extinction Intelligent Design Plants

A lost flower named “extinctus” has been rediscovered

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Lost South American wildflower named “extinctus” rediscovered (but still endangered)
The bright orange flowers of the Ecuadorian cloud forest herb Gasteranthus extinctus, long believed to have gone extinct, light up the forest understory as if begging to be seen. Credit: Riley Fortier.

In Ecuador:

Scientific names get chosen for lots of reasons— they can honor an important person, or hint at what an organism looks like or where it’s from. For a tropical wildflower first described by scientists in 2000, the scientific name “extinctus” was a warning. The orange wildflower had been found 15 years earlier in an Ecuadorian forest that had since been largely destroyed; the scientists who named it suspected that by the time they named it, it was already extinct. But in a new paper in PhytoKeys, researchers report the first confirmed sightings of Gasteranthus extinctus in 40 years. po1 “Extinctus was given its striking name in light of the extensive deforestation in western Ecuador,” says Dawson White, a postdoctoral researcher at Chicago’s Field Museum and co-lead author of the paper. “But if you claim something’s gone, then no one is really going to go out and look for it anymore. There are still a lot of important species that are still out there, even though overall, we’re in this age of extinction.”

Field Museum, “Lost South American wildflower named ‘extinctus’ rediscovered (but still endangered” at Phys’org (April 15, 2022)

Maybe they will have to change the name now. One term for this kind of life form is “Lazarus species”

The paper is open access.

2 Replies to “A lost flower named “extinctus” has been rediscovered

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    We’re always ini an “age of extinction” if we define species narrowly enough. Absurdly narrow definition is the whole purpose of “endangered” species laws.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Polistra at 1: Some of us would be tempted to say, “Try it on cats” (felis cattus domesticus). Does anyone realize the significance of the fact that there is a huge industry dedicated to the welfare of cats and nothing but extermination programs dedicated to the welfare of rats?

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