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Extinction in Biological News

Surviving mass extinction by leading a double life

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 hi...

Current mass extinction spurs major study of which plants to save

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) The Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of both plants and animals, with nearly 50 percent of all species disappearing, scientists say. Because of the current crisis, biologists at UC Santa Barbara are working day and night to determine which species mus...

Geologist who linked cosmic strike to dinosaurs' extinction takes top prize

Walter Alvarez, the maverick geologist who convinced a skeptical world that dinosaurs and many other living things on Earth were wiped out by a huge fireball from space, has won the highly esteemed Vetlesen Prize. Considered by many the earth sciences' equivalent of a Nobel, the $250,000 awar...

Study of islands reveals surprising extinction results

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) It's no secret that humans are having a huge impact on the life cycles of plants and animals. UC Santa Barbara's Steven D. Gaines and fellow researcher Dov Sax decided to test that theory by studying the world's far-flung islands. Their research, published this month in...

A recipe for saving the world's oceans from an extinction crisis

Jeremy Jackson, senior scientist emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, asserts in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that the following steps, if taken immediately, could reverse the dem...

Smithsonian hosts tropical extinction debate in Panama

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will host the workshop "Debating the Tropical Extinction Crisis" in Panama from 21-23 August, 2008. The event is sponsored by the Institute, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Science Committee of the Smithsonian National Board, and the Smit...

Rare Antarctic fossils reveal extinction of tundra before full polar climate arrived

(Boston) An international research team in Antarctica led by David Marchant, an associate professor of earth sciences at Boston University, has reported the discovery of exceptionally well-preserved freshwater fossils including mosses, microscopic one-celled algae, known as diatoms, small fresh wa...

Ivory poaching at critical levels: Elephants on path to extinction by 2020?

African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory at a pace unseen since an international ban on the ivory trade took effect in 1989. But the public outcry that resulted in that ban is absent today, and a University of Washington conservation biologist contends it is because the public seem...

Woolly-mammoth gene study changes extinction theory

A large genetic study of the extinct woolly mammoth has revealed that the species was not one large homogenous group, as scientists previously had assumed, and that it did not have much genetic diversity. "The population was split into two groups, then one of the groups died out 45,000 years ago,...

Climate change hastens extinction in Madagascar's reptiles and amphibians

New research from the American Museum of Natural History provides the first detailed study showing that global warming forces species to move up tropical mountains as their habitats shift upward. Christopher Raxworthy, Associate Curator in the Department of Herpetology, predicts that at least thre...

Scientists warn that species extinction could reduce productivity of plants on Earth by half

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) An international team of scientists has published a new analysis showing that as plant species around the world go extinct, natural habitats become less productive and contain fewer total plants a situation that could ultimately compromise important benefits that humans ...

NAS Biodiversity and Extinction Meeting Dec. 7-8

The National Academy of Sciences' Sackler Colloquium series will hold a meeting on the so-called biodiversity crisis and whether a mass extinction of plants and animals is under way. Leading researchers and students will discuss recent discoveries and concepts regarding the global abundance and d...

Scientists fear rare dolphin driven to extinction by human activities

An international research team, including biologists from NOAA Fisheries Service, has reported in an online scientific journal that it had failed to find a single Yangtze River dolphin, or baiji, during a six-week survey in China. The scientists fear the marine mammal is now extinct due to fishing...

Study shows competition, not climate change, led to Neanderthal extinction

In a recently conducted study, a multidisciplinary French-American research team with expertise in archaeology, past climates, and ecology reported that Neanderthal extinction was principally a result of competition with Cro-Magnon populations, rather than the consequences of climate change. T...

Newly discovered monkey is threatened with extinction

NEW YORK (JULY 28, 2008) Just three years after it was discovered, a new species of monkey is threatened with extinction according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which recently published the first-ever census of the endangered primate. Known as the "kipunji," the large, fores...

1/3 of reef-building corals face extinction

Arlington, VA (July 10, 2008) A third of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction, according to the first-ever comprehensive global assessment to determine their conservation status. The study findings were published today by Science Express . Leading coral exper...

Over 50 percent of oceanic shark species threatened with extinction

22nd May 2008 The first study to determine the global threat status of 21 species of wide-ranging oceanic pelagic sharks and rays reveals serious overfishing and recommends key steps that governments can take to safeguard populations. These findings and recommendations for action are published in...

CITES caviar export quotas remain steady for beluga sturgeon despite threat of extinction

NEW YORK CITY- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) announced trade quotas governing the export of wild sturgeon and their prized caviar eggs from the Caspian Sea. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science has analyzed the quotas, which are re-set each year, and has determ...

Destruction of Sumatra forests driving global climate change and species extinction

PEKANBARU, SUMATRA -Turning just one Sumatran province's forests and peat swamps into pulpwood and palm oil plantations is generating more annual greenhouse gas emissions than the Netherlands and rapidly driving the province's elephants into extinction, a new study by WWF and partners has found. ...

Ocean's fiercest predators now vulnerable to extinction

This release is available in French . Sharks are disappearing from the worlds oceans. The numbers of many large shark species have declined by more than half due to increased demand for shark fins and meat, recreational shark fisheries, as well as tuna and swordfish fisheries, where millio...

