The term extinction is no more just a myth; it is a reality for those very many species that have faced this awful event. These are the creatures that would never walk the earth and will no longer be seen flying or roaming about in its natural habitat. The species, which have become extinct, will always be remembered through the pictures taken or the sketches shown by the people who are interested in working on their lives. Human race has been the reason for the extinction of many such species. Their irrational behavior, their over-use of appliances and many more such careless attitude towards the nature have taken a violent turn. But one cannot put the blame on the human race completely, because there were natural elements as well, that have been the reason for demolishing the lives of such extinct species. Here are the lists of 10 such species of birds that have become extinct through time, for various reasons:
10. LAUGHING OWL
A 36cms long species, weighing for about 600 grams, belonging to the genus of Sceloglaux, the laughing owl was named so because of its wicked form of hooting. It had originated in New Zealand. The laughing owl’s existence was greatly recorded by the European settlers, who had landed on this island in the 1840s. The males were of smaller size when compared to that of the females. The records claims, that these owls had, a reddish brown plumage, a white face and orange eyes, that added to the eerie sense of this species of owls, with its malicious way of hooting. The cause of extinction is not certain though, but probably, it can be estimated that the last specie of these laughing owls were found in 1914 in Canterbury. But then again later on, people had quoted to say that they were shaken up to their very core, when they woke up in the middle of the night hearing the laughter of a mad man, while they were camping deep inside the forests, which were considered to be coming from the laughing owls.
9. CHATHAM ISLAND’S PENGUIN
A species of penguin, that is supposed to have become extinct as late as the 19th century is only recorded through its sub fossil bones. Not much is although known about this species of penguin, but I can be said that they have had cross breeding among other species of penguins, and hence one can prove their existence. So the species can be said to share the genome with the northern and western species of penguin in New Zealand and Australia.
8. ARABIAN OSTRICH
The Arabian Ostrich is such an extinct species, which used to inhabit the desert plains of Arabia around the Syrian Desert, within the regions of today’s Jordan, Israel and Kuwait. These species of ostrich, seems to be related, by DNA studies, with the North African or Red Necked Ostrich, however there is a difference between the two species of ostriches, by being smaller in size and the females having lighter colored bodies. The Arabian Ostrich, also known as the Middle Eastern Ostrich, was well known in the ancient Mesopotamia, where it was used as a form of sacrifice. Such facts were known to us through the painting and remains from the old days. These ostriches had their share of popularity by being a symbol of wealth, among the nobles residing in the area. This made them the most desirable animal for the hunting purpose, among such people. Due to World War 1, and with the invention of the guns and the other arms, it became much easier to hunt such ostriches and this lead to the extinction of the birds.
7. STEPHEN ISLAND’S WREN
A nocturnal and insectivorous, flightless bird, the Stephen Island’s Wren inhabited the lands of the Stephen Islands, in the shrubbery and the forestland of that area. The bird, that was found in abundant has a very unbelievable story behind their extinction. The lighthouse keeper’s cat- Tibbles can be blamed for being the reason behind the extinction of this species of bird. Although it is unbelievable to consider that a cat is the reason behind the extinction of such a huge number of birds belonging to this species, but it can be stated without doubt that this cat is the reason why majority of these birds had disappeared.
6. PASSENGER PIGEON
People’s malicious nature and nature is not exactly the match made in heaven. When the people turn vicious, they tend to damage the ecosystem. Now that the questions are being raised, and people are getting concerned, some of us are trying to change our habits, but there were times, when the world was not much concerned towards certain species and that led to a disastrous result. The passenger pigeons are such species, which have faced their extinction due to the intrusion of people. The areas of North America were greatly inhabited by these species of bird, until they were wiped off by the people. They were hunted down for the meats that were supplied to the large numbers of African slaves who were being brought in. The last passenger pigeon that has been recorded was in the year 1914, named as Martha that was kept as a specimen in the Cincinnati Zoo Ohio.
5. CAROLINA PARAKEET
The Carolina Parakeet was the most colorful and the most social birds of all. They were found in flocks, residing in parts of the coastal plains of Alabama, who often migrated in the form of a large flock to Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and the areas of Eastern United States. But this poor species of bird to faced their untimely extinction, when the men had burnt down the forest for the extension of their agricultural area, making these birds homeless. Adding to this, the birds were hunted down, since they were considered pests by the farmers. The birds being extremely social, and since they moved in flocks, they were easy to hunt in a large number. The call of a dying bird could be heard from a very long distance and the other birds would come to help the poor dying fellow, making it easier for the people to kill them.
4. IVORY BILLED WOODPECKER
The Ivory Billed Woodpecker, supposedly the third largest bird, was found in the south-eastern, forest regions of the United States. They had a shiny blue coat in the body and white stripes on and around the neck and wings, with a triangular red marking on the head. About twenty inches in length and thirty inches in wingspan, this species of bird was wiped out due to the destruction of their habitat. Although there have been debates regarding their extinction, but the abundance in the number of their existence has certainly come to a standstill.
3. GREAT AUK
A large flightless species of penguin, the Great Auk used to be found in abundance in the icy regions of the North Atlantic Islands. Weighing about 5kgs, this species of birds had been hunted down for their meat, which brought about their extinction. By the 19th century, the species of this bird had been completely wiped off the face of the earth.
2. TASMANIAN EMU
A sub species of the flightless bird emu, the Tasmanian emu, could be distinguished from the other emu birds by the whitish featherless throats. The external features and the traces of certain behaviors of this sub specie of the bird can be found on the other mainland emus. The Tasmanian emu had been hunted down and killed as pests and this barbaric situation had brought about the end of this species of bird.
A flightless bird weighing around 20kgs and about 3.3 feet tall inhabited the islands of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. A Dutch sailor can be said to be the reason behind the extinction of this species of bird. He came across this bird in the year 1598 and being hungry, he started to kill these birds and eat them as his meal. To a large extent, this bird has been hunted down by the Dutch sailor, leaving barely any signs of the bird, to be discovered and noted down. Due to the lack of the details found about the bird, it has been highly addressed as a mythical creature, until the fossils were found on the island of Mauritius.