Animal Database
Animal Database
Extinct Animals
Common Name Dodo
Estimated Population none
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae
Genus Raphus
Species †R. cucullatus
Conservation Status

An extinct species is a species of organism that is no longer alive and can no longer be found in the wild or in captivity.




  • In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms (taxon), normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively. This difficulty leads to phenomena such as Lazarus taxa, where a species presumed extinct abruptly "re-appears" (typically in the fossil record) after a period of apparent absence.
  • Habitat degradation is currently the main anthropogenic cause of species extinctions. The main cause of habitat degradation worldwide is agriculture, with urban sprawl, logging, mining and some fishing practices close behind. The degradation of a species' habitat may alter the fitness landscape to such an extent that the species is no longer able to survive and becomes extinct. This may occur by direct effects, such as the environment becoming toxic, or indirectly, by limiting a species' ability to compete effectively for diminished resources or against new competitor species.
  • Coextinction refers to the loss of a species due to the extinction of another; for example, the extinction of parasitic insects following the loss of their hosts. Coextinction can also occur when a species loses its pollinator, or top predators in a food chain who lose their prey. "Species coextinction is a manifestation of the interconnectedness of organisms in complex ecosystems ... While coextinction may not be the most important cause of species extinctions, it is certainly an insidious one".
  • Birds are now recognised as being the sole surviving lineage of theropod dinosaurs. In traditional taxonomy, birds were considered a separate class that had evolved from dinosaurs, a distinct superorder. However, a majority of contemporary paleontologists concerned with dinosaurs reject the traditional style of classification in favor of phylogenetic nomenclature; this approach requires that, for a group to be natural, all descendants of members of the group must be included in the group as well. Birds are thus considered to be dinosaurs and dinosaurs are, therefore, not extinct. Birds are classified as belonging to the subgroup Maniraptora, which are coelurosaurs, which are theropods, which are saurischians, which are dinosaurs.
  • In fiction, the concept of cloning extinct species is thought to have been first popularized by the successful 1990 Michael Crichton novel and subsequent film Jurassic Park, though the idea may have been first used in John Brosnan's 1984 novel Carnosaur, then in F. Paul Wilson's 1989 novel Dydeetown World, and later in Piers Anthony's 1990 novel Balook, which featured the resurrection of a Baluchitherium, though Pat Mills' Judge Dredd story "The Cursed Earth" – in which the titular lawman battles tyrannosaurs who live wild in post-apocalyptic America after they escape from the theme park where they have been cloned to be used as attractions - precedes these examples, published as it was in 1978.