4 Disappeared Animals inhabited the Russian territiory

Disappeared Animals inhabited the Russian territiory

Posted on June 10, 2014 by gm


As the largest country in the world, Russia is inhabited by a significant proportion of the animals which live on the planet. There are more than 1550 species of vertebrate animals. However, the diversity of species of wildlife has significantly reduced, primarily due to humans.  Many of the species have disappeared over the past two centuries. A lot of representatives of the Russian fauna can only be seen today in the  pictures of encyclopedias.

A large-horn deer inhabited the vast territory stretching from Ireland to North Africa. In Russia, the skeletons of this mammal are often found in the Ryazan and Sverdlovsk regions, in the Republic of Crimea and the North Caucasus. Scientists suggest that the large-horn deer completely disappeared about 7.6 thousand years ago. This deer lived in open spaces because of the huge horns, which can reach a weight of 37 kilograms, and have a length of up to 4 meters. In the forest, such bulky horns could interfere with its ability to hide from enemies. Now scientists believe that the disappearance of this species of deer was a natural process due to climate change.



A cave bear which inhabited the Russian plains, the Urals, Western Siberia and in the territory of many European countries about 300 thousand years ago. It was one-third larger than its modern relative, the brown bear. Its weight could reach 900 pounds. However, despite the menacing look, the cave bear ate only plants and honey. The cave bear could live up to 20 years, if it didn’t become the prey of primitive hunters, Neanderthals, who appreciated its warm fur and meat. The harmless giant went extinct about 15 thousand years ago because of climate change and human aggression.


A spectacled cormorant is made completely extinct in just one century. The flightless bird species inhabited the Commander Islands. It was discovered in 1741 during the Kamchatka expedition of Vitus Bering. The cormorant got its name from the naturalist Georg Steller, who had described it. The sluggish bird could escape from danger in the water. Simply the hunting of this birds and its eggs led to its extinction. The birds were easily caught by sailors of ships that were passing the islands and taken for sale. The last cormorant was killed in 1852.


The Steller’s sea cow was a large, herbivorous marine mammal. It was the largest member of the order Sirenia, which includes its closest living relatives, the dugong and the manatees, and “other than the great whales, likely the largest mammal to exist in historic times”. Although the sea cow had formerly been abundant throughout the North Pacific, by 1741, when it was first described by Georg Wilhelm Steller, chief naturalist on an expedition led by explorer Vitus Bering, its range had been limited to a single, isolated population surrounding the uninhabited Commander Islands. Within 27 years of discovery by Europeans, the slow-moving and easily captured Steller’s sea cow was hunted to extinction.


The aurochs is an extinct type of large wild cattle that inhabited the Eastern Hemisphere, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Moldova. These powerful, wild bulls, whose weight could reach 800 pounds, had virtually no natural enemies. The species survived in Europe until the last recorded aurochs died in 1627.


A Caucasian bison lived in a territory stretching from the North Caucasus to Iran. The first time this kind of bison was mentioned was in the XVII century, but they began to disappear quickly. The animals were killed for meat and hides, and surviving individuals suffered from diseases brought by domestic cattle. When the Caucasian State Nature Reserve was created in 1924, there were not more than 10 or 15 bison, but they could not be saved – during the first few years, the reserve had no power to prosecute poachers.


The Transcaucasian tiger was made completely extinct by 1957. The bright red, large predator with long fur, weighed up to 240 pounds, and lived in the territory of modern day Armenia, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, the southern Kazakhstan and Turkey. The main cause of extinction of the tiger was the expansion of human activities. In the USSR, the Transcaucasian tiger was last seen in the late 50’s in Turkmenistan on the border with Iran.




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4 Responses to “Disappeared Animals inhabited the Russian territiory”

  1. henribro says:

    This is very sad.

  2. Rob Norway says:

    Its so sad what this kind of “apes” have done to our beautiful home place.

  3. jack says:

    Pretty sure pounds means kilgrams.

  4. Nowhere Girl says:

    Weren’t Caspian tigers (that’s the name more commonly used) bigger? Something like 240 kilograms and not pounds? 240 pounds is small for a tiger, that’s a weight more typical for small subspecies like Sumatran or perhaps Malayan tigers. Genetic studies show that the Caspian tiger was most closely related to the Siberian or Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), the largest subspecies – captive male Amur tigers sometimes exceed 300 kilograms (in the wild, however, they are usually smaller since they need to hunt their food themselves and they not always succeed). Some scientists even consider Caspian and Amur tigers the same subspecies, with the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) being just a distant Western population. There are even proposals to reintroduce Caspian tigers with help of captive-born Amur tigers, to be released in some remote area of Afghanistan.
    PS. I’m not a zoologist, I’m just a tiger-maniac – ever since I got my first plush tiger more than 30 years ago…

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