Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsExtinction
IN THE NEWS

Extinction

FEATURED ARTICLES
OPINION
November 30, 2009 | By Jeff Corwin
There is a holocaust happening. Right now. And it's not confined to one nation or even one region. It is a global crisis. Species are going extinct en masse. Every 20 minutes we lose an animal species. If this rate continues, by century's end, 50% of all living species will be gone. It is a phenomenon known as the sixth extinction. The fifth extinction took place 65 million years ago when a meteor smashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs and many other species and opening the door for the rise of mammals.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
April 1, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study. These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost responsible for killing off all the life on our planet, the scientists suggest. The end-Permian extinction was the most catastrophic mass extinction the Earth has ever seen. It started roughly 252 million years ago --long before the dinosaurs-- and it continued for 20,000 years.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2001
Lately I see fewer and fewer songbirds, honeybees, butterflies, moths, aphids, wasps, lacewings, beetles and even spiders--all formerly abundant in our Woodland Hills environment. Also, our unpollinated fruit trees produce less and our mockingbirds are mute. It looks as though the poison sprayers are finally winning big. Soon they'll poison us to extinction too. Don Kephart Woodland Hills
SCIENCE
March 25, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Unusual rib bones that grow out of the neck are giving scientists new clues about what caused the woolly mammoth to become extinct roughly 10,000 years ago. The so-called cervical ribs - extra rib bones that protrude from the vertebrae at the base of the neck - were about 10 times more common in mammoths living in the Late Pleistocene than they are in elephants alive today, according to a study by Dutch researchers published Tuesday in the...
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
Well, here it is, or almost, the specter that environmental scientists warn about: that we wind up killing off the one creature that can save us as a species. The ajolote , a 9-inch-long aquatic salamander, has been swimming around the waterways of Mexico City since before there was a Mexico City, since even well before the Aztecs. And it's been a powerful symbol in the legends of ancient Mexico itself. Now that long run may be coming to an end, as the canals of Xochimilco are too polluted, too full of non-native species and too degraded to support this ancient creature.
SCIENCE
March 21, 2014 | By Amina Khan
When a major extinction takes place, apex predators - those giant beasts sitting at the top of the food web - are often the first to suffer. But it turns out that in the worst extinction event in Earth's history, they might have actually branched out a little, according to a new study in PLoS ONE that looked at ancient armored amphibians and giant swimming reptiles. While the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago was a violent and dramatic end, this end-Cretaceous event wasn't the worst extinction in Earth's history.
SCIENCE
October 10, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The longer humans live, the more likely they are to push other species to the brink of extinction and, conversely, spur the rise of invasive birds and mammals species. That sobering news comes via a new study from UC Davis, published in the journal Ecology and Society. The research looked at more than two dozen variables in 100 countries - including political stability and availability of water - but concluded that human life expectancy was the key predictor of global extinctions and invasions.
SCIENCE
November 22, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A massive asteroid may have collided with Earth 251 million years ago and killed 90% of all life, an extinction even more severe than the meteorite impact believed to have snuffed out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. A new study, based on meteorite fragments in Antarctica, suggests that the greatest extinction in the planet's history may have been triggered by a mountain-sized space rock that smashed into a southern land mass.
SCIENCE
April 26, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests. The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis published Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The report noted that a separate study estimated that the number of early humans may have fallen as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 1989 | From staff and wire reports
New, more precise dating of the Manson impact crater in Iowa indicates that it was formed at the same time the dinosaurs and many other species became extinct about 65 million years ago. The new dating provides greater credibility to the hypothesis that an asteroid crashed into Earth, creating a shroud of smoke and dust that plunged the planet into global winter.
SCIENCE
March 21, 2014 | By Amina Khan
When a major extinction takes place, apex predators - those giant beasts sitting at the top of the food web - are often the first to suffer. But it turns out that in the worst extinction event in Earth's history, they might have actually branched out a little, according to a new study in PLoS ONE that looked at ancient armored amphibians and giant swimming reptiles. While the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago was a violent and dramatic end, this end-Cretaceous event wasn't the worst extinction in Earth's history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Zoo has joined a long-odds international effort to save one of nature's tough guys: the Tasmanian devil. Although possessed of sharp fangs, a powerful jaw and a carnivorous personality, the devil is on the verge of being wiped out by a rare and contagious form of cancer on its home island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia. Wildlife officials Down Under, watching in horror as the devil population moves rapidly toward extinction, decided that a public relations effort was needed to raise public awareness about the marsupial's plight . In October, four devils arrived at the San Diego Zoo on long-term loan from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia.
