One in eight birds threatened by biochemicals and climate change

From the tropics to the poles, bird populations all over the world are facing a sharp decline, cornered by climate change and exposure to man-made biochemicals, namely pesticides. According to to BirdLife International, one in eight species (more than 1,300 species) of birds are under serious threat of becoming extinct. The list includes iconic birds of pray and song like eagles, vultures, swifts or swallows, but also seabirds like sandpipers, pelicans or storks.

The elephant bird: the largest bird to have ever lived

Once one of Madagascar’s crown inhabitants, the elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus) is considered the largest bird to have ever lived. The first records of the bird are from the 9th century when Saracen and Indian traders visited Madagascar and spoke of legends of the the giant roc (rukh). The elephant bird became rarer and rarer once with the settling of Madagascar’s

Scientists receive funding to clone extinct goat

The bucardo, a mountain goat perfectly adapted for life in the  extreme cold and snow of winter in the Pyrenees, became extinct in 2000. From the last living specimen, a goat called Celia, researchers managed to harvest living cells and store them in liquid nitrogen. Using these cells, Spanish researchers now plan to de-extinct the species by cloning it. This

Meteor impact in Canada may have triggered the Big Freeze that caused mass extinction and forced humans into agriculture

A recent study has revived an older controversy, after  Dartmouth Professor Mukul Sharma and his team reported what they claim is the first conclusive evidence that links an extraterrestrial impact in Canada with the beginning of the Younger Dryas, a period of abrupt climate change that caused major cooling through the Earth. During this time, a number of species became extinct and the human hunger-gatherer

Almost extinct deer species makes astounding comeback due to action by government and conservationists

The reemergence of the critically endangered population of Huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) marks a fantastic achievement by local governments and conservationists worldwide. Brought back from the brink of extinction, when populations measured less than 1% of original numbers, the Huemul populations have not only stabilized – but have started increasing, according to a new study. The south Andean deer, as

Humans caused ancient Pacific bird extinction that killed 10% of world bird population

A new study sheds new light on the impact humans had on the local aviary fauna in the Pacific, after the authors conclude that human colonization of the Pacific Islands is the main driving factor that wiped out some 1,300 bird species in the area or roughly 10% of the entire bird population on the planet. The study also shows

Scientists want to ‘de-extinct’ 22 species, including the wooly mammoth, the Dodo bird and the tasmanian tiger

So far… it’s re-extinction Almost 10 years ago, on July 30, 2003, a team of Spanish and French scientists reversed time. They brought an animal back from extinction, if only just to see it go extinct again. The animal they revived was a kind of wild goat known as a bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex. For tens of thousands of years,

Tourist fed stingrays dramatically change their behavior

I had the chance to witness, on several occasions, how bears change their behaviors when people feed them (which they really shouldn’t!). Bears, who usually just avoid people, or if they feel threatened display some sort of aggressive behavior, just started to beg for food, much like a dog around Thanksgiving dinner. This dramatically altered their general behavior, and as

New theory claims Neanderthals went extinct due to larger eyes

Apparently, every month brings forth a new theory on the demise of the Neanderthals – the cookies one being that bunnies were the main culprit. This month’s theory claims that the Neanderthal skull has larger eye sockets than the human one, therefore it had bigger eyes, therefore the brain spent more of its processing power to process visual images. So

New beautifully colored monkey species discovered in Africa

This bright little fellow is known as the lesula to the local people of a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as of recently has been recognized as a new, distinct species of monkey. Lucky for the lesula, the discovery came in the nick of time for preservation efforts to be rolled, as the species faces extinction

Asian species struggling on the brink of extinction – many already gone

The world we’re living in seems to be heading towards a mass extinction, in which humanity plays a crucial role. Sadly, Asia, the largest continent in the world is one of the ‘leaders’ in terms of wildlife extinction. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Asian governments must take action to protect Asian species, which are at a crossroads –

Mammoths wiped out by multiple killers

As it turns out, no one single factor was powerful enough to wipe out the woolly mammoth – instead, a sum of factors acted towards their demise, much like many animals are threatened today. Woolly mammoths roamed the globe for 250.000 years, wandering from North America to Europe to Asia, until they were driven extinct by a multitude of culprits:

Comet might have catastrophically collided with Earth 13,000 years ago

A recently published study suggests that the Earth might have been visited by a giant space rock 13,000 years ago, an event which might have sparked an unusual cold period in the planet’s climate history. The Younger Dryas, also known as the Big Freeze, was a brief period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred some 13,000 years ago. Scientists

Tree lobster thought extinct for past 80 years is alive and well

During man’s exploits through out history, a great number of species were driven to extinction, either by excessive hunting, habitat destruction, disease or pest introductions and so on. There are currently around 11,000 animal species listed as endangered, and the list is getting ever thicker each day. During the past few decades, as awareness to the hazards of losing some

Ocean life threatened by mass extinction

Climate change and over-fishing are held responsible for the swift collapse of coral reefs and the propagation of mass extinction among marine life. According to the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), which presented the study this Tuesday to the U.N., the Earth is faced with its biggest spate of mass extinctions in millions years. “We now

Fossil of Cambrian sea predator discovered – with video

Anomalocaridids were extremely weird animals, by today’s standards; but by the standards of the Cambrian, they were the hot guys. They had a long spiny head, powerful limbs which were probably used to snag prey and a series of blade-like filaments in segments across the animal’s back, which could have functioned as gills. During the Cambrian period, there was a

Are you smarter than a Neanderthal ?

Usually, we tend to think of Neanderthals as being our bigger and stronger but not-so-intelligent cousins, but that may very well not be true; it has been shown on several occasions that Neanderthals were quite smart, and they could figure out a whole lot of things by their own, without immitating humans. In recent years, it is believed that the

A fifth of all plants threatened by extinction

It seems that more and more species are threatened by extinction, and this doesn’t apply only to animals. A recent analysis conducted the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew together with the Natural History Museum, London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded that 22% of all the plants in the world are threatened by extinction. Why is

Study shows tiger “clusters” are the last hope for species

As the dramatic decline of the tigers becomes more and more abrupt, it seems more and more possible that pretty soon, we will be living in a world without tigers. Numerous plans and various approaches have been taken, but the results have been pretty scarce so far, and the fate of these wonderful felines seems pretty dire. Just so you

Triceratops and Torosaurus were in fact the same dinosaur

A recent study conducted by a Montana State University doctoral student and one of the world’s top paleontologists shed some new light on more than 100 years of thought regarding the dinosaurs known as Triceratops and Torsaurus. The general belief since the late 1800s was that they were two separate dinosaurs: Triceratops had three horns on its skull with a