaking. Some other animals will be extinct soon if things continue as they are. I hate the killing of elephants, even young ones for their ivory. However, I am glad dinosaurs are extinct!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)