Extinct Australian Animals List of Extinct Animals of Australia
Extinction is when a living thing (such as a plant or animal) disappears from the earth forever. There are three types of extinction. Those that occur naturally as a part of evolution. Those that are caused by some cataclysmic event such as a meteor striking the earth. And human-induced extinction.
Of these extinction events, human-induced extinction is the most dangerous. Since European settlement in Australia in 1788 over 100 species of plants and animals have become extinct. That is approximately 1 every 2 years! For example, European settlers hunted the stunning Tasmanian tiger into extinction in just 100 years.
Also known as the Stilton's Thunder Bird, it was over 3m tall and weighed over 650kg. It was probably the largest, tallest, and heaviest bird that ever existed. They lived in subtropical open woodland until about 15 million years ago.
Tasmanian Tigers (Thylacine) were marsupial wolves that had stripes like a tiger. People hunted them to extinction. The last died of neglect in a zoo in 1936.Read More
Stick Nest Rat
The white-tipped-stick-nest-rat or lesser stick-nest-rat lived in central Australia. It built its nest of sticks, which it added to over the years, making a massive mound up to 1 meter high and 3 meters long. It is now extinct.Read More
The toolache wallaby was slim and graceful and was 84cm in length. It became extinct in just 85 years because of habitat destruction, predators such as the red fox, hunting for sport and its beautiful pelt.
Bramble Cay melomys
This rodent lived only on Bramble Cay, a coral cay of 4-5 hectares of unstable grassland located at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It became extinct in 2015. The cause of its extinction was sea-level rise as a consequence of global warming.
This bird was the last of the huge thunder birds. It was over 2m tall and weighed over 250kg. Its eggs weighed 1.6kg. These herbivorous birds lived in open forest and savannah-grasslands to as recent as 50,000 years ago, suggesting the native aboriginal people may have hunted them.
Rusty numbats were small marsupial anteaters that eat termites. They weigh between 400-700 grams and have a body length of between 20-27cm. They forage for termites during the daylight. They became extinct in the 1960s.Read More
Tasmanian emus was slightly smaller than emus on the mainland. They were abundant on the island of Tasmania when European settlers arrived in 1803. They were hunted as pests and for food by white settlers who used guns and domestic dogs to chase them down. By 1850 they were extinct.
The Megalania (Varanus priscus) was a giant monitor lizard with toxin-secreting oral glands. It lived from about 2 million years ago to as recently as 23,000 years ago. It was the largest land lizard that ever existed being 7m long and weighing over 1,950kg. It may have been hunted to extinction by humans.
The Australovenator wintonensis was 1.6m tall and 5m in length. It had long, muscular legs, which made it agile and fast. It had small serrated teeth but, being a large, carnivorous megaraptor, it had three-fingered hands with large wickedly-curved claws with which to grab and tear open its prey. It lived 100–95 million years ago.
The diprotodon was the largest marsupial ever to exist. It resembled a giant wombat and was 3m long, 2m tall, and weighed 2,780 kg. It became extinct shortly after humans arrived in Australia.
Zaglossus hacketti was a long-beaked echidna that was about 1m in length, 0.6m tall, and weighed 30kg. It was the largest monotreme known to have ever lived. Given its size, it probably didn't burrow and hide like modern-day echidnas and was probably hunted to extinction by early humans.
This was the largest carnivorous marsupial mammal that ever lived. It weighed 130kgs, was 71cm tall, and was about 114cm in length. It had strong forelimbs with enormous retractable claws. Its long muscular tail was similar to that of a kangaroo. Humans caused its extinction.
The Tasman starling became extinct in 1923 because of the introduction of black rats in 1918. Within two years, 40% of the island's native bird species were extinct. Other introduced animals such as cats, goats, and mongooses also played a part in the extinction of other birds on the island.
Red-fronted parakeets were quite common till about 1879. They became extinct because of hunting by sealers in the 19th century and as a result of the feral cat.
Minmi paravertebra was an ankylosaur, a quadrupedal herbivores dinosaur covered in bony armour to protect it from predators. It was 3m long and weighed 1,600kgs. It lived 133 to 100 million years ago.
Gastric-brooding frogs incubated their babies in the mother's stomach and carried its babies in its mouth. They became extinct in the mid-1980s due to a pathogenic fungus introduced by humans.
This small omnivorous marsupial became extinct in 1950 due to rabbits and introduced predators such as feral cats and foxes.Read More
Diamantinasaurus was a herbivorous sauropod about 2.5–3m tall, 16m in length, weighing 20,000kg. It lived 100 to 89 million years ago.
The propleopus oscillans was probably omnivorous, stood two metres high, and may have weighed about 70kg. It had teeth suitable for shearing meat. Whether it scavenged or hunted is not known.
grassland earless dragon
The Victorian grassland earless dragon was pale grey to reddish-brown agamid lizard about 5cm in length and weighed about 7g. It had no external ear and eardrum. This lizard probably became extinct due to the destruction of most of its habitat.