Body part by body part, Sumatran tigers are being sold into extinction

Washington Laws protecting the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger have failed to prevent tiger body parts being openly sold in Indonesia, according to a TRAFFIC report launched today. Tiger body parts, including canine teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers and bones, were on sale in 10 percent...

Recovering from a mass extinction

The full recovery of ecological systems, following the most devastating extinction event of all time, took at least 30 million years, according to new research from the University of Bristol. About 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian, a major extinction event killed over 90 per cen...

Fish farms drive wild salmon populations toward extinction

A study appearing in the December 14 issue of the journal Science shows, for the first time, that parasitic sea lice infestations caused by salmon farms are driving nearby populations of wild salmon toward extinction. The results show that the affected pink salmon populations have been rapidly dec...

Meteor no longer prime suspect in great extinction

The greatest mass extinction in Earths history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory. Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic eruptions and global warming was the likely cause of the Great Dying 250 milli...

Fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction

Global temperatures predicted for the coming centuries may trigger a new mass extinction event, where over 50 per cent of animal and plant species would be wiped out, warn scientists at the Universities of York and Leeds. The research team has, for the first time, discovered a close associatio...

Report: African, Asian, Latin American farm animals face extinction

INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND (3 SEPTEMBER 2007)With the worlds first global inventory of farm animals showing many breeds of African, Asian, and Latin American livestock at risk of extinction, scientists from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) today called for the rap...

Ice Age extinction claimed highly carnivorous Alaskan wolves

The extinction of many large mammals at the end of the Ice Age may have packed an even bigger punch than scientists have realized. To the list of victims such as woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats, a Smithsonian-led team of scientists has added one more: a highly carnivorous form of wolf that...

Climate change was the cause of Neanderthal extinction in the Iberian Peninsula

Climate ?and not modern humans ?was the cause of the Neanderthal extinction in the Iberian Peninsula. Such is the conclusion of the University of Granada research group RNM 179 - Mineralogy and Geochemistry of sedimentary and metamorphic environments, headed by professor Miguel Ortega Huertas and w...

Dinosaur extinction didn't cause the rise of present-day mammals, claim researchers

A new, complete 'tree of life' tracing the history of all 4,500 mammals on Earth shows that they did not diversify as a result of the death of the dinosaurs, says new research published in Nature today. The study was undertaken in the UK by scientists at Imperial College London and the Zoological...

Global map shows new patterns of extinction risk

The most detailed world map of mammals, birds and amphibians ever produced shows that endangered species from these groups do not inhabit the same geographical areas, says new research published today. Contrary to conservationists' previous assumptions, the map shows conclusively that geographic...

Ocean 'dead zones' trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat

Oxygen depletion in the world’s oceans, primarily caused by agricultural run-off and pollution, could spark the development of far more male fish than female, thereby threatening some species with extinction, according to a study published today on the Web site of the American Chemical Society jour...

Traditional models underestimate extinction rates

Last year, the World Conservation Union reported an unprecedented decline in biodiversity, with nearly 16,000 species facing extinction. The biggest threat to most species is loss of habitat. And as habitat loss and degradation proceed nearly unabated, the need to accurately predict the population ...

Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim

Thinking small in a time when everything was big has helped Queensland researchers to unearth new evidence that climate change, instead of humans, was responsible for wiping out Australian giant marsupials or megafauna 40,000 years ago. Instead of only excavating 'trophy specimens' such as giant...

Low level of extinction during ice age linked to adaptability

A Johns Hopkins University graduate student may have figured out why rates of extinction were so low for many of the major groups of marine life during one of the greatest ice ages of them all, which occurred from about 330 million to 290 million years ago, late in the Paleozoic Era. The likely a...

Fossil plants bring Wilf distinguished speaker honor

...a and the western interior U.S. This time interval shaped the modern world and included the latest Cretaceous climate changes, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction and recovery, and global warming across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. He also looks at modern insect herbivory, leaf shape-to-climate relationships a...

August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...ut 65 million years ago. The impact may have been responsible for the great extinction event that occurred at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, including the extinction of dinosaurs. Although a several-kilometer-thick cover of sedimentary rocks...

Naming evolution's winners and losers

...e trying to understand what explains the staggering diversity of reef fishes and other vertebrates." "Our analysis can highlight how much higher extinction rates are in the present, compared with the historical rates," he said. ...

Sex in the Caribbean: Environmental change drives evolutionary change -- eventually

... they disappeared from the geological record," said Jackson. "The idea that extinction may be delayed by millions of years after the cause is worrisome. Today an ...fossil record is that even if they survive now, the ultimate cause of their extinction may already have passed us by." This report appears in the Proceedings ...

Humans lend a hand to critically endangered waterbird

... Human impact on one of the world's most threatened bird species can be beneficial rather than destructive - and could even save it from extinction - according to counterintuitive new findings by the University of East Anglia (UEA). Published today in the peer-reviewed journal Animal Conservat...

Red List overlooks island species

...status of species that are supposed to be under threat in the Canary Islands according to IUCN criteria. However, the lists of species threatened with extinction according to these criteria did not coincide with reality, as they were "too extensive" and included species that "do not face any risk at all". Af...
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