Late Pleistocene extinction of large animals driven by excessive moisture

Analysis of ancient bones holds the key to the cause of extinction of many megafaunal animals—such as giant sloths and saber-toothed cats—over 11,000 years ago. A new study suggests that a sudden rapid increase in moisture, possibly resulting from melting permafrost and glaciers, occurred right before these large animals became extinct. An international team of […]

How gentoo penguins faced extinction three times—and survived

Over the past 7000 years, gentoo penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula have been wiped out to near extinction by a volcanic eruption—not once, but three times, according to new research. The study also suggests it took the colony between 400 and 800 years to recover from each event. Researchers made this startling discovery while analyzing […]

Solving the Disappearance of the Ichthyosaur

The Ichthyosaur, a dolphin-like reptile, ruled the oceans at the time of the dinosaurs, but then disappeared from the fossil record. Now new research seems to have figured out why. Their demise appears to be the result of climate change and a slow rate of evolution. Ichthyosaurs became extinct 90 million years ago, 28 million […]

Ancient hedgehogs and tiny tapirs in BC

Newly described fossils from the eocene epoch – between 50 and 53 million years ago –  found in British Columbia’s Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park provide evidence of hedgehogs and tapirs, two species that today are absent from North America. The fossils help fill an important gap as the only other North American fossil localities yielding […]

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