extinction

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Officials Fear Whale Facing Extinction

Rare right whales' numbers are dwindling after 17 died this year

(Newser) - Scientists are raising a red flag over the future of endangered right whales after a high number died in 2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that there are only about 450 North Atlantic right whales left after 17 were reported dead this year, according to Phys.org... More »

Man's Obsession: Prove Duck With Pink Feathers Does Exist

Richard Thorns wants to be first to see one since 1949

(Newser) - Hope is the thing with feathers, poet Emily Dickinson wrote. For Richard Thorns, the feathers are pink. Thorns' hope? To prove that a colorful duck is not extinct. This week, he launches a seventh expedition into the inaccessible wilds of Myanmar to search for the pink-headed duck that hasn't... More »

Hippos in Danger Because of Desire for Their Teeth

Mismanagement in trade of hippo teeth a bad sign: researchers

(Newser) - It isn't only elephants that are suffering from humans' insatiable thirst for ivory. A new study notes hippopotamuses, already predicted by some to disappear within 100 years, may be dying at unexpected rates to fuel the trade of ivory ornaments made from hippo teeth. Since 1975, 1.7 million... More »

Rare Species Last Seen in 1936 Spotted in Amazon

Scientist says she burst into tears during sighting

(Newser) - A primate last seen alive 80 years ago has been spotted during a wildly successful expedition in one of the most remote parts of the Amazon, National Geographic reports. The Vanzolini bald-faced saki, a distinctive "flying monkey" that sports shaggy hair with golden highlights around its arms and legs,... More »

When Dinosaurs Were Killed, Earth Went Dark for 2 Years

New study shows climate effects of asteroid impact

(Newser) - When a 6-mile-wide asteroid crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago, it caused a devastating wave of earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis that killed untold number of animals and ended the reign of the dinosaurs. Then things got really bad. In a study published Monday in PNAS , scientists... More »

California Fish Swimming Toward Extinction

74% of native salmon, steelhead, trout could vanish in 100 years, study warns

(Newser) - California's native fish are in serious trouble, a new report warns. Unless things change, nearly half of California’s salmon, steelhead, and trout species will disappear within the next 50 years and 74% within the next century, say the scientists from the University of California, Davis, in a news... More »

Asteroid That Wiped Out Dinosaurs Hit in Exact Wrong Place

An impact in deep ocean would have been much less catastrophic

(Newser) - Humans might never have appeared on Earth had an asteroid 66 million years ago hit a spot other than the one it did, a new BBC documentary suggests. The asteroid that felled the dinosaurs hit a shallow sea near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, sending a dense cloud of sulfur into... More »

World's Loneliest Guy Gets Help From Tinder

Company helping to raise money for white rhino breeding

(Newser) - There's just one male northern white rhino left in the world , and he's getting some help from Tinder. A Kenyan wildlife conservancy is teaming up with the dating app for a campaign called "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World," focusing on the rhino named Sudan,... More »

Tasmanian Tiger Reportedly Seen 80 Years After Extinction

Several endangered species may be making a comeback

(Newser) - It's been eight decades since the Tasmanian tiger, a carnivorous marsupial, was declared extinct after the last of its kind died in a zoo in 1936. But there's new buzz after two separate, apparently credible sightings were reported in northern Australia, and scientists from James Cook University believe... More »

Primate Study Finds It's 'Worse Than We Thought'

75% are in decline, 60% at risk of extinction

(Newser) - "It's worse than we thought 10 years ago," a researcher says following a "landmark" study on the world's primates that found many could go extinct in the next 50 years. Primatologists studied every primate species—all 504 of them—and found 75% are in decline,... More »

As 'Smirking' Porpoise Nears Extinction, US Sends in Military Dolphins

The vaquita, or 'little cow,' is caught up in fishing nets and insatiable thirst from China

(Newser) - The world's smallest porpoise is also ever smaller in number, its population decimated in recent decades thanks to what the Washington Post describes as "a cruel mixture of fishing nets and economics." The vaquita, or "little cow," has gotten tangled up in fish nets since... More »

A Surprise 'Silent Extinction': Giraffes

IUCN report reveals 'devastating' decline of nearly 40% over past 30 years

(Newser) - No one used to pay much mind to the giraffes that roamed Africa. But new numbers from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature show a significant decline in their population over the past three decades and have conservationists worried that the elegant creature is falling victim to what... More »

Could an 'Ark in a Freezer' Bring Back Lost Animals?

'Inside the tanks are the animals'

(Newser) - Inside the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research a few miles outside the city, in an unassuming building that smells like cleaning supplies, is the Frozen Zoo. It's an ark, really—"an ark in a freezer!" as Zach Baron writes in a feature article for GQ... More »

Toughie the Frog, Likely the Last of His Species, Dies

It's rare for humans to witness an extinction as it happens

(Newser) - A frog named Toughie, likely the last of his species, died quietly in his enclosure at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this week, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "He will be missed by Garden staff and visitors alike," the Garden posted on Facebook . The Rabbs' fringe-limbed tree frog wasn't... More »

Key to Extinction of Ancient Bear: Vegan Diet

Inflexible diet appears to have led to cave bear's demise some 25K years ago

(Newser) - Cave bears, the close cousin of the brown bear, roamed vast swaths of present-day Russia across to the United Kingdom and down to Spain for hundreds of thousands of years until they went extinct 25,000 years ago. A large beast at roughly 12 feet long and 5 feet tall... More »

Deer at Brink of Extinction Survives Afghan Conflicts

Bactrian deer were spotted by researchers for the first time in decades in 2013

(Newser) - In Afghanistan—in spite of multiple wars, habitat destruction, and unregulated hunting—one species feared to have gone extinct in the nation has been spotted and may even be staging a comeback: the rare and majestic Bactrian deer. When they were last surveyed in the 1970s, their local numbers were... More »

First Mass Extinction Likely Caused by 'Utterly Weird' Animals

Animals shaped like 'Frisbees and lumpy mattresses' may have killed early Ediacarans

(Newser) - New fossil evidence dug up in Namibia lends credence to the theory that we should blame "ecosystem engineers" for the world's first mass extinction, and that's not a euphemism for man, asteroids, or aliens. Instead, per a Vanderbilt University study published in the October issue of the... More »

Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs Wiped Out Most Mammals, Too

Only about 7% survived, says study

(Newser) - The asteroid that took out the dinosaurs nearly claimed the planet's mammals, too. Researchers at the UK's Milner Centre for Evolution report in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology that 93% of mammals were wiped out around the same time, far more than originally thought. And those that did... More »

This Is Likely the First Mammal Lost to Climate Change

Mosaic-tailed rat has vanished from Bramble Cay off Australia

(Newser) - Way to go, humanity. For the first time in history, human-induced climate change has been found "solely or primarily" responsible for the extinction of a mammal species, according to a new study . The Bramble Cay melomys , or mosaic-tailed rat, was found by Europeans on a tiny coral cay off... More »

Death by Human Extinction Far More Likely Than by Car Crash

We should be more afraid of asteroids, pandemics, and Terminators

(Newser) - Pandemics, super-volcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, asteroids, and murderous artificial intelligence. You're not more likely to die from any one of those things than in a car crash. But put all those things together, and, well, that changes things a bit, the Atlantic reports. According to the annual Global ... More »

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