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6 Extinct Creatures Found Alive
A few days ago, I had written an article about some of the bizarre creatures that became extinct.
The topic of some of the extinct creatures that were found alive was inspired by the same topic. When we talk about some of the creatures that were thought extinct but were actually alive, the coelacanth is probably the first to come to mind. However, there are umpteen creatures that were declared extinct, but were recently rediscovered.
Here is a list of 6 such extinct creatures found alive.
1) The Coelacanth
The famous coelacanth was a giant fish thought to have become extinct about 65 million years ago. However, it was rediscovered alive in 1938 in the east coast of South Africa. The coelacanth is closely related to lungfishes and tetrapods, and is considered the closest link between fish and the first amphibians which came onto the land in the Devonian period (approximately 408 – 362 million years ago). They can live for a 100 years and can swim at depths of around 90-100 metres.
2) Chacoan peccary
This animal bears a striking resemblance to a pig, but comes from a different island. It also cannot be domesticated. The Chacoan peccary is the largest of the peccaries. It was first brought to light based on its fossil records and was believed extinct for 10,000 years. However, researchers were surprised to find one live peccary in the year 1975 in the Chaco region of Paraguay. Today, about 3,000 of these animals are established to be alive.
3) Lord Howe Island Stick Insect
You may have seen a stick insect some time. This is a bigger version of that. Also frequently called “walking sausages” or “land lobsters”, the Lord Howe Island stick insect is one of the rarest insects alive. This insect was believed to be extinct since 1930s as it was believed to be wiped off its only habitat on Lord Howe Island, only to be rediscovered in 2001. A fewer than 30 of these insects were found underneath a single shrub on the small islet of Ball’s pyramid.
4) Cuban solenodon
This rat-like looking animal is an interesting creature. The animal is an extremely rare species and only 37 specimens have been caught. Originally discovered in 1861 by a German naturalist Wilhelm Peters, the animal went completely off radar from 1890 to 1974. It was only recently spotted in 2003 and the event was celebrated. The new specimen was also named as Aljandrito. The speciality of this animal is the venom its saliva contains which is unusual for a mammal.
5) The Okapi
The Okapi looks like a cross between a giraffe and a zebra. The animal was first discovered in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 1901. This forest-dwelling animal had not been found since 1959 and was thought to be extinct since then. However, a survey in 2006 conducted by the WWF and Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature found Okapi tracks and few other evidence of its presence. It is still considered a threatened species though not endangered.
6) Caspian Horse
Meet the world’s smallest horse breed. The height of the horse was measured to be approximately 91 cm/36 inches. It is still considered a horse than a pony due to its features which are more common with a horse than a pony. This breed is considered one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world coming from small Mesopotamian equines. The breed slowly faded away from the public eye by around 7th century AD. It was rediscovered only after a thousand years in 1961 by an American-born breeder of Iranian horses, Louise Firouz.
There are many more extinct creatures which were found alive after long years. One can only imagine what other creatures may come back from extinction.