Fascinating shots of extinct and endangered animals and plants

Taken from Marc Schlossman’s new photography book, Extinction, these images document specimens from the Field Museum’s private collections, from the critically endangered kakapo bird to the hawksbill sea turtle


15 June 2022

Photographer Marc Schlossman

THESE fascinating shots of animal and plant specimens from the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, taken by nature photographer Marc Schlossman, illustrate the fleeting delicacy of life – and its resilience.

They are taken from Schlossman’s new photography book, Extinction, which calls attention to the main culprits of biodiversity loss – such as climate change and habitat destruction – through the Field Museum’s private collections of extinct and endangered species.

The images show: the tail feathers of a kakapo bird (critically endangered), below


Marc Schlossman

Leaves from a big-leaf mahogany tree (considered vulnerable, according to the IUCN Red List), below

Big-leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), FMNH 617684. Conservation status: vulnerable

Marc Schlossman

The bones of a hawksbill sea turtle (critically endangered), below

Hawksbill Turtle

Marc Schlossman

Monarch butterflies (of least concern, according to the IUCN, but Schlossman says recent findings show there has been a significant decline in species numbers), below

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Marc Schlossman

And the skull of a Philippine crocodile (critically endangered), below

Philippines Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), FMNH 21904. Conservation status: critically endangered

Marc Schlossman

Schlossman hopes people will engage with biodiversity loss through the stories of species both past and present, but points out it doesn’t always have to be a gloomy affair. “The thing that was so interesting about photographing this list of species was to highlight the conservation successes – species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction,” he says.

Extinction, published by Ammonite Press, is out now.

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