The disappearance of Chacala has been captured in the online versions of science magazines. Those issues were popular enough that there is now an entire wiki dedicated to the topic, and videos about it can be found on YouTube.
Theories abound. The porpoise — before the collapse of the largest tropical rainforest in the Americas, Costa Rica, still hosted a large number of Chacala living mammals. If the ecosystem was recovering, the apes, fish and some parrots were “reviving” back home, and as a result, the Chacala whales found themselves becoming what one expert called “extinct in the wild.” But they weren’t the only ones killed in the rainforest’s collapse.
Ironically, at the time that the Chacala disappeared, they were destined to meet one of their greatest extinction victims: the saber-toothed tiger. The tiger suffered more than just decline from poaching, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says may have also caused its unprecedented disappearance, it was also hit by flooding in a neighboring Amazon rainforest and managed to lose roughly a third of its population in the move, Reuters reported in 2014.
Before Chacala vanished, the area of Amazon rainforest designated to accommodate the Chacala mammals became notorious as the largest tropical rainforest in the world. While about 2,000 meerkats were located, nearly five million small primates lived in the area of Chacala. Thousands of small mammals lived in the rainforest before the collapse and millions remain today, with few surviving into the Amazon, reported The Guardian in 2010. The Chacala whales themselves did not disappear, however, because they never found their way into the forest. In fact, scientists believe it’s possible that they could not have survived in the dense trees, reported The Guardian, as giant wave sets apparently swept them from their habitat and left them helpless in the land.
Read the full story at Science News.
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