Top 10 Animals You Thought Were Extinct But Aren’t

Tree Lobsters

What a name. “Tree lobsters” conjures up ideas of canopy-dwelling arthropods ready to drop down on unsuspecting passers-by with nasty claws.

The Takahe

The takahe is also known as the notornis, but presumably only as a supervillain alter-ego. Seriously, start calling Thanos Notornis in your head; it just works.

Terror Skinks

The terror skink sounds intimidating but is really only terrifying relative to other skinks, which is not saying much. Because of their long, curved teeth, they are thought to be near-apex predators in their environments.

The Kashmir Musk Deer

The musk deer is also known as the vampire deer and it’s easy to see why. Hanging from its upper jaw are two long fangs that look just perfect for blood-sucking.

The Laotian Rock Rat

Let’s get this out the way: Laotian rock rat is an excellent band name and I have dibs. The rat was first discovered in 1996 in a market in southern Laos. Interestingly, its first sighting was as a piece of meat for sale.

Chacoan Peccaries

There is a long history of Western scientists exploring new regions and not believing local accounts of wildlife. Sometimes it’s for a good reason. The Congo river dinosaur Mokele-mbembe is not real.

Arakan Forest Turtles

Look, some animals make the list just because they’re cute. The Arakan forest turtle is one. Do a quick image search for these charming little guys and prepare to fall in love.

Night Parrots

If you’re an ornithologist, and statistically 1-2 of you are, then you know all about these little guys. Night parrots are also known as midnight cockatoos, night parakeets, nocturnal ground parakeets.

The Pygmy Tarsier

Pygmy tarsiers are a perfect example of the blurred relationship between creepy and cute. They’re half gremlin, half mogwai. Half monkey, half-demon. Half Furby, half almond-eyed alien.


You knew it was coming. And no matter how obvious it is, the coelacanth has earned its spot as the #1 Lazarus taxon. Even non-biologists know the story of the coelacanth.