Understanding human-driven extinctions of the past can help us figure out what the environmental consequences have been, explained Smith, and how we can limit those in the future by protecting the species that remain. Even the dodo's extinction provides clues that are helping us preserve ecosystems today. Hume is working on a project to catalog pollen spores present in the sediments around dodo fossils, to build up a detailed picture of the lush, palm-fringed forests they once roamed. That's helping conservationists to rewild the island with vegetation that was once there. "We're actually reconstructing the exact species of plants and trees from the environment the dodo was living in, before humans arrived," Hume said. … [Read more...] about What’s the first species humans drove to extinction?
New mexico museum
Eight Pleistocene manatee bones — ribs, jaws and other fragments — found along the Texas coast reveal that manatees either lived in the area or visited it regularly between 11,000 and 240,000 years ago. This finding is surprising, because it indicates that either Texas coastal waters were warmer than expected during the ice age, or ancient manatees were more tolerant of cold than their modern relatives. … [Read more...] about Fossils of Ice Age manatees discovered in Texas
When President Thomas Jefferson learned about a strange claw fossil found in Ohio, he asked explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to search for giant lions during their western trek to the Pacific. The claw, however, didn't belong to a lion. It was part of Megalonyx, an extinct ground sloth, MacPhee said. [Top 10 Intrepid Explorers] … [Read more...] about 10 extinct giants that once roamed North America
A tumultuous moment in historyIn 1966, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, met as students at Merritt College in Oakland, according to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The 1964 Civil Rights Act had passed just two years earlier, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It was a landmark victory that activists had fought and died for, but it had its limitations, said Adam Ewing, a professor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. … [Read more...] about What was the Black Panther Party?