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Leoni Moninska Content Marketing Executive - Jul 23rd 2020

Extinct Emojis

Whether you love them or hate them, Emojis are a huge part of modern life, with many language specialists citing the cartoons as the fastest growing language on the planet. So it’s not surprising that there’s a rising demand for ever more obscure emojis to help people express themselves. And this is particularly true when it comes to animal emojis. In fact, our recent study showed that both men (28%) and women (42%) want to see more animal emojis in the library. 

With the recent news that Unicode has released new emojis in 2020, including the Dodo and Mammoth, Uswitch has commissioned six unique emojis of recently extinct animals. Each of the species, the Quagga, Baiji, Thylacine, Great Auk and Pyrenean Ibex, have all been declared extinct within the last 180 years, but we believe they deserve to be given their own place in the emoji library.

By raising awareness of these once-forgotten species, hopefully the plight of animals currently at risk will become more publicised.  Rhinos, orangutan, tigers, leopards and elephants could all face extinction by 2030 without drastic intervention, and in the last 100 years alone, over 500 species have become extinct forever.



Reason for extinction: Poaching
Year of extinction: 1883
Originated: South Africa

The Quagga, a subspecies of the zebra, was considered to be the most docile wild animal in South Africa, making them extremely easy to domesticate. Subsequently shipped to zoos and private collections all around the world, the capturing, poaching and transporting of these animals inevitably led to their extinction in captivity in 1883, when the last of its kind died in Amsterdam Zoo.

Golden Toad

Reason for extinction: Climate change
Year of extinction: 2004
Originated: Costa Rica

Although the Golden Toad was last spotted in 1989, because of it's 12-year life span and tendency to burrow underground, it wasn’t officially declared extinct until 2004. Surviving in a delicate microclimate in the rainforests of Costa Rica, global warming and climate change meant that they could no longer survive in the new habitat. The male toads are golden in colour and the females were identified by their black and yellow striped patterns.


Reason for extinction: Poaching and pollution
Year of extinction: 2002
Originated: China

In the 1950s, there were around 6,000 Baiji along China’s waterways, but despite conservation efforts along the Yangtze river, by 2002 they were officially declared extinct. Their natural habitat is used as a channel for fishing, transportation and hydroelectricity generation, meaning their breeding grounds were drastically diminished. There have been two alleged sightings since their extinction in 2004 and 2007, but with no evidence the Baiji remains extinct.


Reason for extinction: Poaching and habitat loss
Year of extinction: 1933
Originated: Australia and Tasmania

The Thylacine, which was also called the Tasmanian tiger because of its stripes, was one of two known marsupials where both the male and females have external pouches. One unique characteristic of the Thylacine was that it could open its jaws to an unusual extent: up to 80 degrees. An apex predator of the island off the coast of Australia, their natural habitat was destroyed by developments, until finally they were poached by humans, leading to their extinction in 1933.

Great Auk

Reason for extinction: Poaching
Year of extinction: 1844
Originated: Spain

The Great Auk was a non flying bird, much like the common penguin we see today. Originating in Northern Spain, their territory extended as far as Canada, Greenland, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The Great Auk’s feathers were commonly used as down in duvets and pillows and their bones were considered a sign of wealth and good faith, superstitions that led to overhunting and extinction of the species.

Pyrenean Ibex

Reason for extinction: Poaching
Year of extinction: 2000
Originated: France and Spain

The Pyrenean Ibex got its name from the Pyrenees, the Rocky Mountain ranges that sit between France and Spain. Their coat adapted to the changing seasons becoming short in summer and long and thick in winter. Young male and female Ibex were the same in colour within its first year of their life, with the male coat changing colour as it grew, and its horns growing longer and more curved. Sadly due to the increase in hunting these animals became extinct at the turn of the new millennium.

These six extinct species are still largely unknown, despite becoming extinct within the last 180 years. We hope to one day see these emojis being created and available to all users in the future.

Although these emojis aren’t available right now, if you’re looking to use any of the new emojis this year, then going for a contract or SIM-only deal with enough data usage allowance will allow you to send as many emojis as you might need. To check out the best deals, look at Uswitch’s mobile phone deal comparison tool.