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A guide To Extinct Animals Of North America

Updated on July 1, 2012
Glypodon being hunted
Glypodon being hunted | Source

As a child I was always drawn to book about space and science. Learning about what used to be and what one day could be always fascinated me. Part of that fascination was learning about extinct animals that once roamed the world. This article talks about some of the more interesting animals, primarily from North America that are now extinct. They are quite unique and although we may see some smaller similar versions of many mega fauna some of these creatures are now lost forever and exist only as skeletal remains and in history books.

Glypodon Skeleton
Glypodon Skeleton | Source


This enormous creature resembled an armadillo except for the fact that it could grow to be the weight of a large car and had a shell large enough to be used as a human shelter. It also had a long tail with spikes at the end. It was often hunted by humans who found the Glypodon a great feast. Try as I might I can't imagine something like this with such a large fitting into the current ecosystem of North America. I really wouldn't want to run into something like this on a walk in the woods!

Bear Dog
Bear Dog | Source


So long before DNA manipulation there were some very weird looking animals that seem to us to be different combined animals. The bear dog as it is known was an animal with a head similar to that of a bear but with a body similar to a dog. These carnivorous animal skeletons have been found throughout North America. The artists drawing in this case seems a littl funny to me, looks more like the head of a cat to me!

gomphothere | Source


Something like elephants these creatures grazed throughout North America as well. Although similar in size in structure to elephants their tusks were often straight and the had a very large jutting out bottom jaw. To me it almost looks like it has a huge beak. The lower jaw seems so out of place. These larger animals often found themselves prey for humans that undoubtedly eventually ended with their extinction.

Woolly Mammoths
Woolly Mammoths | Source


Last but not least the Woolly Mammoth needs no introduction having been used in pulp culture, film, literature for a very long time. Many of these creatures skeletons have been found over time. These "mammoth" tusked hairy monsters roamed all across North America at one point and became a prime source of food for humans. Something interesting I read about these creatures is that when preserved hair was found and genes identified scientist discovered that the coat of the mammoth can be black, brown but for some with recessive genes they could also have been blonde. How come they don't put that in the films?

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Mammoth Skeleton
Mammoth Skeleton | Source


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      sasanka7 - glad you liked it!

    • sasanka7 profile image

      sasanka7 5 years ago from Calcutta, India

      Dear Terrektwo,

      Very informative and interesting hub. We have seen “woolly mammoth” in an animation film but didn’t know details. Thanks for sharing. Voted interesting.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      debbie roberts - maybe one day if they build a time machine seeing them would be reality, you never know :)

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      teaches12345 - They say that they found an island called Wrangel Island that the Woolly mammoth was still inhabiting until about 1700 BC which I found pretty remarkable.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      always exploring - no problem, felt others would find it interesting!

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 5 years ago from Greece

      It's a shame when any creature becomes extinct, but sometimes that's down to plain old evolution. Seeing a herd of woolly mammoths wandering on the horizon or hand feeding glypodon could have been up there in the list of things to do before we die....I'd never heard of a glypodon before now, what an amazing looking creature it was.

      An interesting hub, thanks for sharing..

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Some of these creatures are a bit intimidating in size and in looks. I have always had a curiosity about the wooly mammoth. As you mentioned, they are in many films and most make them out to be aggressive. They must have been a good food source for many people but I wouldn't want to have hunted them down.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      SoaresJCSL - I really enjoyed them and felt everyone would find it of interest :)

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Adebayo Onanuga - I had heard that tortoise can grow very large. Glypodon's look more like Armadillo's though, they just weigh as much as a car.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very interesting. I have never heard of some of these animals..Thank you for sharing..Well done article..

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      jenubouka - it would be amazing if these creatures roamed now, but if they did I suppose we would be used to it. But it certainly makes cool reading.

    • SoaresJCSL profile image

      SoaresJCSL 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub! Great job on the description of those amazing animals!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      ContentThreads - Some species I think were also wiped out by humans, don't get me wrong I'm not blaming us, it was probably primarily because they needed food at the time. But some species still exist on other continents that used to exist in North America Tapirs for example, even elephants, rhinos, etc. it's interesting to note.

    • Adebayo Onanuga profile image

      Adebayo Onanuga 5 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      The Glypodon looks like a member of the tortoise family. It is still alive in Africa.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      That first animal is like a giant turtle!! Could you imagine that roaming the earth now a days? I wish it could be so, teach those birds and predators a few things if their young were apart of the great race back into the ocean. Awesome hub.

    • ContentThreads profile image

      ContentThreads 5 years ago from India

      Interesting. Evolution is a subject that can change the perspective you look at animals and birds. Every creature has evolved from an ancient creature with some similarities and lots of development. But in this cycle some species were thrown out because they just did not make up or survived. These are just a few, there are many more. I really like the description. Good job :)

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Cyndi10 - thanks, I really found these amazing extinct animals so I thought others might as well, glad you did!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      This was very new and interesting information. Well written article.