Animal Kingdom

Scientists warn Earth faces global mass extinction of wildlife – here’s a mind-boggling list that illustrates the seriousness

Conservationists issued a chilling warning this week telling New Scientists magazine that global wildlife populations are set to have fallen by more than two thirds of 1970 levels by the year 2020 – and there is no sign that declining wildlife numbers will slow down in our lifetime. Researchers say mammal, bird, fish, amphibian, and reptile populations have fallen by 58% from 1970 to 2012. At the current rate (about 2% reduction per year), by 2020, the populations will have declined by more than 67%. This has prompted experts to warn that we are facing a global “mass extinction” for the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs. Mike Barrett, director of science and policy at World Wildlife Foundation, said: “For the first time since…
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History

Neanderthals may not be as duh, duh, dumb as we thought

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a Neanderthal? Most think of a slow, dimwitted, grunting gorilla-like person who allowed themselves to die out and become extinct at the hands of the much smarter breed of modern-day humans. But scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have come to the defense of the Neanderthal and think our notion of stupid Neanderthals is, well, pretty dumb. They say there is really no scientific evidence to support such a belief. Were Neanderthals really dumb? Neanderthals lived about 40,000 to 350,000 years ago across the lands of Europe and Asia and are widely believed to have died out after modern-day humans crossed into the area from Africa. Until now, it’s been thought that…
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