Some cool extinct animals images:
Image by Fool-On-The-Hill
this is Andy, the Aviaries Andean Condor. he turns 50 years old next month. one of the largest flying birds in the world, up to 35 pounds and with an 11 foot wingspan! A close relative of the largest flying birds ever, the Teratorns. A South American Species had a wing span up to 25 Feet! A North American Teratorn had a wing span of up to 15 feet. They went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age, along with many other giant animals. The largest flying animals ever were the reptilian Pterosaurs, which had wingspans up to 40 feet. They were relatives of Crocodiles and Dinosaurs.
Australopithecus africanus adult female - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17
Image by dctim1
A reconstruction of the head of an Australopithecus africanus -- a human ancestor -- on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Australopithecus africanus is an extinct human ancestor that lived between 3 and 2 million years ago. It lived at the same time as Australopithecus afarensis. Australopithecus africanus was discovered by Raymond Dart in a lime mine at Taung, South Africa in 1924. The genus name, "Australopithecus", comes from the Latin word australis (or "southern") and the Greek word pithekos ("ape"). It is called "africanus" because it was discovered in Africa.
The most famous find is the cranium of young male discovered on April 18, 1947, by Robert Broom and john Robinson. Broom and Robinson believed it was a new species, and called it Plesianthropus transvaalensis. They also thought it was a middle-aged female, and the diggers at the site started calling it "Mrs. Ples." That name has stuck, even though now we know that the skull was that of a young male.
Australopithecus africanus was the first Australopithecine ever identified. These proto-humans showed the first human skeletal traits, like bones to house the eyes, human-like rather than animal-like teeth, and a hole at the base of the skull that permitted upright walking (the foramen magnum). Australopithecus africanus still showed some ape-like traits, however, such as arms longer than the legs and curved fingers for tree climbing. Australopithecus africanus also had a slightly more human pelvis than its relative, Australopithecus afarensis.
Australopithecus africanus females had a slightly wider pelvis than than the males. This shows the beginning of an adaptation (that is very pronounced in modern humans) that allows the baby to have a very large head (and thus very high intelligence) at birth.
Laurillard's Ground Sloth
Image by akseabird
Eremotherium laurillardi stood 20 feet tall and weighed several tons. My 5 feet are clearly dwarfed by it. It was one of many species of giant ground sloths, at least four of which were found on the North American Continent.
Apparently many species of sloths survived well passed the end of the last ice age (about 10kya) well beyond many other ice age animals. It is even possible that some species survived on Cuba and Hispanola as late as the mid 16th century