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?

  • Marine reserves are vital -- but under pressure
    on June 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    A massive study of nearly 1800 tropical coral reefs around the world has found that marine reserves near heavily populated areas struggle to do their job -- but are a vast improvement over having no protection at all. […]

  • Boring barnacles prefer the shallow life on coral reefs
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Scientists have quantified how barnacles infest stony coral over a variety of conditions and reduce calcium carbonate on reefs. Coral reefs harbor diverse marine life and help prevent coastal erosion. […]

  • T. Rex couldn't stick out its tongue
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators. […]

  • Climate change to overtake land use as major threat to global biodiversity
    on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Climate change will have a rapidly increasing effect on the structure of global ecological communities over the next few decades, with amphibians and reptiles being significantly more affected than birds and mammals, a new report finds. […]

  • Museum collection reveals distribution of Carolina parakeet 100 years after its extinction
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    While 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last captive Carolina parakeet -- North America's only native parrot, a team of researchers have shed new light on the previously known geographical range of the species. […]

  • Coral reef 'oases' offer glimmer of hope
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Scientists have discovered small communities of corals that are flourishing against the odds while so many around the world are dying. […]

  • Local interventions boost coral's resilience to bleaching
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Local conservation actions can significantly boost coral's resilience to, and recovery from, climate-induced thermal bleaching by reducing other energy-sapping stresses the coral faces, a new study finds. Scientists found they could reduce the extent of bleaching by half if they removed or reduced populations of coral-eating snails from affected reefs. The coral's recovery from bleaching was also enhanced. […]

  • Primates in peril
    on June 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Primates are fascinating. They are intelligent, live in complex societies and are a vital part of the ecosystem. Lemurs, lorises, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys and apes are our closest biological relatives and just like them, humans are also primates. However, while the human population spread to all corners of the earth, many of our closest relatives are under serious threat. […]

  • Five new species of snail-sucking snakes discovered
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

    New research has uncovered five new species of snakes in Ecuador and Peru with peculiar dining etiquette: they suck the viscous bodies of snails out of their shells. […]

  • Amber fossils provide oldest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    99-million-year-old amber fossils from Myanmar provide the earliest evidence of frogs in wet, tropical forests. […]

  • Endocrine-disrupting pesticides impair frog reproduction
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    In a new study, researchers have investigated how the endocrine-disrupting substance linuron affects reproduction in the West African clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis. The scientists found that linuron, which is used as a pesticicide, impaired the males' fertility, and that tadpoles developed ovaries instead of testicles to a greater extent, which caused a female-biased sex ratio. […]

  • Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century
    on June 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed. […]

  • Deadly fungus found for first time in critically endangered amphibian species
    on June 13, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    A fungal pathogen which has led to the extinction of entire species in South America has been recorded for the first time in critically endangered amphibians in India. […]

  • Scientists discover a new way to find mass extinctions
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    During the history of the Earth, there were many mass extinctions, when huge numbers of species died out. They are usually easy to identify because of the sudden extinctions, followed by a gap, and then the recovery of life. […]

  • British mammals' fight for survival
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to a recent comprehensive review of their populations. […]

  • Volcanic activity, declining ocean oxygen triggered mass extinction of ancient organisms
    on June 11, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Global climate change, fueled by skyrocketing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is siphoning oxygen from today's oceans at an alarming pace -- so fast that scientists aren't entirely sure how the planet will respond. […]

  • Proactive conservation management strategy urged for North Atlantic right whale
    on June 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Marine ecologists urge a more proactive conservation management strategy for the North Atlantic right whale. […]

  • Discovery of the oldest mammal in Brazil pays tribute to David Bowie
    on June 11, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Brasilestes stardusti lived around 70 million years ago and was named after Ziggy Stardust, the singer's iconic persona. Description was based on a fossilized tooth. It's the 1st indication that placental mammals and dinosaurs co-existed in South America. For scientists, fossil features showed similarities with another pre-historic mammal found in India, suggesting both shared a common ancestral native from the Gondwana supercontinent. […]

