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Latest Extinction event Stories

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2010-11-01 10:05:00

The meters-long, carnivorous "shrimp" from hell that once ruled the seas of Earth a half billion years ago may have been a real softy, it turns out. A new 3-D modeling of the mouth parts of the Anomalocaris, along with evidence that these parts were not hard like teeth, but flexible, shows that the famed predator could not have been munching on the hard shells of trilobites and other such creatures of the early seas. What's more, there is no evidence from fossilized stomach contents or feces...

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2010-05-18 07:23:07

Event of unknown origin occurred as first vertebrates tested land A mass extinction of fish 360 million years ago hit the reset button on Earth's life, setting the stage for modern vertebrate biodiversity. The mass extinction scrambled the species pool near the time at which the first vertebrates crawled from water towards land. Those few species that survived the bottleneck were the evolutionary starting point for all vertebrates--including humans--that exist today, according to results of a...

2010-04-07 08:49:56

Deep under the Mediterranean Sea small animals have been discovered that live their entire lives without oxygen and surrounded by 'poisonous' sulphides. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology report the existence of multicellular organisms (new members of the group Loricifera), showing that they are alive, metabolically active, and apparently reproducing in spite of a complete absence of oxygen. Roberto Danovaro, from the Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy,...

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2010-03-23 12:05:00

Volcanic activity more than 200 million years ago may have helped dinosaurs become and remain the world's dominant species by causing the mass extinction of rivals, researchers claim in a recent study. The paper, which was completed by a five-person team of researchers from the United States and Taiwan and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that it was mass volcanic eruptions that wiped out the crurotarsans, the crocodile-like creatures that were...

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2010-02-12 07:46:41

Stratified marine basin sheds new light on early animal evolution, UC Riverside scientists say A research team led by biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside has developed a detailed and dynamic three-dimensional model of Earth's early ocean chemistry that can significantly advance our understanding of how early animal life evolved on the planet. Working on rock samples from the Doushantuo Formation of South China, one of the oldest fossil beds and long viewed by...

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2009-10-02 13:11:47

Tiny organisms that covered the planet more than 250 million years ago appear to be a species of ancient fungus that thrived in dead wood, according to new research published October 1 in the journal Geology. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London and other universities in the UK, USA and The Netherlands, believe that the organisms were able to thrive during this period because the world's forests had been wiped out. This would explain how the organisms, which are...

2009-09-02 08:10:00

GEOLOGY includes studies of the Fraser River delta, British Columbia; the impact of global climate change on microfossil communities; alluvial fans in Taiwan; earthquake ruptures; earth-flows along the Eel River; Mediterranean fossil whales; collecting bias and carnivorous dinosaurs of the Kem Kem Formation, Morocco; and the effects Hurricanes Cindy, Katrina, and Rita on barrier island systems. GSA TODAY tells a 20-million-year-old story of interactions among the Columbia River, volcanic...

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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2009-07-30 16:15:00

Evidence indicates that it is highly unlikely that a comet crash would result in Earth's demise, researchers at the University of Washington said on Thursday. Writing in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science, researchers acknowledged that while most scientists agree that an asteroid collision 65 million years ago caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, they tend to differ in opinion on how many other mass extinctions have resulted from similar events. Researchers...

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2009-05-29 06:45:00

According to a new study, volcanic eruptions in what is now present-day China may have been the cause of mass extinction 260 million years ago. The Guadalupian Mass Extinction, which devastated marine life around the world, was preceded by eruptions in the Emeishan province of Southwest China, said Paul Wignall, paleontologist from the University of Leeds. According to the report, which appears in Friday's edition of the journal Science, the eruption in China unleashed nearly a half million...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.