Extinct - but maybe not forever

Bird Dodo

One of the species on the list of extinct species back to life is the Dodo, a flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean that went extinct in the mid-17th century.

Wooly mammoth

Ancient relatives of modern elephants, Wooly Mammoths disappeared about 10,000 years ago. An abundance of frozen Mammoths have been discovered, making them a good candidate for cloning.

In this photo, an international team of scientists perform an autopsy and DNA analysis on Lyuba, a wooly mammoth. Sucked to her death in a muddy river bed, the baby mammoth spent 40,000 years frozen in the Siberian permafrost where her body was so perfectly preserved traces of her mother's milk remained in her belly.

Xerces blue butterfly

These beautiful butterflies lived in the sand dunes of San Francisco until urban development drove them to extinction in the mid-20th century. They are the first known North American butterfly to become extinct due to human causes.


The ancestors of modern cattle, these enormous mammals once roamed Europe, Asia and North Africa. The last Auroch died in Poland in the 1600s.

Ivory-billed woodpecker

The Ivory-billed woodpecker is the Elvis Presley of birds due to its continued sightings. Though the last confirmed record of this bird was in the 1940s, it is officially listed as "possibly extinct" due to persistent rumors of sightings in the North American woods.

This photographs of a nestling ivory-billed woodpecker were taken by Dr. James Tanner in the former Singer Tract in Louisiana, the location of the last confirmed Ivory-billed Woodpecker in 1944, March 6, 1938.

Monk seal

The once-abundant Caribbean monk seal was hunted to extinction after being discovered by Columbus in 1494. The last official sighting of the species was in 1952.

Passenger pigeon

Once one of the most common birds in the world, the extinction of the passenger pigeon is thought to have been caused by habitat loss. The last wild specimen was killed in 1900.

Pyrenean ibex

Scientists in Spain had cloned a Pyrenean ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), a subspecies of wild goat also known as the bucardo, which went extinct in 2000.
Pictured here are Asiatic Ibex, relatives of the Pyrenean ibex, in Berlin's Zoo.

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