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NightSchool: Back from the Dead
Sometimes in conservation, we get second chances to save an evolutionary lineage we thought was lost. Meet three so-called “Lazarus species,” aka species that were once presumed extinct (until they’re rediscovered living), and the individuals working to protect them.
- In 2018, after decades of studying the life along California’s rocky shores, researcher Dr. Jeffrey Goddard found a teeny tiny clam he had never seen before. He’ll share the story of how he and noted bivalve authority Dr. Paul Valentich-Scott identified this clam as a species previously only known from Pleistocene deposits — aka, close to the time and place of the La Brea Tar Pits.
- For nearly 100 years, Fernandina Island giant tortoises were nowhere to be found in the Galapagos and thus, presumed extinct. But in 2019, evolutionary biologist Dr. Stephen Gaughran discovered an individual tortoise (nicknamed “Fernanda”) on Fernandina Island, and used the collections at the Academy to prove that the story of the Fernandina giant tortoise might not be over.
- Night parrots are nocturnal, ground-dwelling, and incredibly elusive — so elusive that they disappeared for about 100 years before evidence of live birds was found in 2013. Arid-zone ecologist Dr. Rachel Paltridge will share about the rediscovery of this mysterious Australian bird, from conducting extensive surveys across many years to actively managing key threats so they have a second chance to thrive.
All NightSchool virtual programming is intended for audiences 21+.
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