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:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle ... around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... -- As Ebola resurfaces in the Democratic Republic ... cases now reported, a new analysis of the Ebola gene ... between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the disease.  ... which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of the latest ... in 2014-15, which again precedes the current outbreak in the ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 ... ... the third year in a row in the Aragon Research Globe™ for Corporate ... that align with industry direction and market demand, and effectively perform against those ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... that it is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology ... 22-25. , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: