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Latest Extinction Stories

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2010-12-10 08:39:20

A wave of reptile extinctions on the Greek islands over the past 15,000 years may offer a preview of the way plants and animals will respond as the world rapidly warms due to human-caused climate change, according to a University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues. The Greek island extinctions also highlight the critical importance of preserving habitat corridors that will enable plants and animals to migrate in response to climate change, thereby maximizing their chances of survival....

2010-12-02 13:35:56

Habitat destruction and species extinction may lead to an increase in diseases that infect humans and other species, according to a paper in the journal Nature co-authored by a University of Florida ecologist. In the paper to be published Thursday, UF biology professor Robert D. Holt and his colleagues reported that by reviewing studies from a wide range of systems, including data from plants, animals and bacteria, they were able to relate dimensions of environmental loss, and in particular...

2010-12-01 22:47:33

Infectious diseases on the rise as species disappear Plant and animal extinctions are detrimental to your health. That's the conclusion of a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Nature by scientists who studied the link between biodiversity and infectious diseases. Species loss in ecosystems such as forests and fields results in increases in pathogens, or disease-causing organisms, the researchers found. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)-National...

2010-11-30 21:35:36

Ecologists say prior studies underestimated the specific dietary needs of most species Children aren't the only youngsters who are picky eaters: More than half of all species are believed to change their diets -- sometimes more than once -- between birth and adulthood. And a new study by ecologists at Rice University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, finds this pattern has major implications for the survival of threatened species and the stability of natural ecosystems. With...

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2010-11-28 08:19:49

Two scientists believe that woolly mammoths were hunted to extinction 10,000 years ago. The scientists, who live year-round in the frigid Siberian plains, say that man hunted the animals for either food, fuel or fun. Paleontologists have been trying to determine for decades how these animals came to extinction.  Some theories say that it was due to dramatically warming temperatures along with the migration of men armed with deep-piercing spears. Sergey Zimov, director of the...

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2010-11-11 10:59:02

An international team led by the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia has carried out the first large-scale study of the threats facing freshwater fish in the Mediterranean basin. Invasive species, along with over-exploitation of water resources, are the most important pressures, and those that expose fish to the greatest risk of extinction. "The continental fish of the Mediterranean basin are one of the most threatened biological groups in the world", Miguel Clavero, lead author of the...

2010-11-08 19:58:22

Plants that can pollinate themselves are more likely to go extinct, says new study of nightshade plant family Many plants can pollinate themselves and reproduce without the aid of a mate, thanks to having both male and female parts. But the short-term perks of being able to go it alone come with long-term costs, says a new study in the journal Science. The reason is because plants that can pollinate themselves are more prone to extinction, scientists say. Flowering plants are incredibly...

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2010-10-27 10:15:00

Conservation actions aid vertebrates, but not nearly enough Dr. Jack Musick, emeritus professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has overseen a global study suggesting that 33 percent of shark, skate, and ray species are threatened with extinction. The work is part of a major new study of vertebrates by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's oldest and largest environmental network. The IUCN study shows that conservation actions have benefitted a...

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2010-10-27 08:55:00

Nearly one out of every five vertebrates in the world are currently threatened with extinction--and things would be worse were it not for the efforts of conservationists across the globe--a new study set to be published in the journal Science has discovered. The research, carried out by a team of 174 international scientists, analyzed data from some 25,000 species currently listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species to discover the...

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2010-10-20 13:51:00

Recent work by Dr. David Lohman, assistant professor of biology at The City College of New York, suggests the Philippines, considered by biologists to be a "biodiversity hotspot," could have more unique species of birds than previously thought.  If that proves to be the case, it could have important ramifications for conservation practices there. Many of the animal species found in the Philippines are endemic to this nation, which is made up of more than 7,100 islands.  For example,...


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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