  • Secrets of fish population changes revealed
    on June 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Populations of fish in the ocean are notoriously variable, waxing and waning in often unpredictable ways. Knowing what drives changes in fish population sizes is important for managing fisheries and conserving species. For the first time, scientists have linked the ecology of adult fish populations inhabiting coral reefs with the dispersal of baby fish between reefs, reporting the dynamics of a living network called a 'marine metapopulation.' […]

  • 'Monstrous' new Russian saber-tooth fossils clarify early evolution of mammal lineage
    on June 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Fossils representing two new species of saber-toothed prehistoric predators have been described. These new species improve the scientists' understanding of an important interval in the early evolution of mammals -- a time, between mass extinctions, when the roles of certain carnivores changed drastically. […]

  • Jurassic diet: Why our knowledge of what ancient pterosaurs ate might be wrong
    on June 7, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Research reveals knowledge of prehistoric diets is often based on outdated ideas and could be inaccurate. […]

  • Algal partner responds to climate-change stresses more strongly than coral host
    on June 7, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    A new study puts a surprising twist into our understanding of how coral reefs react to ocean warming and acidification and may offer an early warning system for warmth-induced coral bleaching events. […]

  • Dolphins deliberately killed for use as bait in global fisheries
    on June 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Ahead of World Oceans Day, new research exposes the practice of killing of aquatic mammals, including some listed as endangered, for the express purpose of securing bait for global fisheries. The practice is widespread globally, but most common in Latin America and Asia. The study reveals there is little information on the impact of this harvesting on targeted mammal populations and urges increased monitoring. […]

  • Impact of fishing gear entanglement deduced from whale hormone levels
    on June 6, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    New validation study analyzing hormone profile shows the duration and negative effects of fishing gear entanglement on the North Atlantic right whale -- one of the most endangered whale species. Providing information on foraging success, migration behavior and body functioning, this technique can be used to study other baleen species to understand the impact of fishing activity on threatened whale populations. […]

  • Scientists stunned by decline of birds during epic Southern African roadtrip
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    A two year project repeating a famous bird survey by driving over 20,000 km in a 4x4 across Botswana has confirmed researchers' fears: many birds of prey are fast disappearing from one of Africa's last great wilderness areas. Reported sightings of iconic species of eagle and vulture declined by as much as 80% compared with the previous survey, while some migrant species recorded last time have vanished, according to the study. […]

  • Nutrient pollution makes ocean acidification worse for coral reefs
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A new study showed that local impacts of humans -- nutrient pollution from activities on land -- may accelerate the negative impacts of global ocean acidification on coral reefs. […]

  • For disappearing Bicknell's thrushes, statistical models are lifesavers
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Bicknell's thrush has been identified as a globally vulnerable Nearctic-Neotropical migratory bird in need of serious conservation efforts. Males and females use different habitats in winter, with females preferring middle elevation forests that are more vulnerable to human disturbance than the higher, more remote forests used by males. A new study identifies key habitat for females in the remaining fragmented montane wet forests of the Dominican Republic. […]

  • Study in Fiji finds that removing sea cucumbers spells trouble for shallow coastal waters
    on June 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    The sea cucumber's unimpressive appearance belies the outsized role these creatures play in converting decomposing organic matter into recyclable nutrients and keeping coastal ecosystems healthy and clean, and overfishing them can have negative impacts on coastal marine environments, according to a new study focusing on a species of sea cucumber called a sandfish. […]

  • A little water could make a big difference for endangered salmon
    on June 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    A trickle of water flowing through a stream could mean life or death for endangered coho salmon in coastal California. […]

  • Toxic toad invasion puts Madagascar's predators at risk, genetic evidence confirms
    on June 4, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    The recent introduction of the common Asian toad to Madagascar has led to fears that the toxic amphibian could wreak havoc on the island's already severely threatened fauna. Now, researchers report genetic evidence showing that those fears are well founded: virtually all predators native to Madagascar are highly sensitive to toad toxins. If they should eat the toads, it would be a potentially fatal mistake. […]