Latest Extinction Stories
A team of international astronomers has created a detailed three-dimensional map of the dusty structure of the Milky Way – the star-studded bright disc of our own galaxy – as seen from Earth’s northern hemisphere.
A new study has identified a three- to five-million-year-old Tibetan fox from the Himalayan Mountains that is a possible ancestor to the Arctic fox living today.
We could be living in a world populated with giant deer, wombats, sabre-toothed cats, marsupial lions and kangaroos but for one important factor: Humans killed them all.
Plant and animal species are becoming extinct at rates more than 1,000 times more quickly than they did before the arrival of humans, indicating that the Earth could be edging closer to a sixth great extinction.
Issues related to threatened and endangered species are the focus of two new studies appearing in the journal Science, one of which focuses on how to balance recovery efforts with the eradication of invasive species.
In an article published in April by the journal Science, researchers from Arizona State University and Plymouth University in the UK argued that the collection of specimens to confirm a species existence has contributed to the extinction of “small and often isolated populations.”
As a fresh wave of extinctions sweeps through the ranks of Australian native animals, scientists are deploying their most powerful weapon yet in the struggle to understand and head off the wipe-out.
Researchers are advocating changes to the way in which threatened species are identified, due to the potential danger presented to vulnerable animal populations by the so-called “gold standard” of collecting voucher specimens for identification purposes.
For the first time, researchers have documented the impact that global climate change had on the evolution of Ice Age-era predators whose remains were discovered in California’s La Brea Tar Pits.
Geneticists and anthropologists previously suspected that ancient Africans domesticated cattle native to the African continent nearly 10,000 years ago.
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,...
- Withering but not falling off, as a blossom that persists on a twig after flowering.