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Latest Background extinction rate Stories

2012-08-13 11:06:29

Rate of loss of species exceeds that of terrestrial animals North American freshwater fishes are going extinct at an alarming rate compared with other species, according to an article in the September issue of BioScience. The rate of extinctions increased noticeably after 1950, although it has leveled off in the past decade. The number of extinct species has grown by 25 percent since 1989. The article, by Noel M. Burkhead of the US Geological Survey, examines North American freshwater...

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2009-08-09 08:40:00

New research shows that extinction events tend to "cluster" on evolutionary lineages, wiping out entire "chunks of life" as related species with a common ancestor vanish together. Scientists say the phenomenon can result in the loss of an entire branch of the "tree of life".The findings, while based on an analysis of past extinctions, could also assist in modern conservation efforts.The scientists say the lesson for conservationists is that some groups are more vulnerable to extinction than...

2009-08-06 14:54:19

Global calamities like the one that doomed most dinosaurs forever alter the varieties of life found on Earth, but new research shows that it doesn't take a catastrophe to end entire lineages. An analysis of 200 million years of history for marine clams found that vulnerability to extinction runs in evolutionary families, even when the losses result form ongoing, background rates of extinction."Biologists have long suspected that the evolutionary history of species and lineages play a big role...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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