Extinction

Find out everything there is to know about extinction and stay updated on the latest extinction news with the comprehensive articles, interactive features and pictures at LiveScience. Learn more about amazing discoveries scientists are making as they uncover the causes and other details of major extinctions throughout history.
Read More
Dinosaur Decline Started Long Before Asteroid Impact
Asteroids headed toward Earth
April 19th, 2016
The dinosaurs — the so-called tyrants of the Mesozoic era — weren't exactly thriving during their last few million years on Earth, a new study finds.
Read More »
Big-Brained Mammals at Greatest Risk of Extinction
Channel Island fox
February 17th, 2016
A big brain can be a liability instead of an asset for many mammals, finds new research that identifies a reversal of a 40-million-year-old trend.
Read More »
Don't Blame 'Planet Nine' for Earth's Mass Extinctions
Planet Nine: Artist’s Concept
January 26th, 2016
The newly proposed "Planet Nine" probably could not have triggered the comet impacts that some researchers think may be responsible for many of Earth's mass extinction events over the eons, astronomers say.
Read More »
What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?
An illustration of Tyrannosaurus rex trying to escape the fire and heat from a meteorite crash.
April 5th, 2016
A project under way off the coast of Mexico may finally resolve a longstanding controversy.
Read More »
Medium-Size Asteroid Strike Could Unleash a Mini Ice Age
Asteroids headed toward Earth
February 9th, 2016
A strike by a medium-size asteroid on land (as opposed to at sea) could cause average global temperatures to plunge to Ice Age levels, and lead to steep drops in precipitation and plant productivity, among other effects, a new study suggests.
Read More »
Dino-Killing Asteroid Impact Triggered Lethal Algal Bloom
asteroid impact
December 14th, 2015
The asteroid that killed the nonavian dinosaurs may have also killed countless marine animals after it triggered a worldwide algal bloom, a new study finds.
Read More »
'Doomsday' Seed Vault: The Science Behind World's Arctic Storage Cube
September 24th, 2015
The ongoing civil war in Syria has led to the first-ever withdrawal from the Svalbard "doomsday" Global Seed Vault.
Read More »
Dodo Birds Weren't 'Dodos' After All
A model of a dodo (Raphus cucullatus), a flightless bird found only on the island of Mauritius until it went extinct in the 1600s. Hunting, habitat loss and the human introduction of egg-eating rats spelled the dodo's doom.
February 24th, 2016
A new study finds that dodos weren't dumb. Their smarts were probably comparable to that of modern pigeons.
Read More »
Ancient Humans Ate Cantaloupe-Size Eggs from 500-Pound Birds
Flightless bird
January 29th, 2016
The burnt eggshell fragments of an ancient giant bird have helped scientists solve a 50,000-year-old whodunit in Australia.
Read More »
A Prehistoric Murder Mystery: Earth's Worst Mass Extinctions
Bravaisberget mountain in southern Spitsbergen
November 20th, 2015
They were the worst of times. (Really, the worst.)
Read More »