Extinct Animals Found Alive Facts
On December 23rd of 1938 a fishing trawler, that had been fishing along the South African coast pulled back into port at East London, South Africa. A curator of a small museum
in East London, by the name of Marjorie Courtenay Latimer, who often looked over the fisherman's catches for any unusual specimens went to the dock to take a look. That day she
certainly did find an unusual specimen, lying their among the fishermen's catch was a fish that was thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago; a coelacanth (pronounced
SEEL-uh-kanth). This is perhaps the most famous example of what were believed to be extinct animals found alive, but as you will see in the list of interesting facts below not
the only one.
Unfortunately animal extinctions, often caused by human hunting and habitat encroachment, are not rare; however finding animals thought extinct still alive is very rare. In the
list below are 5 animals once thought extinct but that were found alive. This information is written for both kids and adults and includes where these animals were re-
discovered, when they were found, and why they were thought extinct.
List of Extinct Animals Found Alive
- As mentioned above this fish that was thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago, since the end of the Cretaceous period, was found still alive.
- These fish are large and plump and can reach a length of 5.9 feet (1.8 meters).
The first living Coelacanth was pulled in by a fishing trawler off the coast of South Africa in 1938.
- The fish was spotted by Marjorie Courtenay Latimer who was the curator of a small museum in East London, South Africa.
- This small horse's habitat is Northern Iran.
- The Caspian horse (also called Khazar Horse) was once valued by the ancient Persian Empire over 1,000 years ago. This civilization was one of the first to breed horses for use
- Its original height is believed to have been between 36 and 46 inches (91 and 117 centimeters). This is more like the height of a pony but it is classified as a horse due to
- Due to no record of this horse being seen for hundreds of years most experts believed it had become extinct.
- In 1965 a women, by the name of Louise Firouz, from the U.S. who ran an equestrian center for kids in Iran set out to find a small pony she had been informed was seen living
near the Caspian Sea. She did indeed find what looked to be a small pony but what instead turned out to be a Caspian horse, long thought extinct.
- This extinct animal that has been found alive is still very rare but can now be found in various zoos and equestrian centers around the world.
- Many experts believe that the Caspian Horse is the oldest living breed of domestic horse still alive today.
Laotian Rock Rat
- This rat was thought to have gone extinct approximately 11 million years ago.
- This species was discovered to be alive in 2005 when it was found in a food market along the Mekong River in Laos.
- At first scientist thought the animal was a new species but later realized it was an ancient rat that had been thought extinct.
- This rodent has a body that resembles other rats but unlike other rats, that have long thin tails, this animal has a thick bushy tail more like that of a squirrel.
Woolly Flying Squirrel
- Presumed extinct for more than seventy years this species (Eupetaurus cinereus) was rediscovered in 1995 in northern Pakistan.
- Flying squirrels actually don't fly but rather glide through the air; and therefore are usually small and light. Unlike most flying squirrels the woolly flying squirrel is much
larger than other flying squirrels.
- This animal is the biggest gliding animal in the world.
- A live Woolly Flying Squirrel was captured ending any debate about whether or not the animal was still extinct.
- The Government of Pakistan has listed this animal as an endangered species.
Miller's Grizzled Langur
- Scientist had thought the Miller's Grizzled Langur (Presbytis hosei canicrus) extinct when a 2005 field survey produced no living members of this monkey. Decades of human
hunting and encroachment on this animal’s habitat had been thought to have caused its extinction.
- In June 2011, a team of scientists set up time-lapse cameras in the Wehea forest which is located on the eastern tip of Borneo. Among the pictures the scientist reviewed was an
animal they did not expect to see, the Miller's Grizzled Langur, a small monkey which had been presumed extinct.
- Scientist had difficulty confirming they had re-discovered this animal. Eventually from comparing the new pictures to old pictures taken of the animal they were able to verify
it was still alive and announced its re-discovery in the press in January 2012.