Elephants are majestic, amazing creatures, but they could be in trouble, along with other species of large mammals. If they disappear, we’d be robbed of the chance to see these giant animals roaming the Earth in their awe-inspiring glory.
While the Sumerians were inventing writing over five thousand years ago, one of the last populations of wooly mammoths was making a desperate bid for survival on a remote Aleutian island. Now, we know how they died.
We’ve heard a lot of buzz recently about the Anthropocene, the geologic epoch of man and machine. Does it exist? Are we in it right now? Later this summer, the International Stratigraphic Union will convene and attempt to answer these weighty questions.
Say goodbye to the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rat-like creature that lived on a tiny island near the north coast of Australia. Significantly, it marks the first time that a mammal has been declared extinct anywhere in the world, and the cause has been attributed to human-induced climate change.
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.
There are plenty of strange, beautiful, and altogether unusual animals living amongst us today, but a look through the annals of Earth's ancient history reveals that, when it comes to interesting animals, we missed out. Here's a collection of the some most improbable creatures that once walked the Earth.
Dinosaurs may capture the most attention, but there are all kinds of strange, amazing, and gone animals — ranging from the Wooly Mammoth to giant armadillo Glyptodon —that are just as fascinating. Today, we want to know which one you most would have liked to see.
Until 1996, the ancient horse you see above was designated as extinct in the wild. By 2008, their condition had been upgraded to critically endangered, and today, the IUCN notes that Przewalski's horse population continues to increase. Here's how it happened — and the role zoos played in bringing them back.