Extinction

A mouse lemur grasps onto a tree branch in Madagascar. Scientists looked to characteristics in such modern primates to form a hypothesis about how primates behaved after an asteroid wiped out non-avian dinosaurs.

Soon After Dinosaur Decimation, Our Primate Ancestors Began Pouncing on Prey

Nails helped them climb trees quietly, and forward-facing eyes helped with depth perception to aid in precise leaping

Researchers believe woolly mammoths walked into North America 100,000 years ago.

Alaska

Alaska Couple Finds Massive Mammoth Bone After Storm

Typhoon Merbok’s flooding and winds revealed the complete femur, lying in the mud

The Panamanian golden frog is now extinct in the wild due to a disease caused by a fungus known as Bd or chytrid

Amphibian Plague Led to Malaria Surge in Humans

A new study marks the first time the frog pandemic has been linked to human health

One reader wonders: Why did ants make it all over the Americas while anteaters didn’t?

 

Why Do Anteaters Live Only in the Tropics and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

A cheetah at Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia

Cheetahs Arrive in India After 70 Years of Local Extinction

As part of an ambitious reintroduction plan, conservationists flew in eight of the big cats from Namibia

Dugongs have disappeared from waters off of China.

Dugongs Are ‘Functionally Extinct’ in China, Research Suggests

Scientists found no verified sightings of the massive marine mammals in the region since 2000

A second asteroid may have struck the dinosaurs at the end of Cretaceous period, around 66 million years ago

The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid May Have Had a Companion

A newly discovered crater suggests a second impact that would have triggered underwater landslides and tsunamis

Thylacines were dog-like, carnivorous marsupials.

Why the Idea of Bringing the Tasmanian Tiger Back From Extinction Draws So Much Controversy

Using gene-editing technology, researchers hope to “de-extinct” the iconic marsupial carnivore

An illustration of A. nikolovi 

Cool Finds

These Extinct Pandas Once Roamed Bulgaria

The bears are a close relative of today's giant pandas and likely ate soft plant materials, not bamboo

Researcher David Webster of the University of North Carolina Wilmington prepares the bones of an Atlantic gray whale for transfer to the National Museum of Natural History.

Scientists Find Most Complete Atlantic Gray Whale Skeleton Ever

The fossil, uncovered in North Carolina, shows signs of butchering

A skeleton of the giant Triassic ichthyosaur Shonisaurus popularis hangs in the Nevada State Museum.

Whale-Sized Marine Reptiles Once Ruled the Seas

Paleontologists are beginning to learn how and why ichthyosaurs evolved into giants

A Tuatara in New Zealand

One in Five Reptiles Worldwide Are Threatened With Extinction

Researchers assessed over 10,000 species in a comprehensive new study

A snorkeler comes face to face with a humpback whale. If humans work to halt climate change, that may help prevent another mass extinction event in the oceans.

Without Action on Climate, Another Mass Extinction Event Will Likely Happen in the World's Oceans

Marine species at the poles will face increasing pressure if warming isn’t curbed

An Edmontosaurus herd grazes in a forest.

The Last Day of a Doomed Dinosaur

The young, eighteen-foot-long Edmontosaurus had no idea about his fate as he grazed in a forest

The dinosaur leg fossil will be featured in an upcoming BBC documentary special premiering April 15. 

Paleontologists Find Fossilized Remains of a Dinosaur Possibly Killed in Earth's Fifth Mass Extinction Event

The leg bone is one of many other specimens uncovered at the North Dakota site

Officials found thousands of taxidermy animals in a warehouse outside of Valencia, including specimens of cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow leopard and white rhinoceros.

Police Find 1,090 Taxidermy Animals in a Private Collection in Spain

The animals include about 400 protected species

Reconstruction of debris surging into the Tanis River as impact spherules rain down from the sky. A dinosaur tries to get away from the disaster.

Asteroid That Decimated the Dinosaurs Struck in Spring

Clues from fossil fish help scientists pinpoint the season when Earth’s fifth mass extinction began

One reader wonders if European modernists thought of the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe as a remarkable artist.
 

Ask Smithsonian

Was Georgia O'Keeffe's Genius Appreciated Outside of America? And More Questions From Our Readers

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The tyrannosaur Nanuqsaurus, which lived in the Arctic, with its young. New evidence suggests dinosaurs nested in the cold, dark region.

The Top Ten Dinosaur Discoveries of 2021

The key finds and moments in a year packed with amazing stories about the terrible lizards

The tentacled butterfly ray hadn’t been documented since 1986, but in 2019 Mohsen Rezaie-Atagholipour started finding them hidden as by-catch in Iranian shrimpers’ catch.

Presumed Extinct Tentacled Butterfly Ray Is Found

Scientists were shocked to find the species holding out in the water off Iran

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