Latest Background extinction rate Stories

dodo bird
2014-09-04 03:30:00

David Orenstein, Brown University The gravity of the world’s current extinction rate becomes clearer upon knowing what it was before people came along. A new estimate finds that species die off as much as 1,000 times more frequently nowadays than they used to. That’s 10 times worse than the old estimate of 100 times. It’s hard to comprehend how bad the current rate of species extinction around the world has become without knowing what it was before people came along. The newest...

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...

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...

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