Occasionally, an animal thought to be extinct is rediscovered, either accidentally or after careful searching. Such animals typically live in areas that are so remote and/or vast that the animals, even if fairly large, are easy to overlook. For example, in 1938 a living coelacanth, a 5-foot-long (1.5m) fish known only from fossils and thought to have been extinct since prehistoric times, was found in a deep ocean habitat off the coast of South Africa. Larger “extinct” animals are also occasionally found to still exist. For example, a carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian wolf thought to be extinct since the 1930s, was reportedly sighted decades later. In addition, a few people in New Zealand have reported seeing a moa, a giant bird that has also been considered extinct for decades. No one has yet found physical proof that these animals exist, but such sightings bring hope to cryptozoologists who think that other animals thought to be extinct are waiting to be rediscovered, perhaps in unexplored forests or in the depths of the ocean or other bodies of water. In fact, some people hope that the legendary Loch Ness monster, thought to be a species of dinosaur called the plesiosaur that became extinct 65 million years ago, will be proven to still exist.
- Living Dinosaurs
- Loch Ness Monsters
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning