extinction

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Say Goodbye to a Rather Odd Fish

The smooth handfish has been declared extinct

(Newser) - A fish you've likely never heard of is already gone. The smooth handfish—which stood out with its protruding eyes, mohawk-ish head fin, and ability to walk on its pelvic and pectoral fins—has been declared extinct, LiveScience reports. Experts say it's the first marine fish to die... More »

6th Mass Extinction Is Speeding Along. It's 'Entirely Our Fault'

Humanity is 'sawing off the limb on which it is sitting'

(Newser) - Biodiversity is critical for human life, which makes the latest study on it especially troubling. In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the sixth mass extinction we're currently undergoing, scientists looked at threatened-species data from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,... More »

One Thing That Doomed Dinosaurs: a Bad Angle

Asteroid's steep trajectory caused maximum damage

(Newser) - Dinosaurs might still be roaming the Earth today if not for an incredible run of bad luck 66 million years ago. Researchers had already determined that the city-sized asteroid that hit the planet, leading to the mass extinction, struck at the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time . Scientists... More »

Sorry, Climate Change. There's Another Problem

Tamar Stelling has a new way to measure Earth's loss of species

(Newser) - Climate change isn't our only environmental problem—and evidence lies in the North Sea. Back in the 16th century a Dutch fishmonger could witness "whales everywhere, as far as the eye can see," writes Tamar Stelling at the Correspondent . "Some majestically spring from the water as... More »

Fireflies May Soon Go Dark Due to a Big Triple Threat

Researchers warn of possible extinction due to habitat loss, artificial light, and pesticides

(Newser) - There’s a "quiet apocalypse" happening among insect populations around the world, and fireflies may soon be the next to see their lights dimmed for good. New research out of Tufts University published in the journal BioScience warns that the world’s 2,000 or so species of the... More »

A Freshwater Giant Is Now Extinct

Chinese paddlefish is no more

(Newser) - One of the world's largest fish is no more. A new study in the Science of the Total Environment has declared the Chinese paddlefish to be extinct. As National Geographic notes, the freshwater fish had been swimming in the Yangtze River for about 200 million years, but it could... More »

Malaysia Says Goodbye to Last Sumatran Rhino

Iman, 25, had actually died several times

(Newser) - It's a sad day in Borneo, where Malaysia's last Sumatran rhino has died—meaning the species is gone in its native country, the Washington Post reports. The 25-year-old female, Iman, died of cancer in a sanctuary after dying multiple times from blood loss and being revived, per the... More »

Study Raises Alarming Stat About the World's Plants

Researchers say at least 571 species have disappeared in 250 years, far more than animals

(Newser) - "Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name an extinct plant," says Aleys Humphreys, co-author of a gloomy new study on the fate of the planet's plants. Here, then, are three plants that have disappeared in... More »

'We Failed Our Little Brown Rat' in Climate Change First

Australia classifies Bramble Cay melomys as extinct

(Newser) - It's official in the eyes of Australia: A small brown rat is the first known mammal to be eradicated as a result of human-induced climate change. Bramble Cay melomys were declared extinct by Queensland's government in 2016 after a series of research trips failed to locate the animal... More »

Death of George the Snail Matters

He was the last of his kind in Hawaii. Species Achatinella apexfulva is no more

(Newser) - A 14-year-old Hawaiian land snail born in an effort to save its species has died as the last of its kind. The Achatinella apexfulva named George died in a state lab on New Year's Day, likely of old age, NPR reports. The first of some 750 species of Hawaiian... More »

Beavers Return to Italy After 500 Years

The last known sighting was in 1471

(Newser) - Scientists checking a camera set up to observe otters in northern Italy were thrilled when another furry creature wandered into the frame—the first beaver seen in the country in centuries. The last recorded sighting of a beaver in Italy—where they were hunted for food in the Middle Ages... More »

8 Bird Species Fall Victim to 'Growing Wave of Extinctions'

Habitat loss via deforestation among issues: study

(Newser) - Eight bird species, including the Brazilian blue parrot featured in 2011 animated flick Rio, make up the first confirmed avian extinctions this decade. The Spix's macaw (the species of the Rio characters Blu and Jewel ) hasn't been seen in the wild since 2000, as a 2016 sighting... More »

Most Endangered Primate in World Found on Huge Island

In Madagascar, 95% of lemurs are under the threat of extinction

(Newser) - What are the most endangered primates in the world? The answer may not be the one you expect: lemurs, according to an analysis by a group of conservationists known as the Primate Specialist Group. The animals are found only in Madagascar (and on a few neighboring islands), and 105 of... More »

World's Only 2 Northern White Rhinos May Not Be the Last

Scientists have created 'test tube rhino' embryos in hopes of saving the species

(Newser) - There are only two female northern white rhinos left in the world (the lone male, Sudan, died in March ), and they're infertile, but researchers are hoping new efforts on the reproduction front will stave off the end of the species. The world's first "test tube" rhinos... More »

World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Is Euthanized

Sudan was a 'great ambassador for his species'

(Newser) - The world's last male northern white rhino, Sudan, has died after "age-related complications," researchers announced Tuesday, saying he "stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength." A statement from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya said the 45-year-old rhino was euthanized after his... More »

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 »

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