A species believed to have been dead reappears in modern-day society. Perhaps humans, often showing hubris, bring a species back to life with magic or science. Or perhaps it was preserved in a Lost World
, frozen in a glacier, sealed in a bubble dimension, etc.
See also Not So Extinct
(everyone knows a fantastic animal is extinct. Everyone is wrong.)
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- Wolves in Wolf's Rain. Thought to have been extinct for 200 years, actually hanging on in disguise. Not for much longer, though - just until the end of the world.
- The monster Baragon from the Godzilla franchise is some sort of ancient dinosaur-thing that has somehow managed to escape extinction by living underground in its initial appearance in Frankenstein Conquers The World. Another one, or possibly the same one, was later relocated to Monster Island in the film Destroy All Monsters.
- Likewise, there's Godzilla himself. Before mutating, Godzilla was simply a Godzillasaurus who was living on a remote island somewhere near Japan. As the original film heavily implies and the sequels prove true, there's more than one Godzillasaurus in existence...of course, most of them have probably mutated by now.
- Anguirus from Godzilla Raids Again is a giant ankylosaur that somehow managed to escape extinction...uh...somehow.
- The film King Kong Escapes features Gorosaurus, a giant T-Rex type of dinosaur that was living on a remote island. It, or possibly another one of its species, was later moved to Monster Island in the film Destroy All Monsters.
- Titanosaurus from Terror Of Mechagodzilla was a giant sea-dwelling dinosaur who lived peacefully away from humans until a Mad Scientist discovered him.
- Destoroyah of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah originated from a preserved, isolated colony of microscopic Precambrian crustaceans that were mutated by the Oxygen Destroyer and conglomerated into a bigger creature.
- Star Trek IV: Whales became this via Time Travel. Not necessarily a revival (as the actual whales were alive the entire trip), but still an example nonetheless.
- In Rodan, people discover ancient giant Pteranodon eggs that hatch into the titular monsters and begin terrorizing Japan.
- In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Professor Challenger brings a pterodactyl back to civilization. It escapes while it's being shown off.
- Happens numerous times in The Malazan Book of the Fallen. The T'lan Imass are supposed to be extinct, but they're not. The same applies to the Tiste Liosan, the Jaghut, and several other Precursor Races.
- Another one for human interference: in the Thursday Next book series, dodos and Neanderthals have been brought back to life thanks to new technologies.
- Reg Chronotis from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency went back in time in order to save the Coelacanth from extinction, at the price of having the dodo die out.
- In The Company Novels, one of the Company's sidelines is buying up apparently worthless plots of land that coincidentally turn out to be the home of a breeding colony of some valuable species previously thought to be extinct. (Time travel is involved.)
- In Malazan Book of the Fallen species thought to have become extinct during the thousands and millions of years of backstory have a habit of popping up again. Some are prehistoric creatures patterned on real-life paleontology while others are fantasy species. A good rule of thumb is that anything said to be extinct isn't.
Live Action Television
- The Doctor Who episode "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Some conservation-minded ancestors of the Silurians had cryogenically preserved some Cretaceous wildlife in hope of returning to re-stock the Earth after the K-T asteroid's destructive effects had abated, but their ship went off-course and wound up drifting for millions of years.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine revealed that some time after the original series the Klingon Empire embarked upon 'The Great Tribble Hunt,' rendering the species extinct. Unfortunately for them the special episode commemorating the franchise's 40th anniversary resulted in the crew going back in time and bringing a couple of tribbles back with them when they returned. Given their prodigious reproductive capabilities their numbers once again rapidly exapnded.
- Jurassic Park: Revived Dinosaurs by Technology. They are now left alone...mostly.
- King Kong: Dinosaurs inhabit Kong's Island. It is a "lost" island, after all.
- We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story: Time Travel brought dinosaurs into modern day New York.
- X-Men: Sheltered world preserved, despite the immediate outside world being much much cooler.
- There's always time travel for bringing an extinct dinosaur species back, like Cassie from Times Like This did.
- In the videogame Fur Fighters there is a whole hidden world (which you might actually miss) found by digging down with a seriously large drill. Once down there you find a futuristic Dinosaur society where the titular characters are stars in a children's comic book.
- The first three Tomb Raider games has Lara Croft encounter a T-Rex at one point in areas where humans have not inhabited the area for ages. Lara technically doesn't have to kill the dinosaur in order to advance (she can just dodge its attacks while gathering up key items and then leave), but in the Anniversary remake, the T-Rex is a full fledged boss fight that can't be avoided.
- In Syberia, it turns out that woolly mammoths are Not Dead Yet and living on the eponymous island of Syberia, up in the north.
- Valkyria Chronicles: the central twist is that the Valkyria, a race believed to be extinct, still live on in the blood of two female characters in the game, and proves the possibility there could be more out there.
- Animal Crossing invokes the Coelant; below.
- Touhou 14: Double Dealing Character introduces Kagerou Imaizumi, the werewolf based on the extinct Honshu/Japanese wolf. Also crosses over with Not So Extinct due to her werewolf nature.
- Dinosaurs in general: we used to believe they were all wiped out in a mass extinction event, but there turned out to be survivors all over the place. We just called them "birds."
- Reports of possible surviving ivory-billed woodpeckers in 2005 have led conservationists to purchase some isolated areas of Arkansas woodland, in the hope that this officially-extinct species might still be hanging on there.
- The Coelacanth was believed to have gone extinct in the Cretaceous period. Until they were found alive and well in 1938. They're still doing fine.
- Unfortunately, the Coelacanth is now an Endangered Species again, due to pollution and a tendency for fishermen to kill them pointlessly and destroy the bodies instead of throw them back and risk catching them again because of their supposed horrible, garbage-oil flavor and protected status if you're caught with one without special science permits.
- The Other Wiki has a whole list of them, both plants and animals. They are officially known as Lazarus Taxa
- Species thought to have re-emerged after vanishing from the fossil record that turn out to be unrelated to the fossils they resemble, are nicknamed "Elvis Taxa".
- A species of date palm known to have gone extinct in the wild ~1500 years ago has been revived when Israeli researchers planted a seed recovered by an archaeological expedition. Unfortunately, the resulting tree is a male and so can't produce seeds of its own.
- German zookeepers in the 1920s made a concerted effort to re-create the aurochs, extinct ancestor of domesticated cattle, by selectively breeding contemporary cattle for aurochs-like traits. Unfortunately, while the resulting pseudo-aurochs looked like the real thing, they lacked the necessary survival instincts to fend for themselves, preventing them from being reintroduced to the wild as intended. More recent attempts to re-engineer the aurochs have come much closer to replicating the original animal's genotype, but reintroduction of the species is still pending.
- Cloning attempts to recreate extinct species haven't yet produced any live adult animals. The only specimen to date to grow to full term, a Pyranean ibex, died seven minutes afterwards from congenital lung defects.