Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species represent a disproportionate amount of unique evolutionary history. They have few close relatives, are often the only surviving member of their genus, and sometimes the last surviving genus of their evolutionary family. Some EDGE species, such as elephants and pandas, are well known and already receive considerable conservation attention, but many others, such as the Vaquita (the world’s rarest cetacean) the bumblebee bat (arguably the world’s smallest mammal) and the egg-laying long-beaked echidnas are highly threatened yet remain poorly understood and are frequently overlooked by existing conservation frameworks. Recent research indicates that 70% of the world’s most threatened and evolutionarily distinct mammal species are currently receiving little or no conservation attention. If these species are not highlighted and conserved we will not only lose many of the world’s unique species and a disproportionate amount of biodiversity, but we may also greatly reduce the potential for future evolution. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has launched a new global conservation initiative, the EDGE of Existence Programme to raise awareness and funds for the conservation of these species.
Every species is given a score according to the amount of unique evolutionary history it represents, and its conservation status. These scores are used to identify EDGE species.
The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of mammals within the seal superfamily, Pinnipedia. All true seals are members of the family Phocidae //. They are sometimes called crawling seals to distinguish them from the fur seals and sea lions of the family Otariidae. Seals live in the oceans of both hemispheres and are mostly confined to polar, subpolar, and temperate climates, with the exception of the more tropical monk seals.
Adult phocids vary from 1.17 meters (3.8 ft) in length and 45 kilograms (99 lb) in weight, in the ringed seal, to 4.9 meters (16 ft) and 2,400 kilograms (5,300 lb) in the southern elephant seal.
L. adaurora †
L. atlantica †
Loxodonta africana africana
The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species. Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species.
The largest organisms found on Earth can be determined according to various aspects of organism size, such as: mass, volume, area, length, height, or even genome size. Some organisms group together to form a superorganism, but such are not classed as single large organisms. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest structure composed of living entities, stretching 2,000 km, but contains many organisms of many species. The organism sizes listed are frequently considered "outsized" and are not in the normal size range for the respective species.
A member of the order Cetacea, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), is believed to be the largest animal ever to have lived. The maximum recorded weight was 190 tonnes for a specimen measuring 30 metres (98 ft), while longer ones, up to 33.4 metres (110 ft), have been recorded but not weighed.
Fauna of Africa, in its broader sense, is all the animals living on the African continent and its surrounding seas and islands. The more characteristic African fauna is found in the Afrotropical ecoregion - formerly called Ethiopian (the Sub-Saharan Africa). Lying almost entirely within the tropics, and equally to north and south of the equator creates favourable conditions for rich wildlife.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.