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Latest Extinction events Stories

Cretaceous Extinction Worsened By Ecosystem Structures
2012-10-30 04:17:18

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A mass extinction, wiping out numerous species including the dinosaurs, marked the end of the Cretaceous Period. A new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals that the structure of North American ecosystems made the extinction worse than it might have been. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is home to the now-buried Chicxulub impact crater, caused by a mountain-sized asteroid. This impact is...

Permian Extinction Was Beginning Of 5-Million-Year Deadly Heat Wave
2012-10-19 09:27:25

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Life about 250 million years ago was hard to come by. In fact, it was nearly non-existent. Scientists, studying why this period, known as the end-Permian event, lasted so long and have found a key ingredient: heat. Paul Wignall, a paleontologist at England´s Leeds University, and study coauthor, said during the 200,000-year-long Permian extinction the Earth began cooking, with life struggling to thrive, especially at the...

Early Evolution Linked To Climate Change And Oxygen Levels
2012-09-28 11:50:55

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Geochemists from the University of California, Riverside teamed up with an international team of scientists to uncover new evidence linking together extreme climate change, elevation of oxygen levels and early animal evolution. Scientists have long speculated that a dramatic rise in atmospheric oxygen levels was the trigger for early animal evolution. The direct cause-and-effect relationships between environmental and animal...

Clovis Impact Theory Back Under The Microscope
2012-09-19 04:41:40

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Disregard of three critical protocols, including sorting samples by size, explains why a group challenging the theory of a North American meteor-impact event approximately 12,900 years ago failed to find iron and silica rich magnetic particles in the sites they investigated, says a new study from an interdisciplinary team of scientists. Edward K. Vogel, co-author of the study published in the online Early Edition of Proceedings of...

Dinosaur Extinction Event Wasn't The First
2012-09-06 07:58:40

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Sixty-five million years ago, the most studied mass extinction in Earth's history happened and the dinosaurs were wiped off the planet. A new study from the University of Washington, published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor. A six-mile wide asteroid slamming...

Ancient Asteroid Crater Discovered
2012-06-29 14:19:28

DM Crumbliss for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Asteroid impact craters are found all over the Earth, but most are erased by erosion or covered by time. The date has moved a billion years back by the discovery of the oldest impact crater yet at 3 billion years old. The crater is 100 kilometers wide and is the result of an asteroid or comet impact. The crater was discovered near the Maniitsoq region of West Greenland by a team of scientists from the Geological Survey of...

2012-05-08 13:44:37

A basic tenet underpinning scientists' understanding of extinction is that more abundant species persist longer than their less abundant counterparts, but a new University of Georgia study reveals a much more complex relationship. A team of scientists analyzed more than 46,000 fossils from 52 sites and found that greater numbers did indeed help clam-like brachiopods survive the Ordovician extinction, which killed off approximately half of the Earth's life forms some 444 million years ago....

Some Dinosaurs Were Already Dying Out Before Asteroid Impact
2012-05-02 04:49:27

Lawrence LeBlond for RedOrbit.com [ Watch the Video ] An asteroid impact may have ended the reign of the dinosaurs here on Earth about 65 million years ago, but new evidence suggests many of the large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already dying out during the last 12 million years of the Cretaceous period. The findings, by an international team of US and German scientists, do not dispute the mass extinction that killed off all the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous era. They do,...

Mammal Diversity Aided In Survival Over Deep Time
2012-04-24 12:24:49

Lawrence LeBlond for RedOrbit.com In a first of its kind study, researchers from Vanderbilt University found that mammals´ best defense to adapting to climate change was diversity, and families with higher taxonomic diversity were better able to survive ongoing environmental changes. Larisa R. G. DeSantis, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt, led researchers in studying how North American mammals adapted to climate change over a 56-million-year...

2012-04-11 09:25:40

Caltech researchers say habitat loss and tropical cooling were to blame for mass extinction The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction–which occurred about 450 million years ago–was related to climate change, exactly how the climate change produced the extinction has not been known....