Marine Animals That Have Gone Extinct
Throughout the history we have seen many changes in the climate and environment surrounding us. We have seen the rise and fall of many civilizations and species. There are many species that we have never met because their extinction happened long before the birth of humanity. Many scientists believe that this is the natural way of selecting the most powerful species in order to survive.
Others argue that the early and late human intervention led to many species to become extinct. Nevertheless, we observe that there are many marine animals that are no longer near us. We have listed some of the marine animals that have gone extinct in order to better understand our history and role in the nature.
The Sea Cow
Steller’s sea cow is one of the marine animals that has gone extinct solely because of humans. The extinction was recorded about 500 years ago and no similar animal has been seen ever since. The animal was quite long and had a large amount of body fat. This is the reason why it was very intensively hunted for the meat. The records say that after only 27 years since the Europeans discovered this animal, it was extinct. Many scientists say that this marine animal was eaten to extinction.
New Zealand grayling
New Zealand grayling is another animal that has gone extinct because of our intervention. The fish used to lay eggs in rivers and streams, but they matured in the oceans surrounding the island. After the humans populated this area, they started to be hunted for the flesh. But the real problem started about 500 years ago when the Europeans brought new species of trout and other aggressive fish that hunted the local grayling to extinction. They were not able to find a suitable place to lay eggs and this is how the species disappeared.
The Monk Seal
The Caribbean Monk seal was declared extinct in 2008 but the species was considered highly endangered from 1950. The seal used to live in areas where intensive fishing was taking place. This led to one of the main theories why it went extinct: it had no more food. The other theory focuses on the pollution in the area. The third theory takes into consideration the intensive hunting that was taking place because these seals were used for fat.
Canarian oystercatcher and the great auk
The Canary Island oystercatcher was a truly unique bird that had amazing adaptation skills and used to hunt and crack open oysters for food. The species is long gone, and one of the main theories implies that the over harvesting of the oysters by the locals led to lack of food resources. This bird was focused mainly on oysters for a food source.
The great auk is another bird species that disappeared because of us. The bird was hunted for flesh, feathers and eggs. The eggs were considered a very valuable exotic souvenir and many Europeans wanted to have one for their home. The feathers were used for pillows and this is how our greed led to the extinction of this bird.