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Latest Impact 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...

140896d1b72f7a64a861762dcc4685a11
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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2009-12-14 07:36:19

An investigation by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequency It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside. But this isn't a disaster movie plotline. "Comet impacts might be much more frequent than we expect," said Adrian...

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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...

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2009-09-14 06:23:13

Comet 147P/Kushida-Muramatsu was captured as a temporary moon of Jupiter in the mid-20th century and remained trapped in an irregular orbit for about twelve years. There are only a handful of known comets where this phenomenon of temporary satellite capture has occurred and the capture duration in the case of Kushida-Muramatsu, which orbited Jupiter between 1949 and 1961, is the third longest.  The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr...

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2009-08-09 08:40:00

New research shows that extinction events tend to "cluster" on evolutionary lineages, wiping out entire "chunks of life" as related species with a common ancestor vanish together. Scientists say the phenomenon can result in the loss of an entire branch of the "tree of life".The findings, while based on an analysis of past extinctions, could also assist in modern conservation efforts.The scientists say the lesson for conservationists is that some groups are more vulnerable to extinction than...

2009-08-06 14:54:19

Global calamities like the one that doomed most dinosaurs forever alter the varieties of life found on Earth, but new research shows that it doesn't take a catastrophe to end entire lineages. An analysis of 200 million years of history for marine clams found that vulnerability to extinction runs in evolutionary families, even when the losses result form ongoing, background rates of extinction."Biologists have long suspected that the evolutionary history of species and lineages play a big role...


Latest Impact events Reference Libraries

3_c938a537b7d52e79e3bb2580d9630a322
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 -- Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is so-named because it was the ninth short-period comet discovered by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy. It was first detected in a photograph taken on the night of March 24, 1993 with the 0.4-meter Schmidt telescope at the Mount Palomar observatory in California, and subsequently observed by many other astronomers. The comet was extremely unusual because it was in fragments, evidently due to a close encounter with the planet...

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