Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

Recently, the Borneo Toad was rediscovered after 87 years. Although certainly rare, the Borneo Toad is not the only animal to have been lost for years. In fact, it did not even have to wait the longest.

Here are ten animals that similarly had become lost to time and thought extinct, only to shockingly return decades, and sometimes centuries, later.

Top image via Digital Trails on Flickr.

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

1. Bermuda Petrel
When the Spanish explorers first came to Bermuda, the eerie call of these birds would scare them away. However, with the eventual arrival of the Spanish and new predators like dogs and cats, the bird was believed to have gone extinct in the 1600's. And that belief remained for another 350 years, until a team eventually found some in the Castle Harbor Inlets in 1951. The species at one point numbered millions, but at the time of their rediscovery, there were only 36. There are currently about 180 alive today.
Photo via Ocean Wanderers.

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

2. Caspian Horse
Although known to the ancient world, these small horses were forgotten after 700 AD and were thought to be extinct by modern scientists. In 1965, an American-born Iranian princess' search for horses small enough for her children to ride eventually brought her to the Elbruz Mountains where she spotted these horses. Standing at a distinctively small 40 inches high, she investigated and realized they could potentially be the lost Caspian Horse. DNA tests eventually proved her belief to be true and today the Caspian Horse can be found in various places throughout the world, including the United States and England.
Photo via PhysOrg

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

3. Chacoan Peccary
Originally described in 1930 based off of fossil records, this pig-like animal was believed to have been extinct for 10,000 years. Native to South America, the existence of these two-feet tall creatures were known to natives, but the scientific community knew nothing until 1974. After its discovery, researchers bizarrely found out that its hide had actually been routinely used to trim hats and coats in New York. Currently, there are about 3000 in the world.
Photo via Odd Animals

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

4. Coelacanth
In 1932, Marjorie Courtenay Latimer was a curator of a small museum in East London, South Africa. On December 23rd, she went to visit a friend of hers in order to wish him a merry Christmas. This friend, a local sea Captain, had just returned with a fresh catch. Before leaving, she suddenly noticed something bizarre amongst the caught fish and investigated. She described her discovery as such: "the most beautiful fish I had ever seen, five feet long, and a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings." Soon after, a local chemistry teacher described the event in a cable reading: "MOST IMPORTANT PRESERVE SKELETON AND GILLS = FISH DESCRIBED" She had discovered the Coelacanth, a living fossil that is believed to have been in existence for 400 million years.
Photo via Interesting Facts

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

5. Cuban Solenodon
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, in 1974 and 1975, three were captured. Since then, finding these solitary, nocturnal creatures has been rare. By the time one was found in 2003, many had thought that the animal had gone extinct. It was treated to two days of study, given the name Alejandrito, and then was released back into the wild.
Photo via It's Nature

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

6. Gilbert's Potoroo
First discovered in 1841, this rabbit-size Australian marsupial last appeared in 1879 before waiting until 1994 to reappear. They were believed to be extinct by 1909 and a lengthy search in the 1970s found no signs of their existence. In November 1994, a team studying Quokkas accidentally caught a few in their traps. Upon further inspection and comparison with fossil-records, they realized that they had found this lost species. There are currently less than 100 in the world.
Photo via PerthNow

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

7. La Gomera Giant Lizard
Despite being about a half-yard long, clumsy, and slow-moving, this Lizard cleverly avoided detection long enough to be thought of as extinct for hundreds of years. In fact, all scientific knowledge of the reptile had originally come from fossil records. It was eventually found in 1999 when scientists found six in the crannies of the cliffs of an island in the Canary Island. Easily attacked by predators like the domestic cat, the Lizard has only slowly been making a comeback with less than 200 alive today.
Photo via Valle Gran Rey

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

8. Madagascar Serpent Eagle
This eagle had been believed to be extinct after going sixty years without being seen. In 1993, scientist Russell Thorstrom changed that by simply going for a walk through the forest. He described the experience as such: "It was about 5:30 in the morning, and I was out learning the trails in an area I was assigned to survey. I heard this vocalization I hadn't heard before, and then I saw this big raptor fly…Then, around 11:30, we ran into it again and got a clear view with binoculars: there was absolutely no doubt." There are less than 1000 of these medium-sized eagles still alive today.
Photo via The Fifty Rarest Birds of the World

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

9. Takahe
The beautiful, flightless bird from New Zealand was believed to have gone extinct in the late 19th century. 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.
Photo by Christina Troup

Ten extinct animals that have been rediscovered

10. Worcester's Buttonquail
This rare quail from the Philippines was believed to be extinct when it suddenly showed up at a poultry market in Luzon in 2009. Previously, it was known only by drawings from decades-old museum specimens. The bird was sold…and then eaten. Its reappearance and the buttonquail's unobtrusive nature means there could be more Worcester's Buttonquails living undetected.
Photo via National Geographic