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Latest Extinction Stories

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2011-07-15 07:40:00

The worldwide decline of top predators, or "consumers", such as wolves, sharks and lions, is threatening to drive other species to extinction, an international team of 24 scientists reported on Thursday. The research shows for the first time the critical importance that large animals have within the world's ecosystem. "Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind's most pervasive influence...

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2011-07-13 11:51:18

Current and proposed border fences pose significant threats to wildlife populations, with those animals living in border regions along the Texas Gulf and California coasts showing some of the greatest vulnerability, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows. "Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of threats to species across the entire U.S.-Mexico border," says Jesse Lasky, a graduate student in the laboratory of Tim Keitt, associate professor of integrative biology....

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2011-07-10 19:00:57

A team of researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences discovered four new species of jewel beetles (Buprestidae) from South-eastern Asia. This family of beetles is named for their particularly beautiful body and fascinating, shiny colours."All new species belong to the genus Philanthaxia. Before the publication of this study, 61 species had been known from this genus. Currently, it comprises of 65 species, with a primarily Southeast-Asian distribution, except for two species...

2011-07-05 12:27:34

Most of the world's "missing" or undiscovered species live in regions already identified by scientists as conservation priorities, according to a new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study's findings suggest recent conservation efforts have been on target and should reduce uncertainty over global conservation priorities, its team of international authors say. But, they add, the extinction threat for many of the as-yet undiscovered...

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2011-06-24 08:38:46

Bird species thought extinct came back to the forests Bird species in rainforest fragments in Brazil that were isolated by deforestation disappeared then reappeared over a quarter-century, according to research results published today in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) ONE. Scientists thought many of the birds had gone extinct. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and conducted in cooperation with Projeto Dinâmica Biol³gica de...

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2011-06-23 08:33:15

A new genetic study by a team of Cuban and American researchers confirms that American crocodiles are hybridizing with wild populations of critically endangered Cuban crocodiles, which may cause a population decline of this species found only in the Cuban Archipelago. Cuban crocodiles and American crocodiles have been confirmed to interbreed in captivity and were suspected to hybridize in the wild. This is the first genetic study that confirms wild hybridization. The study, which appears in...

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2011-06-21 06:20:00

The world's oceans are declining much faster than previously believed, a consortium of ocean experts warned on Monday. Ocean life is "at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history," the scientists said in their report, blaming the problem on pollution, overfishing and other man-made causes that are acting simultaneously in ways not seen before. The panel of 27 of the world's top ocean experts said these conditions are pushing the oceans to the...

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2011-06-17 10:15:07

A species of antelope that is possibly the source for the legend of the unicorn has been successfully reintroduced into its native habitat after having been hunted to all but extinction, reports the AFP news agency. The oryx comes by unicorn legend because when viewed in profile the two slender horns can appear to be a single horn. Oryx leucoryx, a desert antelope native to the Arabian peninsula, has long been on the endangered species list after being effectively extinct in the wild....

2011-06-14 23:06:41

A new study provides support for Darwin's hypothesis that the struggle for existence is stronger between more closely related species than those distantly related. While ecologists generally accept the premise, this new study contains the strongest direct experimental evidence yet to support its validity. "We found that species extinction occurred more frequently and more rapidly between species of microorganisms that were more closely related, providing strong support for Darwin's theory,...

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2011-06-14 13:16:16

Smithsonian scientists have confirmed that chytridiomycosis, a rapidly spreading amphibian disease, has reached a site near Panama's Darien region. This was the last area in the entire mountainous neotropics to be free of the disease. This is troubling news for the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, a consortium of nine U.S. and Panamanian institutions that aims to rescue 20 species of frogs in imminent danger of extinction. Chytridiomycosis has been linked to dramatic...


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
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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