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
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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:

(Date:11/10/2015)... YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 ... to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and ... fraud. Signature is considered as the secure and ... the identification of a particular individual because each ... more accurate results especially when dynamic signature of ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Connecticut , October 29, 2015 ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ... smart wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace ... be featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing ... focuses on a daily routine for managing the life-long ... medication can affect the way the body absorbs it ... their a daily routine are important. The goal of ... patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a daily ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... integration with MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless ... , Smartlogic’s Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: ... today that it has closed the sale of its ... Guerbet (GBT- NYSE Euronext) in a transaction valued at ... manufacturing facilities and a total of approximately 1,000 employees ... St. Louis area. This entire ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading independent ... (CRO), has formed a strategic partnership ... Temple Health for joint work on ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151126/10135429 ) , --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: