Collectively, the world's last 20 Christmas Island pipistrelle bats ( Pipistrellus murrayi ) weigh less than a fifth of a pound (around 60 grams). That's not much mass for any species – let alone one on the razor's edge of extinction.
The rabbit-like American pika ( Ochotona princeps ) got lucky this week. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, responding to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice, has agreed to assess whether the increasingly rare animal qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Biologists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week that they were unable to find a pair of previously common Guatemalan salamander species -- Pseudoeurycea brunnata and Pseudoeurycea goebeli -- and say they are apparently extinct.
Coral reefs are dying off at record rates, thanks to pollution, disease and global warming. Scientists worldwide are trying to come up with new ideas to conserve and protect not just the coral reefs, but also the biodiversity and human economies that depend upon them for their survival.
Few species have come as close to extinction as the milu ( Elaphurus davidianus ) and survived. For centuries, the rare Chinese animal, also known as Père David's deer, has existed only in captivity.
The last Pyrenean ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) died nine years ago, the victim of loneliness (and a falling tree). But for a brief, seven-minute window, the extinct species may have recently been resurrected, thanks to cloning.
It may be the end of the road for an endangered species of rabbit. After eight years and several million dollars, federal officials will likely halt a program by the end of this year designed to save the Columbia basin pygmy rabbit from extinction, according to the Associated Press.
Yesterday was Groundhog Day, but what about Prairie Dog Day?
The prairie dog—the "groundhog of the West"—could use a little attention these days.
STAFFBehind the scenes at Scientific AmericanRead
Anecdotes from the Archive
Anthropology in Practice
Exploring the human condition.Read
Insights into intelligence, creativity, personality, and well-beingRead
Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kidsRead
Critical views of science in the newsRead
Dark Star Diaries
Explore the science behind the dog in your bedRead
News and research about endangered species from around the worldRead
Frontiers for Young Minds
Science by and for kids ages 8-15Read
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Climate science in a changing worldRead
Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday DeceptionsRead
Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiologyRead
MIND Guest Blog
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American MindRead
Not bad science
New discoveries in animal behavior and cognitionRead
Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific AmericanRead
More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our livesRead
Roots of Unity
Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.Read
Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.Read
STAFFIllustrating science since 1845Read
STAFFA science blog, sans blagueRead
Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinctRead
The Artful Amoeba
A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on EarthRead
Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.Read