Pharyngula

All the biologists out there know about the heath hen: it’s probably the number one most common example of a recent extinction discussed in considerable detail, because it illustrates so well that extinction is a product of so many factors, from habitat loss to inbreeding to predation to competition to climate shifts to you name it. The last bird died in 1932.

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But now, something amazing has been unearthed: a 40-minute movie of the heath hens in their final reserve on Martha’s Vineyard, made in 1918. There’s a two-minute clip at the link. Watch the last dance of the heath hen and feel the loss.

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