Tag: Endangered and Extinct Species

This Tiny Creature Seemed Extinct. DNA Technology Helped Prove It Wasn’t.

Just a few years ago, it seemed like the scarce yellow sally stonefly had gone locally extinct. In 1995, ecologists collected a single specimen of the aquatic insect in the River Dee near the Wales-England boundary, the species’ only known refuge. For the next two decades, every survey there failed to find another of the […]

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White-Lipped Peccary Species May Be in Steep Decline

White-lipped peccaries travel in large packs throughout the forest. The hairy, pig-like creatures emit a distinctive musky smell that is not easy to forget, and play a crucial role in their ecosystems, dispersing seeds and creating habitats for insects and amphibians. Now, though, the species is facing a crisis. A recent study published in the […]

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The Bees and Other Creatures of My Childhood Are Disappearing

I read the other day that bumblebees are in sharp decline, victims of warming temperatures that raise their risk of extinction. Researchers at the University of Ottawa and University College London, utilizing data from 550,000 observations, compared the distribution of 66 bumblebee species between the periods 1901 to 1974 and 2000 to 2014. The population […]

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There’s No Place Like Kangaroo Island. Can It Survive Australia’s Fires?

KANGAROO ISLAND, Australia — Kangaroo Island is Australia in miniature. It is a wildlife haven, with its own varieties of kangaroos, echidnas (a spiny anteater) and cockatoos, as well as a koala population seen as insurance should disaster strike the species on the mainland. It is a tourism magnet, with luxury cliff-top lodges and beaches […]

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New Origin Story for Gross Blobs That Wash Up on Beaches

Every so often, a fatberg-esque blob of material called ambergris washes up on a beach. These lumps, used to make perfume, can be worth thousands of dollars in countries where it is legal to collect them. Historically, hunters have trained dogs and even camels to sniff out ambergris. Where it comes from has been less […]

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For Many U.S. Turks, Salep Is Beloved but Elusive

In Turkey, winter is the season of salep. In the streets, peddlers pushing carts sell the hot, milky drink traditionally made from ground orchid tubers. Between classes, students warm their cold fingers around flimsy paper cups filled with steaming salep. On the ferry across the Bosporus, businessmen sip it with one hand and check their […]

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The Plight of the Platypus

SYDNEY, Australia — Early on the morning of Dec. 27, Phoebe Meagher, a wildlife conservation officer at Taronga Zoo, set off on a rescue mission with colleagues from the zoo and academics from the University of New South Wales. Several platypuses were trapped in quickly shrinking bodies of water in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the […]

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When Dinosaurs Left Tracks in a Land Consumed by Lava and Fire

Two years ago, Emese M. Bordy, a sedimentologist at the University of Cape Town, was flipping through an obscure dissertation from the 1960s when a clue leapt out at her. It was an image of a footprint on a farm located on the northern Karoo Basin of South Africa. The Karoo region contains huge volcanic […]

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Harvey Weinstein on Trial: What’s Happened So Far

Weather: A chance of flurries in the morning, then mostly cloudy with a high in the mid-40s. Alternate-side parking: In effect until Feb. 12 (Lincoln’s Birthday). ImageCredit…Jeenah Moon/Getty Images One of the most anticipated criminal proceedings in recent memory has been unfolding in a downtown Manhattan courthouse: the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein. Here’s what […]

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The Freshwater Giants Are Dying

Some of the most astonishing creatures on Earth hide deep in rivers and lakes: giant catfish weighing over 600 pounds, stingrays the length of Volkswagen Beetles, six-foot-long trout that can swallow a mouse whole. There are about 200 species of so-called freshwater megafauna, but compared to their terrestrial and marine counterparts, they are poorly studied […]

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Meteorite or Volcano? New Clues to the Dinosaurs’ Demise

Some 66 million years ago, forests burned to the ground and the oceans acidified after the Chicxulub meteorite hit Earth in the Gulf of Mexico. Around the same time, on the other side of the planet, erupting volcanoes were busy covering much of the Indian subcontinent with lava, forming the Deccan Traps. One of these […]

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Fossil Reveals Earth’s Oldest Known Animal Guts

They say you should trust your gut, which is what Emmy Smith did when she went hunting for fossils in 2016. Dr. Smith, a field geologist, had a hunch she would find something interesting at a site north of Pahrump, Nev., and she did. But what her gut hadn’t told her was that some of […]

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