Latest Extinction Stories
Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other “generalist feeders” like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity.
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....until now.
Organisms living on small islands are particularly threatened by extinction. However, data are often lacking to objectively assess these threats.
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.
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.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature said on Thursday that the Western Black Rhino of Africa has been declared officially extinct.
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.
Earth losing species more rapidly than scientists can understand the roles they play.
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.
Using one of the largest DNA data sets for a group of birds and employing next-generation sequencing methods, scientists have determined the evolutionary family tree for one of the most strikingly diverse and endangered bird families in the world, the Hawaiian honeycreepers.
The Hawaiian Rail (Porzana sandwichensis), known also as the Hawaiian Crake or the Hawaiian Spotted Rail, was a rather enigmatic species of minuscule rail that resided on Big Island of Hawaii, but is currently extinct. A dark form and a lighter form are known. There is considerable confusion by the existence of two distinct forms. While it can’t be completely excluded that early specimens were collected on another island, only O’ahu and Kaua’I seem plausible given the history of...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
- A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.