Not that there aren’t plenty of strange and wonderful creatures roaming the planet today, but ever since geologists and paleontologists started digging up fossils and peering back into the Earth’s ancient history, they’ve been uncovering an ever-increasing variety of fantastically freakish specimens. After all, 99.9% of all the species that have ever called this planet home are now gone forever. So to keep you apprised of all the peculiar prehistoric creatures you missed out on, we’ve put together this collection of the most exotic animals to ever go extinct.
8. Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta Antiquitatis)
Everyone’s heard of the woolly mammoth, so why didn’t the woolly rhinoceros ever make the same claim to fame? Perhaps it’s because, in the past, their gigantic horns have been mistaken for prehistoric bird claws. Fossils over three million years old have been dug up in parts of Asia and North Africa, with records indicating they were especially populous in Russia.
Though it’s estimated that the woolly rhino went extinct about 11,000 years ago at the start of the last ice age, 30,000-year-old cave paintings in France depicting the shaggy beasts indicate that the species survived for many centuries and were at one point hunted by primitive humans. In 2014, a 13,000-year-old spear was found in Siberia which was crafted from the horn of a woolly rhino.