The Liopleurodon was a pliosaur of the Jurassic period.
The fossil of a gigantic ichthyosaur was recently discovered in the UK. It wasn’t the only creature lurking in the Jurassic oceans.
While current extinction rates remain lower than during previous mass extinction events, the number of species under threat of dying out is growing, reflecting the true scale of loss.
Life was already getting harder for dinosaurs before an asteroid wiped them out.
If the asteroid caused the very sudden end of the dinosaurs, a new study shows that their decline had begun 10 million years earlier.
Today, Earth’s biodiversity is highest at the equator – but it hasn’t always been this way.
The Paraná basin in Brazil provides evidence that one of the world’s largest super-eruptions did not cause a mass extinction.
Huge volcanic eruptions were once believed to be the cause of mass extinctions on Earth. However, new research has found that super eruptions did not necessarily result in mass extinctions.
A large impact.
A new study found iridium, an element found in asteroids, in the rocks of the Chicxulub impact crater.
Humanity is destroying Earth’s ability to support complex life. But coming to grips with the magnitude of the problem is hard, even for experts.
66 million years ago, birds survived the calamity that wiped out all prehistoric dinosaurs. But could birds once again evolve into their long lost ancestors?
Microbial mats in Shark Bay, Western Australia, similar to those that lived around 200 million years ago.
Yalimay Jimenez Duarte WA-OIGC, Curtin University
The end-Triassic mass extinction was a cataclysm for the world’s prehistoric species, killed off by volcanoes that altered Earth’s seas and skies. But new research shows it didn’t happen when we thought.
D. Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento
Our new research has discovered how a series of volcanic eruptions 233 million years ago fundamentally changed life on Earth.
Some species can do well in the face of extreme hardship.
When the dinosaurs went extinct, some species took over the world. Adaptability, not survivability, explains why.
New research on the Late Devonian extinction suggests the ozone layer could be naturally depleted as the temperature rises.
The trajectory of the Chicxulub asteroid led to the most efficient release of gas and projectile rocks – which was disastrous for life on Earth.
Large numbers, huge ranges, and adaptibility make the human species very difficult to eradicate
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.
The risks to nature from man-made global warming – and the imperative to act – are clear.
Loskop, one of the two hills at the Permo-Triassic boundary site in the Karoo Basin in South Africa’s Free State province.
The analysis suggests that there was a mass extinction event at the time of the end-Permian, on land - and that it happened at the same time as the marine end-Permian extinction.
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.
A Neanderthal skull shows head trauma, evidence of ancient violence.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
300,000 years ago, there were lots of different species of human. Now it’s only us – and we’re probably the reason why.
A phytoplankton bloom stretching across the Barents Sea off the coast of mainland Europe’s most northern point.
European Space Agency
Populations of plankton are in decline. If we push this critical foundation of the marine food chain to extinction, we could cripple ecosystems for millions of years.