Carl Zimmer comenta el descubrimiento de que cierto pájaro carpintero no se había extinguido y aprovecha para examinar un mecanismo de extinción y cómo no todos los animales se extinguen de la misma forma.
The challenge of studying extinctions is that it can be hard to know when a species is finally gone for good. If a species of flower lives only on a single bare island the size of a hot-dog stand, you can be pretty sure that if you don’t see any of the flowers for a few years, it’s gone. But if, as is the case for the Ivory billed woodpecker, a species exists in remote forests and at low density, the failure to see it may just mean scientists haven’t looked everywhere. Eventually, most scientists will just give up and presume the animal extinct. As a result, ornithologists and amateur birders have been wondering for decades whether the woodpecker is actually still alive. Incredibly, it is–in some remote woods in Arkansas.