Top Ten Extinct Animals (Non-Dinosaur)

Top Ten Extinct Animals (Non-Dinosaur)

  1. Megalodon
    Although extinct, Megalodon was the largest shark to have ever lived, growing to lengths of 59 ft.
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  2. Gigantopithecus

    Gigantopithecus, “Giant Ape,” is an extinct genus of ape that existed from roughly nine million years to as recently as one hundred thousand years ago, in what is now China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as several hominin species. The fossil record suggests that individuals of the species Gigantopithecus blacki were the largest apes that ever lived, standing up to 3 m (9.8 ft), and weighing up to 540 kg (1,200 lb).
    Links: Top Ten Primates,,
  3. Giant Short Faced Bear (Arctodus Simus)

           The short-faced bear or bulldog bear, or Arctodus, is an extinct genus of bear endemic to North America during the Pleistocene about 3.0 Mya – 11,000 years ago, existing for around three million years. Arctodus simus may have once been Earth’s largest mammalian, terrestrial carnivore. The species described are all thought to have been larger than any living species of bear. It was the most common of early North American bears, being most abundant in California.
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  4. Cave Lion

    The American lion (Panthera leo atrox or P. atrox), also known as the North American lion, Naegele’s giant jaguar or American cave lion, is an extinct lion of the family Felidae, endemic to North America and northwestern South America during the Pleistocene epoch (0.34 mya to 11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 0.33 million years. It has been shown by genetic analysis to be a sister lineage to the Eurasian cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea or P. spelaea). The American lion is one of the largest types of cat ever to have existed, slightly larger than the Early Middle Pleistocene primitive cave lion, P. leo fossilis and about 25% larger than the modern African lion.
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  5. Saber Tooth Tiger

           A saber-toothed tiger, is any of various groups of predatory mammals related to modern cats, characterized by long, sabre-shaped canine teeth. These animals belonged to subfamilies of Machairodontinae (Felidae), Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae (both Feliformia) as well as two families related to marsupials that were found worldwide from the Eocene Epoch to the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (42 mya—11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 42 million years. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth even when it was closed. Despite the name, not all animals known as saber-toothed cats were closely related to modern felines. The Nimravidae are the oldest, entering the landscape around 42 mya and becoming extinct by 7.2 mya. Barbourofelidae entered around 16.9 mya and were extinct by 9 mya. These two would have shared some habitats.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, Top Ten SkullsTop Ten Human SkullsTop Ten Skull Artifacts,,
  6. Titanoboa

           Titanoboa is a genus of snake that lived approximately 60–58 million years ago, during the Paleocene epoch, a 10-million-year period immediately following the dinosaur extinction event. The only known species is Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the largest, longest, and heaviest snake ever discovered, which supplanted the previous record holder, Gigantophis. Researchers estimated T. cerrejonensis reached a maximum length of 12 to 15 m (40 to 50 ft), weighed about 1,135 kg (2,500 lb).
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  7. Argentavis

           Argentavis magnificens, literally “magnificent Argentine bird” is the largest flying bird ever discovered, larger in every aspect than any other flying aves, including the enormous Haast’s Eagle from the Pleistocene to Holocene of New Zealand. This bird, sometimes called the Giant Teratorn, is an extinct species known (as of 2009) from three sites from the late Miocene (6 million years before present) of central and northwestern Argentina, where a good sample of fossils has been obtained. The species apparently had stout, strong legs and large feet which enabled it to walk with ease. The bill was large, rather slender and had a hooked tip with a wide gape.
    Links: Top 100 Birds,,
  8. Wooly Mammoth and Mastodon

           A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch (from around 5 million years ago) into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They were members of the family Elephantidae which contains, along with mammoths, the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors.
  9. Thylacine aka the Tasmanian Tiger
           The Tasmanian Devil was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped back), the Tasmanian wolf and colloquially the Tassie tiger. Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus, although several related species have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene. The thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before European settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island state of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none proven.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats,
  10. Dodo Bird
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           The Dodo is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Its closest genetic relative was the also extinct Rodrigues Solitaire, which consists of pigeons and doves. The closest living relative of the Dodo is the Nicobar Pigeon. Subfossil remains show the Dodo was about 1 m (3.3 feet) tall and may have weighed 10–18 kg (22–40 lb) in the wild. The Dodo’s appearance in life is evidenced only by drawings, paintings and written accounts from the 17th century. Because these vary considerably, and because only some illustrations are known to have been drawn from live specimens, its exact appearance in life remains unresolved. It has been depicted with brownish-grey plumage, yellow feet, a tuft of tail feathers, a grey, naked head, and a black, yellow, and green beak. It is presumed that the Dodo became flightless because of the ready availability of abundant food sources and a relative absence of predators on Mauritius. The first recorded mention of the Dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598. In the following years, the bird was hunted by sailors, their domesticated animals, and invasive species introduced during that time. The last widely accepted sighting of a Dodo was in 1662. The extinction of the Dodo within less than a century of its discovery called attention to the previously unrecognized problem of human involvement in the disappearance of entire species. The Dodo achieved widespread recognition from its role in the story of Alice in Wonderland, and it has since become a fixture in popular culture, often as a symbol of extinction and obsolescence.
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  11. Links: Animals, Top Ten Dinosaurs, Top Ten Terrestrial Dinosaurs, Top Ten Aquatic Dinosaurs, Top Ten Predators, Top Ten Fossils, Top Ten Skeletons,