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Latest Extinction events Stories

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2011-01-10 13:22:20

Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse. Looking at two of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth's history, the scientists attribute the ecosystems' collapse to a loss in the variety of species sharing the same space. It took up to 10 million years after the mass extinctions for the ecosystem to stabilize. The findings appear in Geology. The world's oceans are under...

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2010-12-30 09:10:00

Collapse of Earth's marine life 378 to 375 million years ago holds key An influx of invasive species can stop the dominant natural process of new species formation and trigger mass extinction events, according to research results published Dec. 29 in the journal PLoS ONE. The study of the collapse of Earth's marine life 378 to 375 million years ago suggests that the planet's current ecosystems, which are struggling with biodiversity loss, could meet a similar fate. Although Earth has...

2010-10-28 15:15:13

More than 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, Earth almost became a lifeless planet. Around 90 percent of all living species disappeared then, in what scientists have called "The Great Dying." Thomas J. Algeo, has spent much of the past decade investigating the chemical evidence buried in rocks formed during this major extinction. The University of Cincinnati professor of geology has worked with a team of scientific colleagues to understand the ancient catastrophe. Algeo...

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2010-08-29 07:25:00

A new study theorizes that the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by at least two meteorite strikes rather than one. Scientists previously thought that a huge meteorite impact occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, wiping out the dinosaurs in one fell swoop. New evidence, however, suggests that a second impact occurred in the Ukraine, according to a BBC News report on Friday. The study findings were published in the journal Geology by a team lead by Professor David Jolley of Aberdeen...

2010-06-16 21:42:59

Findings released during the annual Goldschmidt Conference at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville How do we begin to understand what early life was like on Earth about 700 million years ago as our planet shifted from an oxygen-free and probably ice-covered realm to the oxygen-rich world that we know today? One geochemist who decodes the early record of life on Earth has found a method featuring a combination of chemical analyses for a significantly clearer picture of this dynamic...

2010-05-18 15:09:13

An international team of scientists have discovered that climate change played a major role in causing mass extinction of mammals in the late quaternary era, 50,000 years ago. Their study, published in Evolution, takes a new approach to this hotly debated topic by using global data modeling to build continental "Ëœclimate footprints.' "Between 50,000 and 3,000 years before present (BP) 65% of mammal species weighing over 44kg went extinct, together with a lower proportion of small...

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2010-05-10 12:50:00

The evolution of complex life forms may have gotten a jump start billions of years ago, when geologic events operating over millions of years caused large quantities of phosphorus to wash into the oceans. According to this model, proposed in a new paper by Dominic Papineau of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the higher levels of phosphorus would have caused vast algal blooms, pumping extra oxygen into the environment which allowed larger, more complex types of organisms to thrive....

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2010-03-22 14:21:34

A scientific team led by Brown University has learned how dinosaurs became rulers of Earth more than 200 million years ago. Widespread volcanism and a spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide wiped out half of all plant species, and extinguished early crocodile relatives that had competed with the earliest dinosaurs. Results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A shade more than 200 million years ago, the Earth looked far different than it does today. Most land on the...

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2010-03-10 11:20:00

Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has unveiled what could be one of the largest impact craters discovered over the past 10 years, according to a noted Italian scientist. University of Padova scholar Giovanni Monegato, who presented his findings during the recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, was one of the researchers who spotted the 30-mile ring using satellite imagery. He states that the geologic feature, located near the Unia River, became...

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2010-03-04 13:55:00

For decades, scientists have accumulated ever-larger datasets that suggest an enormous space rock crashed into the ocean off the Yucatan Peninsula more than 65 million years ago, resulting in the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction. Recent research, supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), suggested that the impact could have occurred 300,000 years prior to the K-Pg extinction, and that another cause--perhaps a second impact, or the long-lasting volcanic activity at the...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.