Extinct mammals list?

Extinction might be the safest event ever. When an animal is lost and will never be seen again. It may be sad but it does leave room for questioning. Why it went it extinct, How, Who, etc. But my question is what if. Imagine if you will you had the ability to instantly revive 7 species of mammal one from each continent. What would you choose? This may come across as a silly and childish question but it is one that keeps me up at night. I am curious what other peoples list’s are.  My list is a bit cheating as it has 2 from 1 continent twice but it’s my rules so I can do what I please.

North america: Sea mink

South america: Falklands island wolf

Africa: Bluebuck

Asia: Japanese otter

Australia/Oceania: Thylacine

North america: Caribbean monk seal

Africa: Red gazelle


Post author

Moses Swanson the XVI


  • Jon Hall

    It depends on how recent the extinctions are. I’d love to see a thylacaleo for example. But more recently Steller’s Sea Cow is up there for me.

  • tomeslice

    I’d have to think about it for a little bit, but just off the top of my head:
    One of the giant lemurs from Africa
    Saola if it’s extinct – I’d bring it right back.
    Of course thylacine
    Giant ground sloth from S. America
    Any mammoth from Europe would be amazing to see, and North America’s Sabre-toothed tiger 😁

    Did I go to far out in history?

  • kylecmsmith

    Interesting question. Do you mean what we think would be cool to see alive, or what we would choose to revive permanently? I answered both interpretations.

    Would be cool to see, but probably couldn’t/shouldn’t be permanently revived:
    Africa: Australopithecus (it would be fascinating and informative to see the behavior of one of our early ancestors)
    Asia: Gigantopithecus (biggest primate ever)
    Europe: Paraceratherium (seeing the biggest land mammal ever would be amazing)
    Oceania: Thylacosmilus (I’d be curious to see how its saber tooth works in real life)
    North America: Woolly mammoth (just seem like they’d be incredible to see alive)
    South America: Megatherium (I’m curious how similar or different giant ground sloths behave compared to living sloths)
    Antarctica: Astrapotheria (I’d never heard of this order until trying to find an answer for this question. Apparently some of these lived in Antarctica, and they sound super weird)

    Would bring back to live with the hopes they could establish populations and survive:
    Africa: Archaeoindris (extinct lemur the size of a gorilla)
    Asia: Steller’s sea cow (biggest sirenian ever)
    Europe: Irish elk (biggest cervid ever)
    Oceania: Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger)
    North America: Salish wool dog (a domesticated dog breed, but a very interesting one that was driven extinct when Europeans colonized the Pacific Northwest)
    South America: Falkland Islands wolf (unique canid observed by Darwin)
    Antarctica: I’m not aware of any that could survive today

  • Warren Gilson

    When I was young, popular fantasy author Robert Silverberg wrote a non-fiction book for middle graders called The Dodo, The Auk and the Oryx detailing extinctions and near extinctions which fascinated and appalled me. I read it many times. Now in 2024 researchers at the University of Melbourne are targeting the thylacine for de-extinction using the fat-tailed dunnart as a surrogate. There is the argument that any species brought back needs to have a place in todays ecosystem but for species driven extinct by man, I would support this work, particularly on unique and keystone animals like the thylacine.

  • SvenV

    Panthera spelaea would be a nice bonus while looking for bats in caves 😉

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