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Latest Extinction events Stories

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2008-01-07 15:45:00

We all know the story - dinosaurs were supposedly wiped out by an asteroid over 65million years ago. However, it is now being suggested that it could have been disease-spreading mosquitoes and other biting insects that lead to their demise. Husband and wife team George and Roberta Poinar from Oregon State University suggest that disease spread by mosquitoes, mites and ticks was probably the major factor that finished off the reptiles. By changing the nature of plant life, these insects could...

2007-11-05 12:00:16

A U.S. study suggests violent volcanic eruptions in India might have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact. The eruptions created India's gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds and the research by Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller marks the first time a study has directly linked the main phase of the Deccan Traps' creation to the mass extinction. Keller said she made the linkage using microscopic marine fossils that are known to have evolved immediately...

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2007-11-01 15:54:27

Oxygen may have triggered burst of biodiversity COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have uncovered evidence of when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to the one we breathe today. The study suggests that upheavals in the earth's crust initiated a kind of reverse-greenhouse effect 500 million years ago that cooled the world's oceans, spawned giant plankton blooms, and sent a burst of oxygen into the atmosphere. That oxygen may...

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2007-10-31 08:35:00

The Great Dying 250 million years ago happened slowly, according to USC geologists USC -- The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory. Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic eruptions and global warming was the likely cause of the Great Dying 250 million years ago, said USC doctoral student Catherine Powers. Writing in the November issue of the journal...

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2007-10-04 09:45:00

NASA-funded astrobiologists have found evidence of oxygen present in Earth's atmosphere earlier than previously known, pushing back the timeline for the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. Two teams of researchers report that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere from 50 to 100 million years before what is known as the Great Oxidation Event. This event happened between 2.3 and 2.4 billion years ago, when many scientists think atmospheric oxygen increased significantly from the...

2007-09-28 12:17:27

WASHINGTON -- Oxygen, key to life on Earth today, began to appear on the planet millions of years earlier than scientists had thought, new research indicates. An analysis of a deep rock core from Australia indicates the presence of at least some oxygen 50 million to 100 million years before the great change when the life-giving element began rising to today's levels, according to two papers appearing in Friday's edition of the journal Science. Previously, the earliest indications of oxygen...

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2007-09-10 17:42:15

The impactor believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs and other life forms on Earth some 65 million years ago has been traced back to a breakup event in the main asteroid belt. The finding provides insights into one of the most important extinction events in Earth's history. Known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction, this impact event signaled a dramatic change in the evolutionary history of Earth. Understanding the origins and effects of this event can not only teach us about the...

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2007-08-09 03:10:00

By JEREMY LAURANCE Why are we asking this now? Yesterday, a species of freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze river in China was declared extinct. Called the baiji, meaning white flag in Chinese, the Yangtze river dolphin had a pale skin and distinctive long snout and had been found in the river for more than 20 million years. How can we be sure the Yangtze river dolphin is extinct? We can't - but the evidence is very strong. The last confirmed sighting was in 2002 when it was...

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2007-05-30 03:00:00

By Whitty, Julia WE AWAKE IN OUR TENTS in the moonlight to what sounds like a dance troupe in wooden clogs practicing on rock under stunted juniper trees. It's a half-dozen Carmen mountain white-tailed deer, scraping at the ground with bootlike hooves, bending gracile necks to chew on wet soil and lick it dry. They're harvesting the minerals and moisture from our urine soaked into the parched earth of the high desert, the herd toiling through the night and into the morning in a pursuit...

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2007-05-25 00:00:00

ACAPULCO, Mexico -- There's a new extraterrestrial suspect in the mysterious, highly debated disappearance of the woolly mammoth some 12,900 years ago. A team of two dozen scientists say the culprit was likely a comet that exploded in the atmosphere above North America. The explosions sent a heat and shock wave across the continent, pelted the ground with a layer of telltale debris, ignited massive wildfires, and triggered a major cooling of the climate said nuclear analytic chemist...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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