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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...

3c4a759c9579e187499eeffab536b1591
2006-01-23 08:50:00

NASA -- Biologists have long believed that bigger is better when it comes to body size, since many lineages of animals, from horses to dinosaurs, have evolved into larger species over time. But a study published this week by two biologists at the University of California, San Diego in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that maxim, known as "Cope's Rule," may be only partly true. The scientists found that populations of tiny crustaceans...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.