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Year in Focus: 1768

Snapshots of the world from one year in the past

THE SEA COW IS DECLARED EXTINCT

DURING 1768

Less than 30 years after first being described, the sea cow becomes the first marine mammal to be made extinct thanks to humans. Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was a large aquatic mammal that lived in the Northern Pacific Ocean – its closest living relations are dugongs and manatees.

Steller’s sea cow was first formally described in 1741 but was hunted into extinction by fur traders. The popularity of sea otter fur boomed in the 18th century and its habitats were the same as the sea cow which hunters prized for meat. The last Steller’s sea cow was recorded as being killed in 1768, with scientists still trying to uncover more about this extinct creature to this day

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

Few legends from ancient history have continued to hold us in such thrall as that of the fall of Troy, the epic tale of love and loss; gods and mortals; treachery and truth. But how much of the story is actually true? Michael Scott weighs up the reality and fiction of probably the most famous of Ancient Greek myths. Plus: Ten quirkiest royal traditions, the secrets of the relics in Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Queen who took on the British in the 1857 Indian Rebellion, escapes over (and under) the Berlin Wall, and more.