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Latest Extinction events Stories

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2010-03-01 13:02:12

An asteroid strike may not only account for the demise of ocean and land life 65 million years ago, but the fireball's path and the resulting dust, darkness and toxic metal contamination may explain the geographic unevenness of extinctions and recovery, according to Penn State geoscientists. "Our results shed light on the causes of nannoplankton extinction, how productivity was restored, the factors that controlled the origination of new species, and, ultimately, how phytoplankton influenced...

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2010-02-02 09:37:21

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have compared the disaster caused by the Aznalc³llar spillage in the Doñana National Park in Andalusia 11 years ago with the biggest species extinction known to date. What do these two disasters have in common? The scientists say that carrying out comparisons of this kind will make it possible to find out how ecosystems recover following mass extinctions. Until now, scientists used to study the fossil record in order...

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2010-01-22 08:18:46

A new scientific paper co-authored by a University of Adelaide researcher reports strong evidence that humans, not climate change, caused the demise of Australia's megafauna - giant marsupials, huge reptiles and flightless birds - at least 40,000 years ago. In a paper published today in the international journal Science, two Australian scientists claim that improved dating methods show that humans and megafauna only co-existed for a relatively short time after people inhabited Australia,...

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2010-01-15 10:45:12

Scientists have discovered that air flows in one direction as it loops through the lungs of alligators, just as it does in birds. The results, published in this week's issue of the journal Science, suggest that this breathing method may have helped dinosaurs' ancestors dominate Earth after the planet's worst mass extinction 251 million years ago. Before and until about 20 million years after the extinction--called "the Great Dying" or the Permian-Triassic extinction--mammal-like reptiles...

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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...


Word of the Day
conjunto
  • A style of popular dance music originating along the border between Texas and Mexico, characterized by the use of accordion, drums, and 12-string bass guitar and traditionally based on polka, waltz, and bolero rhythms.
The word 'conjunto' comes through Spanish, from Latin coniūnctus, past participle of coniungere, to join together; see conjoin