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.


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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