Extinction News -- ScienceDaily Extinction of animals and plants. Read scientific research on the dinosaur extinction, future mass extinctions, and endangered species. What can be done?

  • Satellite data to map endangered monkey populations on Earth
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Using a combination of satellite and ground data, a research team can map multiple indicators of monkey distribution, including human activity zones as inferred from roads and settlements, direct detections from mosquito-derived iDNA, animal sound recordings, plus detections of other species that are usually found when monkeys are present, such as other large vertebrates. […]

  • 'Star dust' wasp is a new extinct species named after David Bowie's alter ego
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    During her study on fossil insects at China's Capitol Normal University, a student visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA, carrying two unidentified wasp specimens that were exceptionally well-preserved and 100 million years old. Close examination revealed that both were species new to science. Furthermore, one of them was found to belong to a genus of modern wasps. […]

  • Pollinator extinctions alter structure of ecological networks
    on June 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. […]

  • Bat biodiversity is in danger on islands worldwide
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    A new study investigates knowledge gaps among the largely unknown, but greatly threatened, group of island-restricted bats, and leads future research efforts to actual priorities. […]

  • The world's largest canary
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Biologists have now proven that the endangered São Tomé grosbeak is the world's largest canary -- 50 percent larger than the runner-up. […]

  • Over 150 Asian Giant Softshell Turtles Return to the Wild
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Biologists have just released 150 Endangered Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) hatchlings into their natural habitat along the Mekong River. […]

  • When estimating extinction risk, don't leave out the males
    on June 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Extinction risk for some species could be drastically underestimated because most demographic models of animal populations only analyze the number and fertility of females, dismissing male data as 'noise'. […]

  • Drowsy dormice doze into decline
    on June 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Britain's population of hazel dormice, famed for their sleepy lifestyle, has declined by more than 70 percent in just over two decades, new research has shown. […]

  • Bacterial classification may be more elusive than previously thought
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A new study provides new insights into processes behind the evolution of microorganisms and describes what it means for existing bacterial classification approaches. […]

  • Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    The fossils of an extinct species from the Triassic Period are the long-missing link that connects Kermit the Frog's amphibian brethren to wormlike creatures with a backbone and two rows of sharp teeth, new research shows. Named Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, the newfound fossil is the oldest relative of the most mysterious group of amphibians: caecilians. Today, these limbless, colorful serpentine carnivores live underground and range in size from 6 inches to 5 feet. […]

  • Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new research has found. […]

  • Spineless creature studied in DC swamp
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay's Spring amphipod. It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available -- perhaps including the remains of its own kind. That is where its similarities to some of Washington, D.C.'s more notorious megafauna end. Researchers report on a way to survey it without threatening its existence, as other studies had done. […]

  • 150-year records gap on Sulawesi ends with five new species in the world's largest tree genus
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Coming 150 years after the last description from Sulawesi, five new species from the world's largest genus of trees, Syzygium, highlight the extent of unexplored botanical diversity on the Indonesian island. […]

  • Building a better alligator: Advanced 3-D models of bite data
    on June 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    The ability to bite hard is critical for crocodilians to eat their food such as turtles, wildebeest and other large prey; therefore, their anatomy is closely studied by veterinarians and paleontologists who are interested in animal movements and anatomy. Now, researchers have developed three-dimensional models of the skull of the American alligator using cutting-edge imaging and computational tools. […]

  • Brazilian carnivorous mammal-like reptile fossil may be new Aleodon species
    on June 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Some Late Triassic Brazilian fossils of mammal-like reptiles, previously identified as Chiniquodon, may in fact be the first Aleodon specimens found outside Africa. […]

  • Birds of a feather
    on June 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Biologists have always been fascinated by the diversity and changeability of life on Earth and have attempted to answer a fundamental question: How do new species originate? A new study provides the first large-scale test of the link between population differentiation rates and speciation rates. The results confirm the evolutionary importance of population genetic differentiation. […]

  • Spying on fish love calls could help protect them from overfishing
    on June 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Scientists have discovered a way to use the incredibly loud, distinctive sounds that fish make when they gather to spawn to protect them from overfishing. […]

  • Late-nesting birds, bees face habitat threat
    on June 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Bird and bumblebee species that nest late in the year are suffering more from the destruction of habitats, new research suggests. With habitats such as hedgerows and hay meadows in decline in many countries, fewer nest sites are available -- leading to more competition. […]

  • The secrets of tooth calcium revealed
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Two studies on calcium isotopes in teeth have provided new insights into both the extinction of the marine reptiles and weaning age in humans. The findings open new avenues for research in anthropology and paleontology, say researchers. […]

  • Lianas stifle tree fruit and seed production in tropical forests
    on June 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Vines compete intensely with trees. Their numbers are on the rise in many tropical forests around the world. A new study shows that lianas prevent canopy trees from producing fruit, with potentially far-reaching consequences for rainforest animals. […]

  • Scientists advancing hope for reefs in the Philippines
    on June 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Researchers have returned from the Philippines with new species discoveries and deeper insights into threatened coral reef ecosystems. […]

  • Red and eastern wolves are probably not recent hybrids
    on June 8, 2017 at 2:24 am

    A research team is calling into question a 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a new comment paper, the team argues the study's genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization -- but rather provide support for the genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness of red and eastern wolves. […]

  • Finding new homes won't help emperor penguins cope with climate change
    on June 7, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Unlike other species that migrate successfully to escape the wrath of climate change, a new study shows that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. […]

  • Seeing inside coral
    on June 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    New technologies are making it possible to see inside coral, to examine the skeleton cores for devastation caused by humans. Scientists are racing the clock to assess the true extent of the damage before it becomes irreversible. […]

  • Which extinct ducks could fly?
    on June 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    We're all familiar with flightless birds: ostriches, emus, penguins -- and ducks? Ducks and geese have been especially prone to becoming flightless over the course of evolutionary history, but it can be difficult to determine from fossils whether an extinct species could fly or not. A new study takes a fresh approach, classifying species as flightless or not based on their skeletons and offering a glimpse into the lives of these extinct waterfowl. […]

  • How can you tell deep-sea octopuses apart? Check their warts
    on June 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Until now, there'd been no rigorous framework for telling apart two species of deep-sea octopuses -- they're both pink and warty. A new study, though, shows that the distribution of warts is an important means of telling the two species apart -- the octopuses from the Pacific are wartier than the ones from the Atlantic. That little piece of information could be a big help in ongoing deep-sea research. […]

  • Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago -- ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct -- is more closely related to today's African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Understanding elephant evolution is key to protecting present-day elephants from extinction, researchers say. […]

  • Could acidifying oceans slow down coral disease?
    on June 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Black band disease is less deadly to mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata) as water acidified, or decreased in pH, a new study has demonstrated. […]

  • Census shows which mammals survive in forests surrounded by sugarcane plantations
    on June 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    A census of medium and large mammals found in 22 forest remnants surrounded by sugarcane plantations in the state. They found approximately 90% of all the species of mammals expected for São Paulo State but in smaller forest fragments, the researchers recorded only 20 percent - 50 percent of the species expected to occur across the region. This means that up to 80 percent were locally extinct in some cases. […]

  • Red light has no effect on bat activity: Less disruption by changing artificial color
    on June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Artificial light at night can have a disruptive effect on bats, but not if the light is red. Switching to red light may therefore limit or prevent habitat loss for rare, light-shy bat species, report scientists. […]