These animals were declared extinct but they have now been rediscovered. Here is a list of 10 animals that were lost to the history books but are reborn!
The Takahe is a flightless bird usually seen in New Zealand. In 1898 they were declared as extinct. However in 1948, Dr. Geoffrey Orbell changed that with his discovery of the bird in Fiorland’s Murchison Mountains. He explained: “Suddenly I saw in a clearing in the snow grass a bird with a bright red beak and a blue and green coloring. And there, no more than twenty metres away from us stood a living Notornis, the bird that was supposed to be extinct.” There are currently less than 300 still alive.
This species, Balaenoptera omurai, which resembles a small fin whale, was only named in 2003, and purely from dead specimens. There were also no confirmed sightings of the species, which measures around 10m in length, suggesting it had already gone extinct. However, a population of small whales, which are pale on the right-hand side and darker on the left, was discovered off the coast of Madagascar in 2013, which was later confirmed via DNA evidence to be the Omura whale. This exciting discovery of the first living specimens was reported earlier this month.
Monito del Monte
This animal was thought to be extinct millions of years ago. However, it was rediscovered in Chile. It was specifically seen in the Andes’ bamboo forests. It is also nicknamed as the mountain monkey. This animal is one of the oldest in history and has been also been recognised as a living fossil.
This rare animal was last seen in 1944 but it resurfaced in 2004. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has been recognised as the most elusive bird today. It’s so rare to see one that it has been billed as the “holy grail” of bird-watching.
First discovered in 1861, only 37 times has this bizarre rat-like species with a poisonous bite ever been caught. In 1970, it was labeled extinct as the last sighting had been in 1890. However, from 1973-1974, there were 3 specimens that were rediscovered. The latest find of this animal was in 2003. It was named Alejandrito after being captured but was released soon after.
Endemic to the Isle of Pines off the coast of New Caledonia, these lizards were considered extinct for over 100 years before their resurrection in 1993. One of the largest reptiles of the area, it can measure up to 20 inches in length. Currently an endangered species, little is known about these lizards.
Scientists thought the Javan elephant went extinct not long after Europeans came to southeast Asia. However, it looks like a ceremonial elephant trade centuries ago saved the Javan elephant from the fate of the dodo. Locals believed that the Sultan of Sulu (which is now part of the Philippines) transplanted elephants from Java to Borneo, which wouldn’t have been uncommon at the time. In 2003, a study concluded that the Borneo pygmy elephant is genetically distinct from other Asian elephants and likely originated on Java. This seems to be one instance when the trade of animals may have actually saved the species from extinction.
The first contact humans had with coelacanths were fossils — some of which were 65 million years old (that is around the time when dinosaurs went extinct). But even 200-pound, 6-foot-long fishes have plenty of space to hide in the ocean. It wasn’t until 1938 when a South African museum curator caught a coelacanth, which looked remarkably unchanged given its Cretaceous ancestry.
The Clarion nightsnake is so rare, biologists had erased it from the scientific record until the snake was rediscovered earlier this year. The serpent wasn’t so easy to find, either. Biologists traveled to a remote island off the coast of Mexico along with a military escort to search for the nightsnake.
Lord Howe stick insect
The Lord Howe stick insect grows so large, they were once known as “tree lobsters”. But a giant size couldn’t save the tropical bugs from hungry rats, which humans introduced to the insect’s home island in the early 1900s. Thought extinct for almost 50 years, a handful of hardy survivors remained living under a single bush, clinging to life on a 225-foot-tall rocky outcropping that juts out of the sea.