TRAVEL
March 14, 2014 | By Dean Kuipers
MONTALCINO, Italy - " Scusi ," I said to a well-dressed man in this medieval Tuscan village, where even the gas station was somehow part of the farming landscape. "Can you tell me how to get to Castiglion del Bosco?" "Hmm, yes," he said in English, taking my map, then, " Un momento . " He dialed his cellphone, and I realized he was asking someone for the best route. Not the first or last time we found the Italians to be incredibly helpful. "I can tell you how to get there, but my wine is much better," he said, laughing.
SCIENCE
March 13, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered the biggest underbite ever found in a mammal. It belongs to an extinct porpoise that lived on the California coast 5 million years ago. That crazy long underbite you see in the images above was not an anomaly. Scientists have found 15 specimens of this porpoise, known as Semirostrum ceruttii , all with a similarly major underbite, all from California. The fossils date from 1.5 million to 5.3 million years ago.  The protuberance is an extension of the porpoise's jaw called a symphysis that is analogous to the human chin.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
The new trailer for "Transformers: Age of Extinction" warns that "The rules have changed," but based on the images glimpsed within, there's still plenty of the robotic mayhem, booming explosions and large-scale destruction that Michael Bay and his blockbuster franchise are known for. Written by Ehren Kruger, who penned the previous two "Transformers" movies, and directed by Bay, who has directed each installment but says this fourth one will be...
SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Eureka Dunes, a towering expanse of shifting slopes wedged between weathered mountains in the Mojave Desert, had a reputation as a campground, an off-road vehicle course and a home to a few plant species found no place else on Earth. In the late 1970s, the dunes earned a reputation as an area where the Eureka Valley evening primrose and Eureka dune grass were listed as federally endangered species to protect them from being driven to extinction by off-road vehicle recreation. On Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the plants be removed from the list because their populations have stabilized in a region that became part of Death Valley National Park in 1994.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 1996
I read your article about the new dinosaur water ride, Jurassic Park, at Universal Studios ("Where Dinosaurs Rule," June 15) and waited in eagerness to ride it. I've read the articles and watched the shows and viewed the commercials about what I would see and the millions of dollars that went into the construction. My head reeled with anticipation. Finally, the day arrived and I made it through the park, down the hill and got into the Jurassic Park line. OK, I'm in my big yellow boat; I'm climbing the hill; the gates open.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2008 | Philip Brandes and David C. Nichols
Contemplating the fragility of life at the individual, racial and species levels, EM Lewis' new drama, "Song of Extinction," artfully balances its theme of mortality between the intimate and the macroscopic. Revolving around the tenuous connection between an alienated high school biology teacher and a troubled student, Lewis' lyrical text explores inner psychological states with remarkable eloquence and clarity -- ably depicted by a first-rate Moving Arts cast. The teacher, Khim Phan (Darrell Kunitomi)
NEWS
February 19, 2014 | Michelle Maltais
Reports of the demise of clowns in America might be as exaggerated as the expressions on their brightly painted faces and the oversized shoes on their feet. "There is no shortage," said World Clown Assn. Vice President Bob Neil, emphasizing each word. "If there were fewer clowns, I'd be a rich man. " On Wednesday, a story from the Daily News in New York declared the advent of a national clown shortage as those seemingly ageless faces under all the makeup start to wrinkle.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Even if the rom-com "Cavemen" wasn't opening a week after the similarly themed "That Awkward Moment," it would still feel like yesterday's news. At least "Awkward," contrived and mediocre as that Zac Efron vehicle is, has some It-boy sheen. "Cavemen" writer-director Herschel Faber has sketched such a thin and unfunny look at L.A. singles, it should mark the death knell for movies about child-men on the make. Meet aspiring screenwriter Dean (Skylar Astin), a decent sort blessed with not one but two jerky circles of guy pals.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|