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Latest Extinction events Stories

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2009-12-19 09:19:38

If Earth is headed for a mass extinction like the previous five, in which more than 75 percent of all species were wiped out, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation - both the result of human activity - is leading to a sixth mass extinction equal to the "Big Five" that have...

2009-12-17 15:39:29

Mammals may be nearly half way toward mass extinction If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation "“ both the result of human...

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2009-12-03 14:00:00

The largest known mass extinction in Earth's history, about 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Period, may have been caused by global warming. A new fossil species suggests that some land animals may have survived the end-Permian extinction by living in cooler climates in Antarctica. Jörg Fröbisch and Kenneth D. Angielczyk of The Field Museum together with Christian A. Sidor from the University of Washington have identified a distant relative of mammals, Kombuisia...

2009-11-20 14:30:23

Environmental selectivity during three of the "ËœBig Five' mass extinction events focus of two paleontologists' latest research. Arnie Miller, University of Cincinnati professor of paleontology in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, and co-author Michael Foote of the University of Chicago publish their research in the Nov. 20 issue of Science with their paper, "Epicontinental Seas Versus Open-Ocean Settings: The Kinetics of Mass Extinction and Origination." For many years,...

2009-10-19 17:08:56

Algae, not asteroids, were the key to the end of the dinosaurs, say two Clemson University researchers. Geologist James W. Castle and ecotoxicologist John H. Rodgers have published findings that toxin producing algae were a deadly factor in mass extinctions millions of years ago. The research not only provides new insights into the past but also offers a caution about the future. The scientists say that current environmental conditions show significant similarity to times when previous mass...

2009-10-15 11:25:33

A mysterious basin off the coast of India could be the largest, multi-ringed impact crater the world has ever seen. And if a new study is right, it may have been responsible for killing the dinosaurs off 65 million years ago. Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University and a team of researchers took a close look at the massive Shiva basin, a submerged depression west of India that is intensely mined for its oil and gas resources. Some complex craters are among the most productive hydrocarbon...

2009-09-10 15:01:07

Danish-led scientists say an analysis of rock found only in the world's oldest oceans has shed light on how large animals obtained a foothold on Earth. The team led by University of Copenhagen Professor Robert Frei said it has, for the first time, plotted the rise and fall of oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere that occurred during the last 3.8 billion years. By analyzing the isotopes of chromium in iron-rich sediments formed in the ancient oceans, the team found a rise in atmospheric...

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2009-07-14 10:50:00

Drifting across the world's oceans are a group of unicellular marine microorganisms that are not only a crucial source of food for other marine life "” but their fossils, which are found in abundance, provide scientists with an extraordinary record of climatic change and other major events in the history of the earth. Now, planktonic foraminifera "” single-celled shell building members of the marine microplankton community "” have given up a secret of their very own.A team...

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2009-05-07 13:27:52

An international team of geologists may have uncovered the answer to an age-old question - an ice-age-old question, that is. It appears that Earth's earliest ice age may have been due to the rise of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere, which consumed atmospheric greenhouse gases and chilled the earth. Alan J. Kaufman, professor of geology at the University of Maryland, Maryland geology colleague James Farquhar, and scientists from Germany, South Africa, Canada, and the U.S.A., uncovered evidence...

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2009-05-04 13:06:32

Data is conclusive, says Keller, who hopes to move on from decades-old controversy A Princeton University geoscientist who has stirred controversy with her studies challenging a popular theory that an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs has compiled powerful new evidence asserting her position. Gerta Keller, whose studies of rock formations at many sites in the United States, Mexico and India have led her to conclude that volcanoes, not a vast meteorite, were the more likely culprits in the...