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:5/12/2016)... -- WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research ... the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A ... to a program where they would receive discounts for ... "We were surprised to see that so ... , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval ... of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today ... a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an ... paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: