Latest Extinction Stories
Ranging from mosses to eels, spanning four continents and two oceans, these discoveries add to the family tree of life on Earth.
University of Alberta researchers are part of an international team that has used DNA samples from frozen dirt, not fossilized bones, to revise the history of North America's woolly mammoths and ancient horses.
With increasing species richness, due to more plant introductions than extinctions, plant communities of many European regions are becoming more homogeneous.
Ancient DNA retrieved from extinct horse species from around the world has challenged one of the textbook examples of evolution - the fossil record of the horse family Equidae over the past 55 million years.
The largest known mass extinction in Earth's history, about 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Period, may have been caused by global warming.
The extinction of plant and animal species can be likened to emptying a museum of its collection, or dumping a cabinet full of potential medicines into the trash, or replacing every local cuisine with McDonald's burgers.
Environmental selectivity during three of the â€˜Big Fiveâ€™ mass extinction events focus of two paleontologistsâ€™ latest research.
Roughly 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, North America's vast assemblage of large animals â€” including such iconic creatures as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses, ground sloths and giant beavers â€” began their precipitous slide to extinction.
A species of common skate is to become the first marine fish species to be driven to extinction by commercial fishing, due to an error of species classification 80 years ago, reveals research published today in the journal Aquatic Conservation.
Scientists observe the emergence of a new adaptation strategy to rapidly changing environmental conditions.
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,...
- Any of various tropical Old World birds of the family Indicatoridae, some species of which lead people or animals to the nests of wild honeybees. The birds eat the wax and larvae that remain after the nest has been destroyed for its honey.