Taihei-kaku (2016) by jpellgen Via Flickr: The Taihei-kaku is a hashi-dono (covered bridge) in the garden of Heian Jingu. It was build in 1912 and moved here from the Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho).
Heian Jingu is actually a more modern shrine–built in 1895 for the 1100th anniversary of Heian-kyo (the former capital of Japan was Kyoto, and the word “Heian” refers to this time period and style). The grounds of Heian Jingu are actually a replica of the Imperial Palace. It also boasts the largest torii (Shinto gate) in Japan. You may even be familiar with this location as the main setting for the film Onmyoji, and a focal location in Big Bird in Japan.
Heian Jingu. Sakyo-ku, Kyoto.
Not ‘cavemen hunted these’ recently extinct. Recently extinct as in ‘16 to 20 human generations ago’.
What: The ancestor of domestic cattle
Where: 3 subspecies found throughout Northern Africa, Europe, and India
Fun fact: They were mentioned in the Hebrew bible as re’em and mistranslated in the king James version as unicorns. There are numerous programs to revive the species
What: One of the largest flighted bird to have ever lived
Where: New Zealand
Fun Fact: It’s been speculated that the ‘giant hawk’ Maui transforms into in Disney’s Moana is a reference to this eagle, which still has cultural significance for the Maori people of NZ, and is known as Pouakai in legends
What: Subspecies of plains Zebra
Fun Fact: It was the first extinct animal to have it’s DNA analyzed and there are efforts to revive the species. Though there are some triumphant sounding articles there, true quaggas are not back from the dead. We’re getting close now, and have 6 individuals now classed as ‘Rau quaggas’
Stellar’s Sea Cow
What: Massive sirenian mammal related to the modern dugong
Where: Bering Sea
Fun Fact: It was declared extinct just 27 years after discovery by Europeans.
What: Marsupial carnivore
Where: Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea
Fun Fact: There are purported sightings more than any other animal on this list. Many people believe this animal might still be out there
What: Immense flightless bird
Where: New Zealand
When: By 1445
Fun Fact: These gigantic birds were the prey of choice for the aforementioned Haast’s eagle. When humans destroyed the Moa population, the eagle was starved out.
Mexican Grizzly Bear
What: Exactly what it’s name suggests
Where: Northern Mexico to southern Arizona and New Mexico
Fun Fact: Like the Tasmanian tiger this bear might still be out there. The species was declared extinct in the 60′s, however, a brown bear was shot in Sonora in 1976
What: Gigantic flightless bird
When: By the 1700s
Fun Fact: They have the largest recorded egg size of any bird, with their eggs weighting up to 22 lbs.
What: Large subspecies of elk
Where: Eastern USA
When: The last confirmed eastern elk was shot in 1877
Cause: Bullet (humans)
Fun Fact: This elk could weigh up to about 1,000lbs and could have antlers 6 feet in length. Another subspecies, Merriam’s elk, went extinct around the same time but once lived in southwestern USA.
What: Giant lemurs
When: By the 1500s
Fun Fact: These were relatively human sized lemurs, growing 4-5 feet tall (the average male chimpanzee stands at just under 4 feet)
What: The Hokkaido and Honshu wolves of Japan
When: By the 1900s
Fun Fact: These wolves were purposefully exterminated with mass poisoning efforts by an American hired by the Japanese government.
* Some of these animals aren’t technically megafauna; I’m being lose with the term. The thylacine is about 30 lbs shy of the marker, the Japanese wolves fall a little short, and Haast’s eagle falls well below.
** I’ve left out some of the more recent and / or better known animals; I wanted to focus on animals I feel are slipping from general memory.
*** There are actually several subspecies of Moa, though I’ve lumped them together as they all met the same fate around the same time.
Katsura Imperial Villa 桂離宮, Nishikyō-ku 西京区, Kyoto, Honshu, Japan by arjunalistened Via Flickr: Katsura Imperial Villa 桂離宮, Nishikyō-ku 西京区, Kyoto built by Prince Hachijō Toshihito 智仁 (1579–1629). He wrote “Far away, in the country village of Katsura, the reflection of the moon upon the water is clear and tranquil.” Katsura became influential to modernist architects including Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and New Wave Australian Architects Philip Cox, Peter Muller, and Neville Gruzman who visited in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Mount Fuji is the highest and most famous Mountain in Japan. In 663AD, an anonymous Buddhist Monk became the first person to climb this holy mountain, which is also a volcano. Its last eruption was over 300 years ago.