Vermont is one of the states in the U.S. that is located in the New England region. Vermont shares borders with three states and a province in Canada. It has a border on the south with Massachusetts, New York to the west, New Hampshire to the east, and the north; it has a border with Quebec, a province in Canada. Vermont is the only state in the New England region that does not share a border with the Atlantic Ocean.
With a population of 643,503 people living in Vermont, the state is recorded to be the second least populated in the country. Wyoming holds the record of the least populated U.S. state.
Vermont is known for its green mountains that extend for about 250 miles, providing habitat for different animals.
Here are 6 extinct animals that once roamed Vermont’s lands and mountains.
1. Eastern Cougar
The eastern cougar, also known as puma, is a species of cougar population that inhabited the eastern lands of North America. Eastern cougars are often referred to as panthers or mountain lions. They are the most widespread terrestrial mammals with a distinct morphology.
Their head is round with two erect ears. They also have sturdy forelimbs and limbs. They have four retractable claws on their hindlimbs, while their forelimbs have similar retractable claws with a fifth dewclaw designed for catching prey easily.
Though they are slender, they are the fourth largest cat species in the world as the average adult male eastern cougar stands at a height range of 2 – 2.5 ft tall and 7.6 ft long when measured from nose to tail.
The eastern cougar became extinct as a result of human hunting activities.
|Extinct since||11,000 years ago|
Platygonus is an extinct genus of herbivorous peccaries that roamed North America 11,000 years ago. They have a flat head shape, which is why they are often referred to as the flat-headed peccary. The platygonus is a gregarious animal that enjoys traveling together as a group.
Most Platygonus species were similar in size to the collared peccary. The average Platygonus stood at least 2.5 feet tall and had an estimated length of 3.3 feet. They have a snout that looks like that of a pig and long tusks to defend them from predators. They also had long legs designed to outrun predators.
From the distribution of the remains of this creature, it was suggested that they lived in forest, shrubland, savanna habitats, and probably in caves. They were heavily preyed on by the Pleistocene carnivores.
3. Sea mink
|Living Period||18th century|
The sea mink is an extinct species of mink that lived on the eastern coast of North America. Sea minks are marine mammals and are closely related to today’s American mink. There has been a long-lasting debate about whether the sea mink should be considered a subspecies of the American mink. However, many call for separation as there is a noticeable difference in the size, fur color, and morphology of the two mink species.
Daniel Webster Prentiss, an ornithologist, first described the sea mink in 1903, years after it became extinct. His description is based on the description by fur traders and the fragment of the skull recovered from native Americans. Sea mink and four other extant species are classified as Neogale.
The animal was believed to be between 28 and 36 inches long when measured from head to tail, and the tail alone could be as long as 10 inches.
They were hunted to extinction by fur traders in the late 19th century.
4. Labrador duck
The Labrador duck, or Camptorhynchus labradorius, looks like the ducks we have nowadays. Labrador ducks were once part of the flourishing North American bird species before becoming Extinct. It became extinct after the Columbian exchange and was the first endemic bird to become extinct in that era. Before the arrival of the Europeans, there weren’t many Labrador ducks, so no one knew much about their habitat, diet, and overall morphology.
Labrador ducks can also be referred to as sea ducks, pied, or skunk ducks. The sexes of the duck can be differentiated by their plumage color. The female’s plumage is gray and less attractive, while that of the male is black and white. The Labrador ducks have stubby feet located far behind the body. They also have small feathers and short rounded tails.
Labrador ducks are believed to be extinct as a result of human activities in coastal areas of North America. There are over 55 Labrador duck specimens spread across museums.
5. Elk moose
|Extinct since||11,500 years ago|
The elk moose, also called the stag moose or Cervalces Scotti, is an extinct species of large deer. Elk moose once lived in the plains of eastern North America, including Vermont. Although they had similar antler styles to today’s deers, moose, and reindeer, they had palmate antlers that were more defined and complex.
It is larger than the average moose and deer found today. Elk moose reached a height of 8.2 ft and weighed over 1,562 lbs. They lived in marshes, savannas, deciduous woodlands, and other areas that favor the production of suitable food for their consumption.
About 11,500 years ago, it became extinct, like most animals that lived on the North American plains during this period.
|Extinct since||9,000 years ago.|
Mylohyus is an extinct animal that once lived in North and Central America. It can also be referred to as the long-nosed peccary. It is believed to have existed in the Pliocene era and has been extinct for over 9,000 years. At the time of its existence, there were six species of Mylohyus, but the most famous was Mylohyus nasutus. Its distinctive features were its long nose and slightly large body, larger than any existing peccary. Their weight is estimated to be 150 lbs.
There are speculations that industrialization contributed to the extinction of this creature.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Liz Weber/Shutterstock.com
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