HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Surprising link between body size and extinction risk

Most of the Australian mammals that have gone extinct in the last 200 years were medium sized, and many biologists believe that this somehow predisposed them to extinction. New research debunks this belief and reveals another link between body size and extinction: small mammals are less likely to die out.

This work is presented in the October issue of Conservation Biology by Marcel Cardillo and Lindell Bromham, who did this work at the University of Queensland, Australia, and are now at the University of Sussex, UK.

Nearly half of all the mammals that have gone extinct worldwide in the last 200 years were Australian, and most of them were medium-sized (1.2 ounces - 12 pounds). Biologists theorized that Australian mammals in this so-called "Critical Weight Range" were more prone to extinction. While this theory has been widely accepted, it had not been tested rigorously.

To test this theory, Cardillo and Bromham did the first statistical analysis of weight and extinction risk in Australian mammals. The researchers considered 25 extinct and 16 endangered species.

Cardillo and Bromham discovered that the medium-sized mammals were not at greater risk of extinction. So why are most of Australia's extinct mammals medium-sized? The answer is simple: most of Australia's mammals happen to be medium- sized.

The researchers also found a new link between size and extinction risk: the smallest mammal species are the least vulnerable to extinction. Many Australian rodents weigh less than an ounce and some marsupials weigh less than a third of an ounce. Cardillo and Bromham speculate that these small species are more robust because they have high population densities and reproductive rates, which means they can recover quickly.


'"/>

Contact: Marcel Cardillo
mcardillo@zoology.uq.edu.au
44-1273-606-755 X4234
Society for Conservation Biology
20-Sep-2001


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Surprising ultra-conserved regions discovered in human genome
2. Surprising role for Staphs toxic shock toxin
3. A Real Smart Asp: Snakes Show Surprising Ability To Learn
4. North America Absorbing Carbon Dioxide At Surprisingly High Rate, Team Reports
5. Proteins Interacting With RNA And DNA Are Surprisingly Similar
6. Surprising Protein Movement Seen In Cells
7. Landmark agreement between Samoa and UC Berkeley could help search for AIDS cure
8. New research suggests link between maternal diet and childhood leukemia risk
9. Fossils reveal direct link between global warming and genetic diversity in wildlife
10. Battle between bubbles might have started evolution
11. UCSD researchers are first to demonstrate molecular link between inflammation and cancer

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


(Date:6/27/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... The report forecasts the biometrics ... a CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. ... with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape ... includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the ... Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... growth in each of the following categories: net square feet ... of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016   Acuant , the ... solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce ... add functional enhancements to existing physical access ... venues with an automated ID verification and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading ... open a state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big data, to ... comes as Liz Scott , co-executive director of ... Summit in Washington, D.C. , hosted ... and advocate of pediatric cancer research and awareness. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Global demand for ... percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market ... beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and ... diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain ... by increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ... advised by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, ... United States based venture capital funds which ... Biorem (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that ... of their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), a ... the development of innovative products and services, announced today ... States denied its petition to review decisions ... U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not patent ... Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: