“If you think Humans are destroying the planet in a way that’s historically unprecedented, you’re suffering from a species-level delusions of grandeur.” -Annalee Newitz, Scatter Adapt, and Remember Perhaps it’s having a 3 month old baby in the house (our second), but I’ve been thinking about the apocalypse more than normal.
Here’s the thing about extinctions: They are very rarely witnessed. The last members of a species in the wild tend to go quietly into the night with no one to witness their deaths.
Remove a species from an ecosystem and other species tend to suffer. Take the giant Madagascar tortoise, for example. The two species of giant tortoises on Madagascar went extinct centuries ago, but their loss is still being felt today.
Look back on the last year of Extinction Countdown and you won’t find that many endangered species success stories. Oh, sure, they’re there, but you have to look for them.
Five years go an impressive, international group of scientists unveiled nine biological and environmental "boundaries" that humankind should not cross in order to keep the earth a livable place.
The number of exhibits combining science and art in some capacity has grown steadily since I began blogging about them in 2011. With exhibits in galleries and museums across the country, there’s something for everyone.
Is de-extinction a real possibility?
The latest update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was published Monday and, as you can imagine, it wasn’t good news. The Red List, the global inventory of species, now identifies 22,413 species as threatened with extinction around the world.
Two or more dead elephants in one place means one thing: poaching by professional killers. Another tip-off is the lack of a face, as poachers hack off the tusks to be sold for ivory.
Human actions may have caused the species’s populations to grow huge as well as led to its demise
For nearly a minute the sky went black. Then it was over. I was standing in a long alley between two four-story brick buildings on a clear sunny day.
Today marks a sad centennial: the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), a species once so abundant that their flocks blacked out the skies of North America.
A few weeks ago John Conway and your humble blog-author visited the Natural History Museum (London) to see and review the new exhibit Extinction: Not the End of the World (thanks to Becky Caruana for organising this).
First-week-of-summer highlights include tech-savvy trees, gloppy oatmeal and vast swarms of now-extinct birds
For this #MapMonday we return to Yale's Environmental Performance group, featured previously here on #MapMonday. The newly released biodiversity map brings together a whopping amount of data to detail the state (quality not just quantity) of species around the world, and while the staggering diversity of life on our planet is breathtaking (and sometimes pretty [...]
Bonobo poop matters. Well, maybe not the poop itself, but what's in it. You see, bonobos eat a lot of fruit, and fruit contains seeds. Those seeds travel through a bonobo's digestive system while the bonobo itself travels through the landscape.
Credit: An 1862 painting of a Formosan clouded leopard by Joseph Wolf, image in the public domain Source: from Could Extinct Clouded Leopards Be Reintroduced in Taiwan?
You need to have pretty good eyesight to see the tiny snails from the genus Plectostoma. These almost impossibly small gastropods from Malaysia and Thailand only reach a millimeter or two in width, but they make up for their lack of size with their stunning beauty.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the evidence that we are currently within a period of mass extinction, the kind of event that will show up in the fossil record a few million years from now as a clear discontinuity, a radical change in the diversity of life on the planet.