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Latest Extinction Stories

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2010-05-24 07:04:06

The balance of biodiversity within North American small-mammal communities is so out of whack from the last episode of global warming about 12,000 years ago that the current climate change could push them past a tipping point, with repercussions up and down the food chain, say Stanford biologists. The evidence lies in fossils spanning the last 20,000 years that the researchers excavated from a cave in Northern California. What they found is that although the small mammals in the area suffered...

2010-05-18 15:09:13

An international team of scientists have discovered that climate change played a major role in causing mass extinction of mammals in the late quaternary era, 50,000 years ago. Their study, published in Evolution, takes a new approach to this hotly debated topic by using global data modeling to build continental "Ëœclimate footprints.' "Between 50,000 and 3,000 years before present (BP) 65% of mammal species weighing over 44kg went extinct, together with a lower proportion of small...

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2010-05-13 14:15:00

20 percent of all lizard species could be extinct by 2080, researchers say For many lizards, global climate change is a matter of life and death. After decades of surveying Sceloporus lizard populations in Mexico, an international research team has found that rising temperatures have driven 12 percent of the country's lizard populations to extinction. An extinction model based on this discovery also forecasts a grim future for these ecologically important critters, predicting that a full 20...

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2010-05-06 11:20:00

A top conservation group said Thursday that our planet urgently needs a "bailout plant" to protect its biodiversity. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned that failure to stem the loss of animal and plant species will have dire consequences on human well-being. "The gap between the pressure on our natural resources and governments' response to the deterioration is widening," said Bill Jackson, the group's deputy director, calling for a 10-year strategy to reverse...

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2010-04-21 08:41:07

Like the canary in the coal mine, the timber rattlesnake may be telling us something about the environment we share. Cornell University researchers "“ using cutting-edge tools including fine-scale molecular genetics and microsatellite markers "“ tracked the rattlesnakes to understand how wildlife habitats are affected by even modest human encroachment. "We used this species as a model to investigate general processes underlying population-level responses to habitat fragmentation,"...

2010-04-14 12:37:00

Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of Earth Day to Support the WWF's Year of the Tiger Campaign BOSTON, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The annual Race Against Extinction is being held this Saturday, April 17th at 11 a.m. in Artesani Park on the Charles River in Boston. Proceeds from this year's event will support the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Year of the Tiger Campaign. Participants will include Cheetahs (experienced and first-time runners), Tortoises (walkers), Gazelles (inline...

2010-04-08 16:21:28

For the first time scientists have put a figure on how much it would cost to learn about the conservation status of millions of species, some of which have yet to be identified. The price tag is US$60 million, according to a team of scientists, including those from IUCN and Conservation International, who presented their case in this week's Science magazine in an article called "The Barometer of Life." "Our knowledge about species and extinction rates remains very poor, and this has negative...

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2010-04-02 12:32:00

Paleontologists can't always get what they want, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, but sometimes they can get what they need, according to a study that will appear in the May issue of the American Naturalist. The fossil record captures both the broad sweep of evolutionary changes in life on earth as well as ecological responses to shorter-term local and regional environmental shifts. And yet the amount of variability seen among successive fossil assemblages tends to be low compared to that...

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2010-03-31 11:07:40

The woolly mammoth died out suddenly and without a loss of genetic variation, all but ruling out climate change and inbreeding as possible causes of their extinction, according to a study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. According to a March 30 article by Marlowe Hood of the AFP, "The culprit might have been disease, humans or a catastrophic weather event, but was almost certainly not climate change." Furthermore, the scientists, including Anders Angerbjorn of...

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2010-03-16 12:45:00

Species of butterflies, beetles and dragonflies are being wiped out across Europe due to destruction of their natural habitats, according to the updated European "Red List" of endangered species Tuesday. 435 butterfly species have been examined by scientists, who found that one in three species are dying out and 9 percent are already on the edge of extinction. "Most butterflies at risk are confined to southern Europe," Annabelle Cuttelod, coordinator of the European Red List at the...


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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