HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Fossil Eggshells Hold Clues To Major Animal Extinctions As Reported In Science

Washington D.C. - A group of U.S. and Australian researchers have used the eggshells of an enormous flightless bird to show that humans were probably responsible for a major extinction event that saw the demise of more than 85% of Australia's large animals. In the 8 January 1999 issue of Science, Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado and his colleagues report that the extinction probably occurred about 50,000 years ago and speculate that its cause may have been ecological disruption from burning by the continent's early human inhabitants. This evidence should help clear up a decades-old debate as to whether human activity or climate change was behind the extinction events that rocked ecosystems around the world during the Quaternary period (1.8 million years ago to the present).

Over a century ago, explorer Alfred Russell Wallace wrote that "we live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared...." The dearth of these animal species (collectively known as "megafauna," for their moderate to large size) is a result of the mass extinction events of the Quaternary period, which Timothy Flannery of Harvard University describes in a Perspective that accompanies the Report by Miller and his colleagues. These events were mild or absent in some regions of the world, such as Africa and Southeast Asia, moderate in others such as Europe, and extreme in the Americas, Australia, and many oceanic islands.

However, in recent decades, agreement as to why the megafaunal extinctions occurred has been as non-existent as the long-gone giant sloth. Parts of the Quaternary were periods of rapid and extensive climatic change that could have been capable of driving many species to extinction. On the other hand, modern humans, who first spread across the globe during this time, might also have brought about the megafauna's demise, either through hunting or less direct means. Mos
'"/>

Contact: Gabriel Paal
gpaal@aaas.org
202-326-6421
American Association for the Advancement of Science
7-Jan-1999


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Fossil genes reveal how life sheds form and function
2. Fossils reveal direct link between global warming and genetic diversity in wildlife
3. Methane and mini-horses: Fossils reveal effects of global warming
4. Fossil teeth reveal recent origin of human growth pattern
5. Fossil teeth of extinct North American rhinos reveal an aquatic lifestyle similar to modern hippos
6. Fossil plants ties to ancient carbon redefined
7. Fossil mayflies can be used to weigh ancient atmospheres
8. Fossilized Emu Eggshells Give Clues To 65,000 Years Of Vegetation And Climate Changes In Australia
9. Scientists Use Fossilized Emu Eggshells To Discern Changes In Vegetation, Provide Additional Evidence Of Human Impact On Australian Landscape
10. Fossil Footprints Show Foot-Movement Similarity In Dinosaurs And Birds
11. A Missing Link Fossil Adds Foliage To The Early Human Ancestor Family Tree

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type ... Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion by ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... -- --> --> Competitive ... Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... security market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, which ... defence & security companies in the border security market ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development Company ... company of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation ... technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has ... from private investors. ... detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on ... business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in certain foods have the potential to ... posted an article on the new research. Click here to read it now. ... Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols in cancer for their report recently ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and development services to ... business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President and CEO, Tom ... of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” , Kablooe has ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes of ... on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective bio-threat ... PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology called ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: