Extinction

The endangered blobfish, once named world's ugliest animal, has leveraged its unusual looks to win the Internet's adoration. Can other less-traditionally appealing creatures do the same?

When It Comes to Conservation, Are Ugly Animals a Lost Cause?

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but good marketing can do wonders

In 2001, Smithsonian scientists Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide traveled to the Grove in Glenview, Illinois, Robert Kennicott's boyhood home, to open the naturalist's casket and determine the cause of his death.

Smithsonian's Behind-the-Scenes 'Sidedoor' Podcast Returns for Second Season

New episodes explore a 150-year-old cold case, the history of beer, war photography and more

New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguins May Be in Trouble

A new study estimates that the beloved birds could disappear locally within 25 years

The newly born red wolf pups

Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born in Durham

The six puppies are the first born at Museum of Life and Science in 15 years, part of a program to save the wolves which only number about 300

Aurochs illustration from Sigismund von Herberstein's book published in 1556

When the Nazis Tried to Bring Animals Back From Extinction

Their ideology of genetic purity extended to aspirations about reviving a pristine landscape with ancient animals and forests

Outside of the U.S., international whale capture is alive and well.

What Will It Take to End International Killer Whale Capture?

The West may have rejected whale captivity, but the painful relationship between humans and orcas is far from over

Woolly mammoth restoration at the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia.

Genes of the Last Woolly Mammoths Were Riddled with Bad Mutations, Study Finds

Before they died out, they lost their sense of smell and suffered from heartburn

This diminutive mammal could soon go extinct.

Only 30 of the World’s Most Adorable Porpoise Are Left on Earth

As “the panda of the sea” hurtles toward extinction, scientists stage a last-ditch effort to save the species

An illustration of Australia's past megafauna.

Changing Climate, Not Humans, Killed Australia’s Massive Mammals

But that mass extinction could help us predict what today’s human-wrought climate change may bring

Two thylacines at the Smithsonian National Zoo around 1905. A thylacine brain from the Smithsonian Institution was scanned as part of a study to learn more about the extinct marsupial, but it is unclear whether that brain belonged to one of the animals pictured.

How Scientists Reconstructed the Brain of a Long-Extinct Beast

This dog-like marsupial went extinct 80 years ago, but its preserved brains help us glean how its mind worked

Scimitar-horned oryx being released into their holding pen in Chad last March

Second Group of the Once-Extinct African Oryx to Be Released Into the Wild

Hunting wiped out wild populations of the scimitar-horned creatures, but breeding programs are helping them make a comeback

Illustration of the hyolith Haplophrentis

Tiny Cone-Shaped Creature Gets a Twig on the Tree of Life

Hyoliths have confused scientists for 175 years, but researchers have finally worked out a few of their close relatives

Giraffes Silently Slip Onto the Endangered Species List

Years of habitat destruction and poaching have reduced giraffe numbers by 30 percent, placing them in the vulnerable category for the first time

What Really Killed Off the Woolly Mammoth?

What caused woolly mammoths to die-off so quickly? New evidence suggests an unfavorable climate may have drove them to extinction

Before the recent reintroductions of P-horses, the last confirmed sighting in the wild was in 1969.

The Remarkable Comeback of Przewalski's Horse

Once nearly extinct, the population of these wild horses has rebounded on the dusty steppes of Mongolia

Many scientists believe we are standing on the edge of an unprecedented era of extinction.

Why Should Humans Care if We're Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction?

In this episode of Generation Anthropocene, learn what a new era of extinction means for diverse species—including our own

The three-spine stickleback usually forages and builds its nest near the lake bottom. But in Enos Lake, it appears to have merged with a related species that spends its time near the surface.

Extinction or Evolution? The Answer Isn't Always Clear

The same factors that kill off some species cause others to evolve at lightning speed

A black and white ruffed lemur in Madagascar's Vakona Forest Reserve. Worldwide, primates are particularly prone to overhunting, according to the first global assessment of bush meat hunting trends.

A New Report Says We're Hunting the World's Mammals to Death. What Can Be Done?

Solutions are multifaceted and region-specific, but conservation researchers have some ideas

Botswana Unexpectedly Reverses Course on Ivory Trade

The southern African nation now supports protection for the animals instead of limited sales of ivory

Toughie

Adiós, Toughie: The Last Known Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog Dies in Atlanta

Since his discovery in 2005, Toughie the frog has been the face of amphibian extinction

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