Steller's sea cow

Hydrodamalis gigasSteller sea cow(Steller's) sea cowRhytinaRhytina stellerisea cows
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is an extinct sirenian described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1741.wikipedia
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Sirenia

sireniansea cowsirenians
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is an extinct sirenian described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1741. It was a part of the order Sirenia and a member of the family Dugongidae, of which its closest living relative, the 3 m long dugong (Dugong dugon), is the sole surviving member.
The Sirenia currently comprise the families Dugongidae (the dugong and, historically, Steller's sea cow) and Trichechidae (manatees) with a total of four species.

Dugong

dugongsDugonginaeDugong dugon
It was a part of the order Sirenia and a member of the family Dugongidae, of which its closest living relative, the 3 m long dugong (Dugong dugon), is the sole surviving member.
It is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), was hunted to extinction in the 18th century.

Georg Wilhelm Steller

George Wilhelm Steller
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is an extinct sirenian described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1741. Steller's sea cow was named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, a naturalist who discovered the species in 1741 on Vitus Bering's Great Northern Expedition when the crew became shipwrecked on Bering Island.
Of the six species of birds and mammals that Steller discovered during the voyage, two are extinct (Steller's sea cow and the spectacled cormorant) and three are endangered or in severe decline (Steller's sea lion, Steller's eider and Steller's sea eagle).

Dugongidae

dugongiddugongcf. Dugongidae indet.
It was a part of the order Sirenia and a member of the family Dugongidae, of which its closest living relative, the 3 m long dugong (Dugong dugon), is the sole surviving member.
The family has one surviving species, the dugong (Dugong dugon), one recently extinct species, Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), and a number of extinct genera known from fossil records.

Bering Island

Bering
Steller's sea cow was named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, a naturalist who discovered the species in 1741 on Vitus Bering's Great Northern Expedition when the crew became shipwrecked on Bering Island.
Steller explored Bering Island and cataloged its fauna, including Steller's sea cow, which became extinct within three decades due to being hunted for its meat.

Hydrodamalis

sea cow
In all collected skeletons of the sea cow, the manus is missing; since Dusisiren—the sister taxon of Hydrodamalis—had reduced phalanges (finger bones), Steller's sea cow possibly did not have a manus at all.
Hydrodamalis is a genus of extinct herbivorous sirenian marine mammals, and included the Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), the Cuesta sea cow (Hydrodamalis cuestae), and the Takikawa sea cow (Hydrodamalis spissa).

Dusisiren

In all collected skeletons of the sea cow, the manus is missing; since Dusisiren—the sister taxon of Hydrodamalis—had reduced phalanges (finger bones), Steller's sea cow possibly did not have a manus at all.
Dusisiren is an extinct genus of dugong related to the Steller's sea cow that lived in the North Pacific during the Neogene.

Bering Sea

BeringBering sea coast line North-Eastern sea
At that time, it was found only around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia; its range was more extensive during the Pleistocene epoch, and it is possible that the animal and humans previously interacted.
Two Bering Sea species, the Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) and spectacled cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus), are extinct because of overexploitation by man.

Commander Islands

Komandorski IslandsCommanderKomandorski
At that time, it was found only around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia; its range was more extensive during the Pleistocene epoch, and it is possible that the animal and humans previously interacted.
Bering Island was the only known habitat of Steller's sea cows, an immense (over 4000 kg) sirenian similar to the manatee.

Cuesta sea cow

Hydrodamalis cuestae
Steller's sea cow was a direct descendant of the Cuesta sea cow (''H.
The Cuesta sea cow (Hydrodamalis cuestae) is an extinct herbivorous marine mammal, and the direct ancestor of the Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas).

Takikawa sea cow

Hydrodamalis spissa
The Takikawa sea cow (''H.
The Takikawa sea cow (Hydrodamalis spissa) is an extinct herbivorous marine mammal of the Late Pliocene, which was closely related to the recently extinct Steller's sea cow (''H.

