A white deer mouse on sand surrounded by plants
Are We In the Midst of a Silent Mass Extinction?
A new modeling technique aims to help scientists and policymakers detect declines in genetic diversity based on habitat loss.
Are We In the Midst of a Silent Mass Extinction?
Are We In the Midst of a Silent Mass Extinction?

A new modeling technique aims to help scientists and policymakers detect declines in genetic diversity based on habitat loss.

A new modeling technique aims to help scientists and policymakers detect declines in genetic diversity based on habitat loss.

extinction
Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Amanda Heidt | Aug 15, 2022
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.
Dinosaur Fossil (Tyrannosaurus Rex) Found by Archaeologists
Are We in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction?
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 18, 2022
Today’s extinction rates are sky-high. But scientists debate if that’s sufficient evidence to conclude that Earth is undergoing a mass extinction event—or whether that’s even a helpful designation.
Photo of Colin Carlson
Colin Carlson Works to Predict and Prevent Viral Spillover
Catherine Offord | Jul 18, 2022
The Georgetown University biologist studies how climate change contributes to the emergence of new zoonotic threats.
Illustration of creatures from today’s crisis
Infographic: A Look at the Big Five Mass Extinctions
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 18, 2022
Extinction is a natural part of life on Earth. But occasionally, extinction rates have surged far beyond usual levels, driving mass extinction events that have reshaped the trajectory of life.
portrait of Marilyn Fogel in front of bookcase
Marilyn Fogel, Biogeochemist and “Isotope Queen,” Dies at 69
Andy Carstens | May 25, 2022
Fogel mined information from isotopes to explore modern and ancient ecosystems, climatic changes, and evolution.
leatherback sea turtle making its way across a beach
Fifteen-Year Project Quantifies Threat to Reptiles
Shawna Williams | Apr 28, 2022
The study estimates that one-fifth of reptile species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
Gasteranthus extinctus, a plant with bright orange flowers and deep green leaves
Science Snapshot: Not “Extinctus” After All
Lisa Winter | Apr 19, 2022
Assumed to have gone extinct more than 30 years ago, Gasteranthus extinctus has been rediscovered by scientists working in Ecuador.
An artistic rendering of a dinosaur fleeing a wall of water
Cretaceous Meteor That Killed Most Life on Earth Hit in Spring
Amanda Heidt | Feb 24, 2022
Researchers determined the season during which the meteor struck by studying the bones of fish excavated from a contentious field site.
man sitting outdoors
E.O. Wilson, Renowned Ant Researcher, Dies at 92
Chloe Tenn | Dec 27, 2021
The naturalist was recognized for his work on social behavior and pheromones in ants and as a champion of wildlife conservation.
Fossils of African Fauna
African, Arabian Mammals Didn’t Escape Grande Coupure Extinction
Chloe Tenn | Nov 8, 2021
More than two-thirds of mammals in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula went extinct during the Eocene-Oligocene transition some 30 million years ago, a study finds.
Astragalus nitidiflorus inaturalist extinct plant conservation taxonomy
Seventeen “Extinct” European Plant Species Found Alive
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 11, 2021
Plant species officially reported to be lost are in fact persevering in the wild, in seed banks or botanical gardens, or as other species now recognized to be taxonomic synonyms.
a Tasmanian devil peaks out of a hollow log
How to Reintroduce a Long-Lost Species
Shawna Williams | Oct 20, 2020
Conservation biologist John Ewen discusses the recent reintroduction of Tasmanian devils to mainland Australia after a 3,000-year absence and issues that need to be considered when bringing long-departed animals back into an area.
elephant herbivore extinction risk predator omnivore iucn red list
Risk of Extinction Is Greatest for Large Herbivores: Study
Ruth Williams | Aug 5, 2020
Data on vertebrate species that have become, or are likely to become, extinct reveal plant eaters are most under threat.
Innovative Birds Face a Lower Risk of Extinction
Michael Graw | Jul 13, 2020
Species that come up with new ways to find food may be more likely to survive in habitats disturbed by agriculture and other human activities.
Image of the Day: Bear Sinuses
Amy Schleunes | Apr 10, 2020
A new study finds that the extinct European cave bear’s large sinuses represent a tradeoff between hibernation length and the flexibility of their diets.
Poisoning Suspected in Recent Hooded Vulture Deaths
Amy Schleunes | Mar 11, 2020
Experts warn that an explosion of hooded vulture deaths in Guinea-Bissau could push the critically endangered species to the brink of extinction.
Climate Change Linked to Drop in Bumble Bee Numbers: Study
Lisa Winter | Feb 7, 2020
The rate of population decline is outpacing the ability of the bees to find a new habitat.
asteroid
New Evidence Points to Asteroid as Cause of Dinosaur Extinction
Amy Schleunes | Jan 17, 2020
Carbon cycle modeling and paleotemperature records argue that an asteroid impact—not volcanic fumes—was the main driver of the dinosaur die-off.
Homo sapiens Might Not Be Responsible for Neanderthal Demise
Catherine Offord | Nov 29, 2019
Researchers’ simulations suggest that small population sizes and inbreeding made Neanderthal populations vulnerable to chance fluctuations in population size.