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Latest Extinction Stories

2011-04-06 11:29:21

The "color" of our environment is becoming "bluer", a change that could have important implications for animals' risk of becoming extinct, ecologists have found. In a major study involving thousands of data points and published this week in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology, researchers examined how quickly or slowly animal populations and their environment change over time, something ecologists describe using "spectral color". Ecologists have investigated the link...

2011-04-01 00:58:45

Conservationists may need to change their approach to protecting animals and plants from extinction if they are to successfully shield key species and habitats from the effects of global climate change, according to a new review in the journal Science. Scientists and conservation organisations currently work out a species' extinction risk by determining how likely it is that climate change will make its habitat unsuitable. They then focus their efforts on protecting species whose location is...

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2011-03-23 13:37:00

Scientists warned on Wednesday that 45 rare species of wallaby, bandicoot and other Australian animals could become extinct within 20 years unless urgent action is taken to control introduced predators and other threats. A study found that dozens of mammals, birds, lizards and other vertebrates in the remote northwestern Kimberley region are at risk from hunting by feral cats and from destruction of their native habitat by wild donkeys, goats and fires. "We're in the midst of a massive...

2011-03-17 20:28:32

A University of York scientist is proposing a radical programme of 'assisted colonisation' to save species endangered by climate change. Chris Thomas, Professor of Conservation Biology, says the strategy is applicable across the world, and he suggests Britain as a potential haven for species such as the Iberian lynx, the Spanish Imperial Eagle, the Pyrenean Desman and the Provence Chalkhill Blue butterfly. In an opinion paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Professor Thomas, of the...

2011-03-14 17:00:13

Mathematical model of species competition finds that biodiversity is unlimited According to classical ecology, when two species compete for the same resource, eventually the more successful species will win out while the other will go extinct. But that rule cannot explain systems such as the Amazon, where thousands of tree species occupy similar ecological niches. The childhood game of rock-paper-scissors provides one solution to this puzzle, report researchers at the University of Chicago...

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2011-03-08 06:35:00

A tropical frog "“ the only one of its kind in the world "“ is providing conservationists with exclusive insights into the genetic make-up of its closest endangered relatives. University of Manchester scientists have allowed two critically endangered species of Central American Leaf frogs to interbreed, producing the unique frog "“ a hybrid of the two species. DNA tests using a harmless mouth swab showed that the two parent frogs were actually very closely related despite...

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2011-03-04 16:15:00

Paleobiologists at the University of California at Berkeley are studying the state of biodiversity today, using the world's mammal species as a barometer. Mammal extinctions were very rare: on average, just two species died out every million years, until humans' largest expansion yet, some 500 years ago.In the last five centuries however, at least 80 out of 5,570 mammal species have disappeared, thinning out the biodiversity of the planet. "It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass...

2011-03-03 23:19:05

Fossil records verify a long-standing theory that horses evolved through natural selection, according to groundbreaking research by two anatomy professors at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) of New York Institute of Technology. Working with colleagues from Massachusetts and Spain, Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D., and Nikos Solounias, Ph.D. arrived at the conclusion after examining the teeth of 6,500 fossil horses representing 222 different populations of more than 70 extinct horse...

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2011-03-03 09:15:00

Steep decline of many animal species warns that Earth is on the brink With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that have occurred just five times during the past 540 million years. Each of these "Big Five" saw three-quarters or more of all animal species go extinct. In results of a study published in this week's issue of journal Nature, researchers report on an assessment of where mammals...

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2011-02-28 14:48:17

Scientists report that the effective population of the critically endangered Amur tiger is less than 14 animals. About 500 Amur tigers have survived in the wild, but the effective population is a measure of the genetic diversity of the world's largest cat, according to BBC's Victoria Gill. Low diversity means they are more vulnerable to disease or rare genetic disorders. These results paint a grim picture for the tiger's chance of survival. The findings are reported in the journal...


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
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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