Page 3.14

The Biodiverse and the Dead

On Greg Laden’s Blog, we learn that “a subspecies of ‘Black Rhino’ also known as the ‘browsing rhino’” has gone extinct in Africa, while Northern White Rhinos and Javan Rhinos have likely met the same fate. Dr. Dolittle says the last known Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam was found “with its horn cut off, most likely a victim of poachers. Another subspecies, The Indian Javan rhino (R. sondaicus inermis), is believed to have gone extinct in the early 20th century.” Fifty individuals still linger in West Java, and thousands of White Rhinos still roam in Africa, but on the whole this family is being hunted to extinction. On Life Lines, Dr. Dolittle also introduces us to six newly-discovered species, such as the “deep sea toadfish” and “the blue-eyed spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus wilsoni).” Researchers are documenting new species by the thousand, but for big animals (and especially those with horns) it may soon be good night forever or else lights out at the zoo.