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February 21, 2013

4 Extinct Species That People Still Hope to Rediscover

Scientific American - Posted: February 21st, 2013, 9:00am EST
Theres nothing like the scientific thrill of discovering something for the very first time--or, in rare cases, rediscovering something that most people had presumed forever lost. Take the Cuban solenodon ( Solenodon cubanus ), for example. Unseen after 1890 and long presumed extinct, it unexpectedly showed up again in 1974. Sightings after that were few and far between but scientists kept looking. Last year, after a 10-year search, an international team led by Rafael Borroto-P?ez rediscovered the solenodon in a remote mountain park, a finding that thrilled scientists on both sides of the globe.Unfortunately, most similar quests to find presumed-extinct species dont have such happy endings. In some cases the lost creatures are rediscovered, but even in those rare cases the findings usually come barely in time: Only a few dozen members of the species remain, tucked into tiny habitats facing increasing pressures from encroaching civilization. More often than not the quests remain quixotic: endless, lonely and fruitless. That doesnt stop the scientists or other explorers. Sometimes they keep hunting for decades, looking in every odd corner they can reach, keening at every step for success. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=4-extinct-species-hope-rediscover[More]/a

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