Latest Extinction Stories
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.
Much of what we know about the Mammoth may be challenged after new research from a Dutch team has found evidence that the massive mammal may have driven itself to extinction due to inbreeding.
252 million years ago the largest extinction event occurred at the end of the Permian age. It wiped out almost 90 percent of all life in water.
Long-prized for their thick fur, the cuddly Eurasian beaver has been hunted by humans for thousands of years and a new genetic study from a large group of international researchers has found that predation by humans has significantly cut down the genetic diversity of these animals.
A rare, 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk has been discovered by a group of construction workers at a private construction site in the south Lake Union region of Seattle. The workers stopped working when their digging unearthed the intact fossil dating back to the Ice Age.
Scientists have put forth many theories on why woolly mammoths and other large animals went extinct around 10,000 years ago, from the devastating effects of a comet impact to overhunting by humans.
Amazonian biodiversity has been studied for hundreds of years. Despite this long history of exploration, new studies are resulting in the discovery of a large number of new species. The key of these discoveries lies in the use of advanced new tools for species detection.
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,...
- An uxorious, effeminate, or spiritless man.
- A timorous, cowardly fellow.