This UN Treaty Would Tackle the Climate and Extinction Crises

The animals need saving. From fires, from deforestation, and from climate change, of course. That’s why the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity released on Monday its first draft of an update to the global biodiversity treaty. These targets are just as much about people as they are about wildlife. Read More >>

After Saving a Species Through Sheer Horniness, This Tortoise is Heading Home

One absolute unit of a tortoise is retiring from his rampant sex crusade after practically single-handedly saving his species from extinction. Read More >>

All the Species Declared Extinct This Decade

Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises, died in 2012. George’s story is the perfect extinction story. It features a charismatic character with a recognisable face, an obvious villain, and the tireless efforts of naturalists. Read More >>

Scientists Sequence the Genome of an Extinct Parakeet

Researchers have produced the first whole genome of the Carolina parakeet, a recently extinct parrot native to the United States. The bird’s DNA reveals that humans (and probably humans alone) brought about its abrupt extinction. Read More >>

Humans Alone Were Responsible For This Big Atlantic Seabird’s Extinction, New Evidence Shows

One of the northern hemisphere’s most famous extinct birds could have disappeared at the hands of humans and humans alone. Read More >>

Scientists Could Soon Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth – But Should They?

Bringing an extinct species back to life was once firmly in the realm of science fiction, but as genetic engineering advances rapidly, the prospect of a woolly mammoth again breathing and walking on Earth seems almost within reach. Before fully resurrecting the mammoth, synthetic biologists at the Revive and Restore project are working to resuscitate pieces of ancient genomes with the goal of mixing them with the DNA of living species (Asian elephants—their closest living relatives) in an attempt to create “proxy species”—animals that display the traits of the ancient original. Read More >>

This Newly Discovered Mastodon Species Roamed California for Millions of Years

If you ponder mammoths, certain species of which died out a mere 3,000 or so years ago, their existence is but a breath away from our own. Echoes of their lives can be seen in today’s elephants, which lumber across our world in ways that might not be so different than their ancient relatives. Mammoths are almost tangible in that way. Read More >>

New Clues May Explain Why This Fearsome Marsupial Lion Disappeared From Australia

New research suggests it was climate change—not human activity—that caused Thylacoleo carnifex, an Australian marsupial lion, to go extinct. Read More >>

New Story, Same Big Old Bird

Madagascar’s history contains some truly enormous animals, from giant lemurs to giant tortoises. The island was also home to 10-foot-tall flightless birds, which sadly disappeared hundreds of years ago. But how we humans classified those birds was, well, a mess. Read More >>

Michael Peña’s Alien Invasion Movie Extinction Is Mostly Terrible 

The new Netflix film Extinction stars Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan as a married couple who try to keep their family alive during a mysterious alien invasion. It’s the kind of premise that makes you think “Oh, I’m gonna watch the hell out of Extinction.” So I did. However, when the final credits rolled, two things were abundantly clear: I totally understood why everyone involved would want to make this movie—and also, why no one should have. Read More >>

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Ant-Man’s Michael Peña Saves the World in Netflix’s First Extinction Trailer

Night after night, a father has terrible dreams. Dreams of death. Invasion. Destruction. Then, those dreams start to become reality and he’ll stop at nothing to save his family. That’s the plot of Extinction, a new Netflix sci-fi film that just got its first trailer. Read More >>

Some Good News About the Worst Mass Extinction in Earth’s History

If the fact that the Earth is careening toward a sixth mass extinction event makes you uncomfortable, good news: it turns out, the biosphere may have rebounded “quickly” after the worst mass extinction in history. That, at least, is the implication of one remarkable fossil assemblage formed less than 2 million years after the so-called Great Dying. Read More >>

The World’s Largest Shark Had a Fatal Appetite For Dwarf Whales

Megalodon, the largest shark to have ever terrorised our planet’s oceans, may have gone extinct owing to its limited dietary preference for dwarf whales, according to new research. Read More >>

Yet Another Reason the Dinosaurs Were Screwed

Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? We may never be completely sure, although a giant asteroid and a bunch of enormous volcanic eruptions probably had a lot to do with it. But here’s another factor you may not have considered: too much time in the egg. Read More >>