Latest Extinction Stories
The 4.4 million-year-old African species Ardipithecus ramidus, or "Ardi," is the focus of one of the most hotly debated issues in current human origins research. Scientists want to know how Ardi, an unusual primate, is related to human lineage.
A human ancestor characterized by "robust" jaw and skull bones was a muscular creature with a gorilla-like upper body and more adaptive to its environment than previously thought, scientists have discovered.
Life history traits are the basic ecological descriptors of a species. These include physical traits, such as body mass and physiological traits, such as reproductive rate.
You may have noticed your local paleontologist has had an extra bounce in his step this week. That might have something to do with a monumental find of a new super-predator dinosaur in the Wahweap Formation within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah.
A new study could deal a major blow to the prevailing theory of how species form – that a new species arises when a barrier prevents reproduction between populations.
Tyrannosaurus rex is arguably the most famous of all the dinosaurs, but apparently the iconic creature was very nearly known by another name.
A new study examines how a group of ancient mammalian relatives coped with a mass extinction event in the prehistoric past as a way to glimpse into the potential future.
New research from two biologists at the University of Arizona and Yale suggests that evolution is not an option for species looking to cope with rising global temperatures.
A new study has shed light on the potential of birds to survive in the face of climate change.
The forest we are used to looking at is not at all in equilibrium. Since the Ice Age, a number of plants have been 'missing' in Northern Europe, i.e. species that have not yet arrived.
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,...
- A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.