8 Bird Species, Including a Blue Macaw, Are Declared Extinct

Patrick Pleul, AFP/Getty Images
Patrick Pleul, AFP/Getty Images

Eight bird species, including one from Hawaii, have most likely gone extinct this century, The Guardian reports. This announcement is the result of a new statistical analysis of critically endangered birds by BirdLife International, whose findings were published in the journal Biological Conservation.

Five of these species are native to South America, where much of the forest has been destroyed by practices like unsustainable agriculture and logging. While four of the eight species have been labeled by BirdLife as extinct or near-extinct, the nonprofit organization reports that three species have been completely wiped out. These include two Brazilian birds—the cryptic treehunter and the Alagoas foliage-gleaner—and the Hawaiian poo-uli.

Also known as the black-faced honeycreeper, the poo-uli (alternately spelled poʻo-uli) was last spotted on the Hawaiian island of Maui in 2004. There have been some attempts to breed them in captivity, but those were unsuccessful.

There is still a glimmer of hope for the Spix’s macaw, a bright blue Brazilian parrot that's extinct in the wild. Captive macaws are currently being bred in hopes of eventually reintroducing them to their habitat.

Other species on BirdLife’s extinct or near-extinct list include the Pernambuco pygmy-owl from Brazil and the glaucous macaw from Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.

These findings are especially worrisome because bird extinctions typically occur on isolated islands where they're vulnerable to invasive predators—not on major continents like South America. Not only are extinctions continuing, but they’re also “accelerating,” according to BirdLife International chief scientist Stuart Butchart. He told The Guardian he hopes the new classification will “inspire a redoubling of efforts to prevent other extinctions.”

[h/t The Guardian]

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

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The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.