Near Extinct Animals — Mediterranean Monk Seal, Axolotl Mexican Salamander, Tiger Spider, Southern Bluefin Tuna, & Alabama Cavefish

February 6, 2015 in Animals & Insects

The current rate of species extinction in the world is estimated to 100-1000 times higher (spread across all types of life) than the background extinction rate (average over very-long time-scales), primarily as a result of modern/industrial human activity.

Some groups are experiencing much higher rates even than that though — amphibians, for example, are currently going extinct roughly ~45,000 times faster than the background extinction rate. Most/many amphibian species are expected to go extinct at some point in the foreseeable future — without large changes to the current trajectory occurring. (There are notable exceptions to this.)

Despite the growing rates of extinctions, research has shown that public interest and concern has actually been diminishing greatly over the last few decades. (Perhaps as backlash against the tactics/hypocrisy of many “environmental” organizations? Perhaps because less and less people grow up in rural areas and spend time in the “wild”? Perhaps because entertainment consumption, drug-use, and obesity, has all skyrocketed in recent decades? Hard to say…)

Many researchers have estimated that at current rates of extinction, up to one-half of all the currently existing plant + animal species in the world will be extinct by the year 2100. (For more on that, see: 10 Extinct Animals Of The Last 100 Years, And Before, List).
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Spiders — Assassin Spider, Camel Spider, Diving Bell Spider, Portia, Bagheera Kiplingi, Tiger Spider, Mirror Spider, Peacock Spider, Trapdoor Spiders, Etc

January 30, 2015 in Animals & Insects

Spiders are one of the most successful, diverse, and sometimes profoundly weird, groups of animals of the world. They range the gamut from: carnivores to herbivores, the highly intelligent to the nearly vegetable-like, active hunters to ambush hunters, tree-dwellers to burrow-dwellers to underwater-dwellers, the highly compact/sturdy to the long/fragile, pitch-black to translucent-white, the camouflaged to the brightly colored, the bird-killing to the fly-catching, the tropical to the temperate, etc.

They are found on all continents except Antarctica, rank 7th in total species diversity amongst all other orders of organisms on Earth, and are found in nearly every type of habitat on the planet — other than in the oceans, and in the air. And they have been around for at least 318 million years. Some of the longer-lived species can live for at least as long as 25 years.
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