Something strange is happening to the oceans. As coral reefs wither and fisheries collapse, octopuses are multiplying like mad. As soon as they perceive weakness, they will amass an army and invade the land, too.
How the dinosaurs went extinct is a contentious topic of endless scientific debate. Were they killed by a giant asteroid, a rash of volcanic eruptions, or some deadly combination of the two? Or, perhaps, we’ve been thinking about the problem all wrong.
If we want to know what sorts of creatures will survive the next mass extinction, the best place to look is the fossil record. After examining the bones of Lystrosaurus, a vertebrate that famously thrived during the worst apocalypse in the history of life on Earth, a team of paleontologists think they know how it…
A hundred million years ago, ichthyosaurs—massive marine reptiles that look like a dolphin mated with a fish—ruled Earth’s oceans. But nearly 30 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs, these badass predators vanished. It wasn’t an asteroid that killed the ichthyosaurs, so what did?
For twenty years, the deadly fungal disease Bd has been wiping out amphibians across the world. But a new study offers hope that some frogs will be spared, thanks in part to an unexpected savior: climate change.
In an first-of-its-kind victory, a team of biologists has figured out how to clear ponds of the lethal chytrid fungus that’s decimating amphibian populations worldwide. (Spoiler: It’s pretty damn intense).
The only Wyoming toads in the world live in Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Wyoming, where they were common until the 1970s, hopping around at the edges of creeks, ponds, and small lakes. Then they started to disappear.
Kawekaweau was a giant forest gecko in New Zealand. Only one person had seen a living specimen—and he’d killed it. Then a stuffed gecko turned up in a museum, in France. No one knows where it came from.
The extinction of the mammoths in Eurasia occurred at the end of the Pleistocene. They didn’t die alone. A lot of different megafauna, including cave bears and giant sloths, went extinct at roughly the same time. There are plenty of theories on why mammoths went extinct: climate change, disease, geological upheaval,…
Earlier this week, we learned that Earth’s coral reefs are in the midst of a massive dieoff, triggered by abnormally hot temperatures in ocean basins worldwide. It’s hardly the first time in recent history that we’ve witnessed a widespread coral bleaching event, and it won’t be the last. In several decades, coral…
Many scientists believe that the Earth is approaching another mass extinction event. Between deforestation, pollution, hunting, and general human encroachment, all sorts of species are at risk of going extinct. In this week’s future, humans give up on saving species where they live and instead put them in armored zoos.
Rhino horn is more precious than gold on the black market, and our insatiable demand for the stuff has driven rhinos to the brink of extinction. Now a Seattle-based startup has a radical plan to save these incredible animals: Using synthetic biology to manufacture rhino horns in the lab.
Volcanoes are often painted as harbingers of destruction—and for good reason. But sometimes, they can help life survive, by feeding energy-starved ecosystems elemental carbon.
Around 100 red wolves roam wild in North Carolina, but not for much longer if the state government has its way. Pending federal approval, they plan to round them up and force them into captivity.
Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in time, according to new research conducted in part by the American Museum of Natural History. The study, published today in Biological Reviews, builds a new narrative of the prehistoric creatures'…
Chances are you won't see these rare animals at the local zoo because their population is down to the last hundreds. In some cases, it's much worse than that with only a couple left. Some of these animals you've never heard of but others on the verge of extinction are related to animals you know and love—like certain…
"Just described 'microjewel' snail in extinction danger," announces NewScientist. Every time I see a headline like that and I look a the picture, it really makes me sad. Just admire that beautiful, delicate little beast. Which secrets will this soon-to-be-gone species take away with it?
A week of calamity in landscapes reads! Did microbes cause the largest mass extinction in earth's history? Why is California sinking? What did we learn from the biggest earthquake in America fifty years ago? And, closer to home, how dangerous should a playground be?
The advent of the railroad collapsed our notions of time and space, and it carved out entire industries whole—we of the 21st century have only the internet for comparison. It also swallowed entire species: The story of how railroads drove the passenger pigeon to extinction—and bison to the brink of it—is a story of…