Category: extinction

Extinction: Had the dinosaurs been dying out before the big K-T extinction?

If large plant-eaters were declining, the future can’t have been rosy for large meat-eaters like the tyrannosaurs, even if they were not in absolute decline. more

Jury’s still out on dino to bird transition?

It’s true that some birds do look that way sometimes, but if convergent evolution teaches us anything, it is that appearances deceive. more

Extinct Tasmanian tiger showed little genetic diversity, gene study shows

Limited genetic diversity may predispose a life form to extinction because all members of the population may be similarly at risk from a given cause. more

Dinosaurs doomed by egg-laying?

… “new-born mammals occupy the same ecological niche as their parents: As they are fed with milk directly by the mother, they do not take any niche away from smaller species.” more

Mammoth extinction: Gotta be climate change or humans …

“If humans hunted them to extinction, I would expect us to find evidence of that. I’m personally leaning towards environmental change.” more

Marine reptiles didn’t die out when they were supposed to … or something …

“German experts have found a new species of prehistoric marine giant from a time when most of that family of reptiles were thought to have died out.” more

Darwinism and climate change: Go on then, make a PREDICTION!

If such studies don’t enable us to predict anything, why are they important for understanding the outcomes of anthropogenic climate change? more

Crocs survived the Cretaceous extinction due to slow growth rates?

What is surprising is that all of these features were present in the last common ancestor of dinosaurs and crocodiles. (220 million years ago) more

Trying to put precise dates to the greatest-ever extinction – the Permian

“Researchers determined that the mass extinction peaked about 252.28 million years ago and lasted less than 200,000 years, with most of the extinction lasting about 20,000 years.” more

Extinction: You never saw a rhino fly? Plus a curious fact …

So, for the extinction file, antisocial tendencies could in some cases, increase risk. more

Human evolution: Humans not to blame for key Ice Age mammals demise?

They may not have adapted to warmer temperatures, it is suggested. more

New studies of great Permian extinction highlight mysteries

Lone survivors ended up important later. more

We need a new name for living fossils like this

If it’s living, it’s not a fossil, or anyway, we don’t know it as one. We know it as a living organism. How about “durable species”? more

Why the Tasmanian tiger went extinct – new insights

It’s one of those situations where everything we knew about the tiger’s (thylacine wolf’s) extinction is true, but some new information rounds out the picture. From “Tasmanian Tiger’s Jaw Was Too Small to Attack Sheep, Study Shows” (ScienceDaily, Aug. 31, 2011), we learn: Australia’s iconic thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, was hunted to death in the […] more

Extinction: Limited genetic diversity may not doom Iberian lynx after all

The lynx was never very genetically diverse. It is hoped this find will spur wild conservation efforts. more

A design perspective on saving endangered species

We’ll have much better luck warding off extinctions if we start treating people as if they were unique (a design perspective). The local people are not just obstructions to whatever we happen to want. They are the only ones who can really do anything about local extinctions. more

Extinction: Beware “endangered species” listing scams

What if it is actually difficult to extinguish species that are well adapted to their environment? It’s hard to research that in a climate of fear. more

Geologist-artist’s 1998 work presages later changes in view of dinosaurs

In “Alternative Evolution” of Dinosaurs Foresaw Contemporary Paleo Finds” (Scientific American August 10, 2011), Brian Switek surveys the great changes that have taken place in how dinosaurs are viewed, many of which may have been foreseen by Dougal Dixon, who thought he was writing a fantasy about how dinosaurs would have evolved, had they survived. […] more

Unlike the furtive ants, stick insects really have, allegedly, gone a million years without sex

In “Stick insects survive one million years without sex” (BBC Nature, 19 July 2011),  Ella Davies reports. Timema genevievae is a female-only species of stick insect “All the evidence points to Timema tahoe and Timema genevievae having persisted for over one million years without sex,” Dr Schwander told BBC Nature. “Our research adds to the growing […] more

Antz, what do you mean, she told you she was asexual … and you BELIEVED her?

Parents strongly cautioned: ant sex discussed At The Scientist (July 18, 2011), Tia Ghose explains, “Asexual Ants Have Sex”, which will take some explaining, but here goes: Some populations of ants long thought to be asexual get a dose of genetic diversity by having sex. On paper, asexuality seems like a winning strategy. Sexless creatures […] more

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