Vitus Bering

BeringVitus Jonassen BeringBering, Vitus
Steller's sea cow was named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, a naturalist who discovered the species in 1741 on Vitus Bering's Great Northern Expedition when the crew became shipwrecked on Bering Island.
Steller ensured the voyage recorded the wildlife it encountered, discovering and describing several species of plant and animal native to the North Pacific and North America during the expedition (including the Steller sea cow and Steller's jay).

Hydrodamalinae

Hydrodamalis and Dusisiren are classified together in the subfamily Hydrodamalinae, which diverged from other sirenians around 4 to 8 mya.
The Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was hunted to extinction by 1768, while the genus Dusisiren is known from fossils dating from the middle Miocene to early Pliocene.

Marine mammal

marine mammalssea mammalssea mammal
They may have hunted the sea cows into extinction, as the natives have a dietary culture heavily dependent upon marine mammals.
Commercial hunting led to the extinction of Steller's sea cow, sea mink, Japanese sea lion and the Caribbean monk seal.

Étienne de France

Etienne de France
Tales of a Sea Cow is a 2012 docufiction film by Icelandic-French artist Etienne de France about a fictional 2006 discovery of Steller's sea cows off the coast of Greenland.
He is best known for multiple art projects mixing reality and hypothetical fiction, most notably the 2012 docufiction film Tales of Sea Cow, about a fictional rediscovery of the extinct Steller's sea cow, a sirenian from the Bering Sea; and his "Icelandtrain" Project, concerning a hypothetical modern passenger rail network in Iceland (a nation which has never possessed any passenger railroad).

Maritime fur trade

maritime fur tradingmarine fur tradefur trade
This bounty inspired maritime fur traders to detour to the Commander Islands and restock their food supplies during North Pacific expeditions.
During the early part of this era, the ships would typically stop at the Commander Islands to slaughter and preserve the meat of Steller's sea cows, a defenseless sea mammal whose range was limited to those islands.

Buldir Island

BuldirBuldir Island (Idmaax)East Cape
A 2004 study reported that sea cow bones discovered on Adak Island were around 1,700 years old, and sea cow bones discovered on Buldir Island were found to be around 1,600 years old.
Among the bones found was a rib of a Steller's sea cow, a relative of modern-day manatees, which became extinct in 1768 due to over-hunting by Russian fur traders.

List of recently extinct mammals

List of extinct mammalsrecently extinctExtinct mammal
Sea otters, for example, were hunted in the maritime fur trade, and their drop in population led to the rise in sea urchins—their main food source—which decreased the population of kelp—the sea urchin's and Steller's sea cow's main food source—leading to the extinction of the Steller's sea cow.

List of North American animals extinct in the Holocene

List of extinct animals of North Americaamong larger Caribbean reptilesCanada

Endangered species

endangeredprotected speciesEN
In any event, the range of the sea cow was limited to coastal areas off uninhabited islands by the time Bering arrived, and the animal was already endangered.
Of all the species who became extinct due to interference from mankind, the dodo, passenger pigeon, great auk, Tasmanian tiger and Steller's sea cow are some of the more well known examples; with the bald eagle, grizzly bear, American bison, Eastern timber wolf and sea turtle having been poached to near-extinction.

The Jungle Book

Jungle BookThe White SealThe Jungle Books
In the story The White Seal from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, which takes place in the Bering Sea, Kotick the rare white seal consults Sea Cow during his journey to find a new home.

Evolution of sirenians

manatee evolutionof sirenians
To the present, almost all have remained tropical (with the notable exception of Steller's Sea Cow), marine and angiosperm consumers.

Extinction

extinctspecies extinction
Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) is an extinct sirenian described by Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1741.

Pleistocene

Pleistocene epochLate PleistocenePleistocene era
At that time, it was found only around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia; its range was more extensive during the Pleistocene epoch, and it is possible that the animal and humans previously interacted.