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 rates
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.
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.
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.
Study: Plant Species Lost at Alarming Rate
Jef Akst | Jun 11, 2019
The most extensive global survey of plant extinctions to date reveals cause for concern.
Image of the Day: The Last Sloth
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Nov 16, 2017
An artist’s impression suggests what the Caribbean may have looked like before humans arrived. 
Capsule Reviews
Bob Grant | Mar 1, 2014
The Sixth Extinction, Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love, Ha! The Science of When we Laugh and Why, and Ten Thousand Birds
Drivers of Tropical Diversity
Erin Weeks | Sep 10, 2013
Researchers pinpoint rapid speciation, reduced extinction rates as reasons for increased diversity among tropical amphibians.
Old New Species
Edyta Zielinska | Nov 20, 2012
Decades can pass between the discovery of a new animal or plant and its official debut in the scientific literature.
Extinction Risk for Invertebrates
Jef Akst | Sep 4, 2012
A new report estimates that human activities as well as other factors are threatening 20 percent of all invertebrate species, including corals and freshwater snails.
Conserving Our Shared Heritage
Thomas E. Lovejoy | Oct 1, 2011
Reversing catastrophic threats to our planet’s biodiversity is not optional: our lives depend on it.