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Latest Extinction Stories

Image 1 - Researchers Pinpoint Date, Rate Of Earth's Most Extreme Extinction
2011-11-19 04:34:24

Results stem from largest ever examination of fossil marine species It's well known that Earth's most severe mass extinction occurred about 250 million years ago. What's not well known is the specific time when the extinctions occurred. A team of researchers from North America and China have published a paper in Science this week which explicitly provides the date and rate of extinction. "This is the first paper to provide rates of such massive extinction," says Dr. Charles Henderson,...

Image 1 - Satellites Help With Species Conservation
2011-11-18 04:28:29

Organisms living on small islands are particularly threatened by extinction. However, data are often lacking to objectively assess these threats. A team of German and British researchers used satellite imagery to assess the conservation status of endangered reptiles and amphibians of the Comoro archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean. The researchers used their results to point out which species are most threatened and to define priorities for future protected areas. The study was published...

2011-11-16 09:50:42

In an irony of nature, invasive species can become essential to the very ecosystems threatened by their presence, according to a recent discovery that could change how scientists and governments approach the restoration of natural spaces. Princeton University researchers report this month in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B evidence that destructive, non-native animals that have been deservedly maligned by conservationists the world over can take on important biological roles...

2011-11-10 15:35:29

There are few universal rules in ecology, but arguably one is the relationship between the area of a study plot and the number of species counted within that plot, the so called species-area relationship. Larger study plots obviously host on average more species than do smaller plots, and ecologists have long sought a universal description of this relationship. Recently, it has been suggested that a universal species-area relationship can be calculated using Maximum Entropy methods once we...

Western Black Rhino of Africa Declared Extinct
2011-11-10 12:26:45

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Thursday that the Western Black Rhino of Africa has been declared officially extinct. The group said the Northern White Rhino of central Africa is also now "possibly extinct" in the wild and the Javan Rhino is "probably extinct" in Vietnam. "A lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts in many rhino habitats, international organized crime groups targeting rhinos and increasing illegal demand for...

Study Finds Culprits To Ice Age Mammal Extinctions
2011-11-02 13:30:15

A research team involving over 40 academic institutions around the world is trying to tackle the question of what caused extinctions in the Ice Age. The study found that the extinction of mammals like the woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoth was not due to humans or climate change.  The team found using ancient megafauna DNA, climate data and the archeological record that humans played no part in the extinction of the wooly rhino or the musk ox in Eurasia.  The researchers...

2011-10-28 04:22:16

Earth losing species more rapidly than scientists can understand the roles they play Earth is losing species more rapidly than scientists can understand the roles these species play and how they function. With this loss comes, biologists believe, lost opportunities to understand the history of life, to better predict the future of the living world and to make beneficial discoveries in the areas of food, fiber, fuel, pharmaceuticals and bio-inspired innovation. To characterize the...

Image 1 - Land Animals Suffered Catastrophic Losses After Permian Period
2011-10-26 06:31:51

The cataclysmic events that marked the end of the Permian Period some 252 million years ago were a watershed moment in the history of life on Earth. As much as 90 percent of ocean organisms were extinguished, ushering in a new order of marine species, some of which we still see today. But while land dwellers certainly sustained major losses, the extent of extinction and the reshuffling afterward were less clear. In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B,...

Scientists Determine Family Tree For Most-endangered Bird Family In The World
2011-10-21 03:44:28

Using one of the largest DNA data sets for a group of birds and employing next-generation sequencing methods, Smithsonian scientists and collaborators have determined the evolutionary family tree for one of the most strikingly diverse and endangered bird families in the world, the Hawaiian honeycreepers. Not only have the researchers determined the types of finches that the honeycreeper family originally evolved from, but they have also linked the timing of that rapid evolution to the...

2011-10-10 09:23:41

Results contradict several theories for cause of extinction While the cause of the mass extinction that occurred between the Permian and Triassic periods is still uncertain, two University of Rhode Island researchers collected data that show that terrestrial biodiversity recovered much faster than previously thought, potentially contradicting several theories for the cause of the extinction. David Fastovsky, URI professor of geosciences, and graduate student David Tarailo found that...


Latest Extinction Reference Libraries

Waitoreke
2014-02-05 16:37:44

The Waitoreke is a cryptid from New Zealand described as being otter-like. Its name derived from “Wai” is a Maori word for water. The rest of the word has different translations, but the common one is “toreke,” which means to disappear. Together the name could translate into “disappears into water” or another translation is a “disappearing water specter.” The usual description is a small otter-like creature about the size of a cat. It has brownish short fur and short...

Red Rail, Aphanapteryx bonasia
2013-10-02 13:35:50

The Red Rail (Aphanapteryx bonasia) is an extinct and flightless rail. It was native to the Mascarene island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar within the Indian Ocean. It had a close relative on Rodrigues Island, the likewise extinct Rodrigues Rail, with which it’s sometimes considered congeneric. Its relationship with other rail isn’t clear. Rails frequently evolve flightlessness when adapting to isolated islands. It was slightly larger than a chicken and had reddish and hair-like...

Panthera leo spelaea
2012-11-16 15:34:04

Commonly known as the Eurasian cave lion or the European cave lion, Panthera leo spelaea is an extinct subspecies of lion. It is thought to have lived during the Pleistocene epoch, and may have lived in the Balkans in southeastern Europe until 2,000 years ago. The range of this cave lion would have included northwestern North America, Asia, and areas of Europe and would have extended from Germany, Spain, and Great Britain to the Yukon Territory. Its range also extended from Turkistan to...

Short-faced Bear, Arctodus simus
2012-04-27 19:45:45

The short-faced bear is an extinct genus of bears that was native to North America during the Pleistoscene era. Other common names include Arctodus and the bulldog bear. There are two subspecies of the short-faced bear, and one of them, Aroctodus simus, is thought to have been the largest terrestrial mammal on earth. Placed into a group of bears known as running bears or the tremarctine bears, this genus was found in Europe and the Americas. The earliest member of the tremarchtine group,...

American Lion, Panthera leo atrox or P. atrox
2012-04-26 06:05:05

The American lion (Panthera leo atrox or P. atrox) is also known as the North American lion, American cave lion, or Naegele’s giant jaguar. It is an extinct species that was native to North America and the northwestern parts of South America during the Pleistocene era. It lived up to eleven thousand years ago. During the last interglacial period in North America (the Sangamonian Stage), the American lion’s range included the Americas south of Alaska. The earliest fossils of these big cats...

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Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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