Endling

Thylacine EndlingI learnt perhaps one of the saddest words in the English language today: endling.

An endling is an individual animal that is the last of its species or subspecies. When this very last individual dies, that species becomes extinct. The word endling is perfectly suited to what it describes. A sad word, a lonely word, and one that is over soon.

Examples of endlings include Benjamin the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, pictured above, and Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise. There are several other examples listed on the wiki page, and all are heartbreaking to read. I’m sure there are probably many other endlings who have been and gone and we don’t know about.

A beautiful, sad word. Onwards.

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