Hydrodamalis gigas (Zimmerman, 1780:426)

Steller's sea cow, Northern sea-cow

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Rhytina stelleri Zimmermann, 1780:426; Hydrodamalis stelleri Zimmerman, 1780:426; Hydromalis gigas Zimmerman, 1780:426

 

Conservation Status

Last Record: 1768 (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1973)

 

IUCN status: Extinct

Old IUCN site: [url=https://www.iucnredlist.org/details/10303/0]Extinct[/url]

 

Steller's sea cow is one of the most famous recently extinct species, on account of both it's huge size (said to grow to 7m) and the speed with which it was driven to extinction (c.27 years, 1741-1768). However, there have been numerous reports of the species during the 19th and 20th centuries in Russian waters (Bord & Bord, 1989:300-301; Shuker, 1999:82-84). And although the species is unlikely to persist, these individual reports (Raynal, undated; Klumov, 1962; Berzin et al. 1963; Fairley & Welfare, 1987:104-105) should not be entirely rejected a priori. It is after all more probable that an animal of the size of Steller's sea cow could remain largely hidden in the world's oceans and seas than on land.

 

Distribution

Bering Island

 

Biology

 

Hypodigm

Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology:

MCZ 59412

 

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington D. C.:

USNM 21966
USNM 218376
USNM 170761
USNM 181752
USNM 186807
USNM 23211

 

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle:

UWBM61309 (right rib)

 

Rosensteinmuseum, Stuttgart:

SMNS 31812
SMNS 31814

 

The University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, Alaska:

UAM Mamm 63998

 

Royal Museum, Edinburgh:

NMSZ1956.57.1 (composite skeleton)

 

Natural History Museum, London:

ZD 1984.2092 (composite skeleton)
C.1947.10.21.1 (two skulls)

 

For an excellent and very detailed list of material held in various collections around the world see Hans Rothauscher's website.

 

Media

 

References

Original scientific description:

Zimmermann, E. A. (1790). Geographische Geschichte des Menschen und der Allgemein vernreiteten vierfüssigen Thiere, II. Weygandschen Buchhandlung, Leipzig, 432 pp.

 

Other references:

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Anonymous. (1964). A preliminary list of rare mammals including those believed to be rare but concerning which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 11(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

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Berzin, A. A., Tikhomirov, E. A. and Troinine, V. I. (1963). Has Steller's Sea Cow Disappeared? Priroda Magazine1963(8): 73-75. [in Russian]

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https://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/stellersseacow.htm

https://www.hans-rothauscher.de/steller/seacow.htm

https://io9.com/megalodon-molar-discovered-in-santa-cruz-mountains-1675420387

https://twilightbeasts.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/overkill/

https://www.mnr.gov.ru/news/detail.php?ID=343860

https://www.newsweek.com/massive-headless-skeleton-extinct-20-foot-sea-cow-unearthed-remote-siberian-714544

https://www.vcreporter.com/2018/12/how-now-sea-cow-scientists-recently-dig-into-the-history-of-ancient-treasures-on-santa-rosa-island/

https://extinctanimals.proboards.com/thread/7653/hydrodamalis-gigas-stellers-seacow

 

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