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ChrisB

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Javan Elephants

dekVincent Thian / AP

Javan elephants became extinct sometime after Europeans arrived in Southeast Asia — or so scientists thought. That belief persisted until 2003 when researchers discovered the Borneo pygmy elephants were actually the likely descendants of the Javan elephant. Locals believe the Sultan of Sulu, an island now part of the Philippines, transplanted the elephants from Java to the neighboring island of Borneo hundreds of years ago. Centuries ago, elephants were often shipped across Asia as gifts between rulers, so it's possible that the Sultan of Sulu gifted the Javan elephants — and ultimately saved them from extinction. A 2003 study corroborated this theory by showing the Borneo elephant species was genetically distinct from other Asian elephant species and that the species most likely originated in Java. Additionally, there was no evidence of long-term elephant habitation in Borneo. Though the pygmy elephants might be genetically distinct, much like their larger cousins, they can take down a lot of vegetation, up to 330 lbs. a day.

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ThePlainTruth

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New Zealand Storm Petrel

This seabird spends most of its life at sea, and when it does return to land it is largely nocturnal, to avoid predators. Consequently, the bird was thought to be extinct for more than 150 years having not been seen since 1850. Photographic evidence of the bird was finally gained off the coast of New Zealand, in 2003, however. In 2005, three birds were captured and fitted with radiotransmitters, and were tracked mainly at sea until their now protected breeding location was discovered in 2013.

[image-20151106-16235-ao8ar3]

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ChrisB

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Also known as Bocourt's terrific skink, the terror skink is a lizard with uniquely long, curved teeth. It was rediscovered in 2003 after last being sighted in 1876. That 1876 sighting was of just one solitary skink, so scientists assumed that the species had died out shortly thereafter.

 

It was seen then on an uninhabited small island called New Caledonia in the South Pacific Ocean. Now it has been confirmed to exist on similar small islands in the South Pacific, so if you ever take a sunny cruise down that way, look out for terror skinks! They're considered a top predator.

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BobBarney

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Many animals are thought to be extinct (probably some liberal anti-human bias to some of this, that turn out to be alive and well)...   As you will see in the coming weeks, there are many!

Explorers find species thought to be extinct amid ancient ruins of 'Lost City of the Monkey God' deep in the rainforests of Honduras 

Explorers find species thought to be extinct amid ancient ruins of Honduras 

The three-week mission, carried out by a team of scientists led by Conservation International 's Rapid Assessment Program, discovered a veritable ecological treasure trove at the hidden ruins, scientists announced on Thursday. Among the rediscovered species which were believed extinct are: The Pale-faced Bat (main), which had not been reported in Honduras for more than 75 years; the False Tree Coral Snake (top right), which had not been reported in Honduras since 1965; and a tiger beetle (not pictured), which had only ever been recorded in Nicaragua and was thought to be extinct.

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