Extinct Animals Introduction

An introduction to a variety of animal species that have since gone extinct.

ANIMALS GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

With the assistance of humans, more than 300 species and subspecies of animals have become extinct since the beginning of history. Over three quarters of these creatures have disappeared in the past 300 years. Hunting, the devastation of natural habitats, and a lack of understanding about the complex factors which work together to promote or eliminate life were responsible for the losses, and these forces continue to threaten 1,000 varieties of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. Theodore Roosevelt acknowledged the universality of the loss of a unique life form in 1899: "When I hear of the destruction of a species I feel as if all the works of some great writer had perished."

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