Quantcast

Latest Extinction Stories

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...

2011-09-29 10:18:28

Species' ability to overcome adversity goes beyond Darwin's survival of the fittest. Climate change has made sure of that. In a new study based on simulations examining species and their projected range, researchers at Brown University argue that whether an animal can make it to a final, climate-friendly destination isn't a simple matter of being able to travel a long way. It's the extent to which the creatures can withstand rapid fluctuations in climate along the way that will determine...

New Technique Fills In Fossil Record Gaps
2011-09-20 04:53:20

  University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples. Cataloging the diversity of life on earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny – the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history – the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is...

2011-09-19 18:56:19

More species could be saved from extinction under climate change thanks to a new model scientists have developed to guide allocation of conservation funding. The international team, led by Dr Brendan Wintle of the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, is the first to develop a pioneering decision-support model that incorporates both ecological and economic information to guide conservation investment in the face of climate change. The work is...

Image 1 - Tasmanian Tiger Not To Blame For Killing Sheep
2011-09-01 08:06:14

  Hunted to extinction in the early twentieth century for allegedly being a killer of sheep, Australia´s iconic Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger because of its striped back, has been found not guilty in a new study published in the Zoological Society of London´s Journal of Zoology. “Our research has shown that its rather feeble jaw restricted it to catching smaller, more agile prey,” said lead author Marie Attard, of the University of New South...

humpback whale
2011-08-29 08:43:40

  Preserving just 4 percent of the ocean could protect crucial habitat for the vast majority of marine mammal species, from sea otters to blue whales, according to researchers at Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Their findings were published in the Aug. 16 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Of the 129 species of marine mammals on Earth, including seals, dolphins and polar bears, approximately one-quarter are...

science-082411-003
2011-08-24 17:00:45

  A new study by scientists from the Census of Marine Life has placed the number of species of animals on planet Earth to about 8.7 million, a number based on a validated analytical technique that narrows the range much more than the previous estimate of between 3 million and 100 million. The scientists also noted that only about a quarter of all species on the planet have been discovered, and they say that many could exist in our own backyard. So far, only 1.9 million species have...

2011-08-15 15:12:31

The first study by National University of Singapore, University of Adelaide and Princeton University researchers reveals that at least 351 species thought to have disappeared in the past 122 years, have been rediscovered Extinction is a focal issue among scientists, policy makers and the general public. Each year, numerous species which are thought to have disappeared are rediscovered. Yet, these rediscoveries remain on the brink of extinction. Researchers from the National University of...


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...

More Articles (15 articles) »
Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'