The famous deaths of moas and dodos has fed a narrative in which humans are agents of extinction for island-dwelling animals. But research suggests this only recently became the case.
A feral donkey in the Sonoran Desert.
Incredibly, once the wells dried up some became nurseries for the germination and establishment of wetland trees.
Forest elephants in Gabon.
In Gabon’s Lopé National Park, between 1986 and 2018, there’s been a massive collapse in tree fruiting events.
A new study shows Palorchestes had unique elbows unlike any other mammal, which may have contributed to its extinction.
Jaime Bran/Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
This newly discovered ancient monk seal is challenging previous theories about how and where monachine seals evolved. It’s the biggest breakthrough in seal evolution research in about 70 years.
Tooth fossils from NSW have confirmed sauropods weren’t exclusive to Queensland. They’re also providing a first look at how these colossal dinosaurs fed from Australia’s land.
Several theories have suggested either humans, climate change or both drove megafauna extinctions in Southeast Asia. Our newest work suggests otherwise.
The extinct Mukupirna - which translates to ‘big bones’ - is estimated to have been more than four times larger than any living wombat.
Life and death in tropical Australia, 40,000 years ago. Giant reptiles ruled northern Australia during the Pleistocene with mega-marsupials as their prey.
Image Credit: R. Bargiel, V. Konstantinov, A. Atuchin & S. Hocknull (2020). Queensland Museum.
These megafauna were the largest land animals to live in Australia since the time of the dinosaurs.
Unlike mammoths, bison survived in Alaska at the end of the last ice age.
The historical record is full of surprises – and it could encourage conservationists to think more creatively.
Overhunting of megafauna such as mammoths may have force us to take up farming, ultimately leading to modern society
When freshwater dried up, so did many megafauna species.
Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
A drying climate and the arrival of people together finished off Australia’s megafauna.
Extinction of the woolly mammoth and other megafauna caused surviving animals to go their separate ways.
After the woolly mammoth and other megafauna became extinct, surviving animals mingled less. This has big implications for modern conservation.
Naya was a mother to the first Belgian-born cubs in over a century. All are now thought to be dead.
Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock
Europe is getting wilder as more people live in cities, but Naya’s death shows this trend may have limits.
Simosthenurus occidentalis had a body like a kangaroo, a face like a koala, and a bite like a panda.
A new analysis of an extinct giant kangaroo skull suggests it was adapted to eat tough, woody material - a feeding style not found in any modern marsupials.
Heracles inexpectatus on the forest floor, with three small wrens foraging at its feet.
The newly discovered Heracles inexpectatus stood nearly a metre tall. And its fossil bones sat undiscovered on a museum shelf for more than a decade before its hefty status was finally appreciated.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Our work represents the first assessment of what social and economic factors are connected to environmental degradation across the entire African continent.
A pair of blacktip reef shark neonates (Carcharhinus melanopterus) gently cruise among the roots in the mangrove forest of Surin Archipelago during high tide in Mu Koh Surin national park, Thailand.
Far more megafauna species use coastal wetlands than we thought. And it affects the way we need to address the extinction crisis.
An illustration of Palorchestes azael, a marsupial tapir from the Pleistocene of Australia. There is evidence that this extinct species is depicted in rock art from the Kimberley.
Nobu Tamura/Wikimedia Commons
It is plausible to suppose that human memories of long-extinct creatures today underpin many stories we have generally regarded as fiction.
Hippos at Gorongosa National Park.
Brett Kuxhausen, Author provided
Long-standing assumption that humans killed large mammals 4.5m years ago has been debunked by researchers – but some experts still think humans played a part in the demise of biodiversity