Woolly mammoths were icons of the Ice Age. Starting 700,000 years ago to just 4,000 years ago, they trundled across the chilly steppe of Eurasia and North America. As ancient glaciers expanded across the Northern Hemisphere, these beasts survived the rapidly cooling temperatures with cold-resistant traits, a characteristic they came by not through evolution, as earlier thought. Woolly mammoths, a new Nature study finds, inherited the traits that made them so successful from a mammoth species closer to a million years old.
A new study finds further evidence that humans are driving the world’s sixth mass extinction. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, this research focuses on terrestrial vertebrates—amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles—and found that more than 500 species are “on the brink of extinction,” per the paper. Continue reading More Than 500 Vertebrate Species Are on the Brink of ‘Biological Annihilation’
The tropics are the most biodiverse part of the world. Some tropical rainforests are home to more species than entire continents, and tropical coral reefs are believed to have the highest biodiversity of any marine ecosystem on the planet. But thanks to human action—specifically, the actions of the fossil fuel industry, Big Ag, and other planet-destroying corporations—those ecosystems are facing collapse.
With three northern white rhinos left in the world, the only male is gravely ill, raising fears the subspecies is getting closer to extinction.
The sixth mass extinction—the one that seven billion humans are doing their darnedest to trigger at this very moment—is shaping up to be like nothing our planet has ever seen. That’s the conclusion of a sweeping new analysis, which compared marine fossil records from Earth’s five previous mass extinction events to what’s happening in the oceans right now.
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.
Sumatran rhinos had been thought extinct from Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, and hadn’t been physically encountered in the area for 40 years. But on Tuesday, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)announced the safe capture of a female Sumatran rhino there, in what the group calls “a major milestone for rhino conservation in Indonesia.”