Dinosaur Fossil (Tyrannosaurus Rex) Found by Archaeologists
Are We in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction?
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.
Are We in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction?
Are We in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction?

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.

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.

species
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.
Vector drawing of a tropical rainforest with diverse trees
More Than 9,000 Tree Species Await Scientific Description
Christie Wilcox | Feb 1, 2022
A new study of tree biodiversity estimates that Earth boasts 14 percent more tree species than previous efforts have identified.
SLIDESHOW
Photo of a long-tongued fly
Researchers Identify Novel Long-Tongued Fly Species
Nick Dall | Feb 1, 2022
The discovery that what was long believed to be one fly species is actually two deepens researchers’ understanding of plant-pollinator relationships in a unique habitat in southern Africa.
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.
Newly named jellyfish Tima nigroannulata swimming in Japan’s Kamo Aquarium.
Aquarium Jellyfish Turns Out to Be Undescribed Species
Lisa Winter | Jun 18, 2021
The newly characterized “elegant jellyfish,” roughly the size of a human hand, had been on display in two aquariums in Japan for more than a decade.
A reticulated giraffe in Samburu National Park, Kenya
Whole-Genome Data Point to Four Species of Giraffe
Ruth Williams | May 6, 2021
The genome sequences of 51 giraffes from all over Africa contribute to the latest attempt in an ongoing pursuit to pin down a species number.
Sponge Names for Sale, Proceeds to go to Conservation Efforts
Asher Jones | May 1, 2021
A tidy-up of a New Zealand storage room led to the sale of naming rights for three new-to-science Galápagos Islands species.
Infographic: Animals of Different Species Hybridize
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2021
The offspring of crosses between related species can sometimes fill a new environmental niche, and such hybridizations may even lead to speciation.
Researchers Propose Automating the Naming of Novel Microbes
Jef Akst | Mar 1, 2021
With modern technologies unearthing novel bacterial and archaeal species by the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands, manually naming them all is no longer practical, scientists say.
lynika strozier field museum chicago dna species liverwort madagascar covid-19 coronavirus pandemic
Biologist Lynika Strozier Dies
Claire Jarvis | Jun 18, 2020
The Field Museum researcher and biology instructor, who died of complications associated with COVID-19, used DNA sequencing to identify new species of plants and birds.
Slideshow: Images from The World Beneath
Richard Smith | Nov 5, 2019
See a world of undersea splendor through the lens of Richard Smith.
Trump Administration Weakens Endangered Species Protections
Ashley Yeager | Aug 13, 2019
Enforcement of the Endangered Species Act will be altered, easing protections for the most critically threatened plants and animals.
atlantic killifish Fundulus heteroclitus
Killifish Survive Polluted Waters Thanks to Genes from Another Fish
Emma Yasinski | May 6, 2019
Gulf killifish have made a stunning comeback in Houston with the help of genetic mutations imported from interspecies mating with Atlantic killifish.
Frog-Killing Chytrid Fungus Far Deadlier than Scientists Realized
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 29, 2019
A survey reveals the disease has decimated populations in Central and South America and tropical Australia and contributed to the extinction of 90 species.
Scientists Push for a Moratorium on Human Germline Editing
Ashley Yeager | Mar 13, 2019
After the reported birth of CRISPRed babies in China, experts want to take time to consider the scientific, social, ethical, and philosophical consequences of editing heritable human DNA.
Mysterious Killer Whales Observed off Chilean Coast
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 8, 2019
These Type D killer whales have blunter heads and a different color pattern than other orcas. A new species designation hinges on the results of genetic testing.
Tortoise Not Seen for 113 Years Found on Galapagos Island
Carolyn Wilke | Feb 25, 2019
Chelonoidis phantasticus, or the Fernandina giant tortoise, was feared extinct until an expedition found a lone female in a remote area on the island of Fernandina.
Image of the Day: Seeing is Bee-lieving
Carolyn Wilke | Feb 22, 2019
Four decades after it was thought to have disappeared in the wild, scientists have found a single female Wallace’s giant bee in Indonesia.
New Global Trade Route Could Shuttle Invasive Species
K.V. Venkatasubramanian | Feb 19, 2019
China’s ongoing Belt and Road Initiative passes through areas that are already at risk of swapping organisms.