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:11/27/2018)... ... ... Veni Vici, or Anthony, is a competitive Hunter-Jumper owned by Lisa Companioni Smith. In ... was fourteen years old and Lisa was told he would never jump again and that ... Devasted, Lisa sought the expert opinion of veterinarian and surgeon, Dr. Ruth-Anne Richter of ...
(Date:11/20/2018)... ... , ... Thanks to its long-standing expertise in ID reader development and industrialization, ... the company now proposes a full range of readers able to satisfy all needs ... be used by professionals either in a fixed location or on the move as ...
(Date:11/16/2018)... ... November 16, 2018 , ... OnlineMasters.com, an industry-leading educational ... Programs for 2019. They have identified the top programs in the nation that ... graduate outcomes. , Leveraging an exclusive data set comprised of interviews and surveys ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/13/2018)... ... December 13, 2018 , ... Microbial Discovery Group LLC ... has been part of their strategic plan and an important milestone in increasing ... fermentation opportunities for MDG within the $44 Billion human probiotic market. This plan ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... , ... December 05, 2018 , ... The incredible life ... tribute to in the European Parliament by Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research ... Research and Innovation in Our Daily Lives, Commissioner Moedas spoke at length of Yousef’s ...
(Date:11/29/2018)... ... ... RAGS, today announced the closing of a $1.5 million Second Seed round ... and board member Jeremy Andrus, CEO of Traeger Grills, as well as James Ho ... company to accelerate its growth and expand the product line. RAGS has now raised ...
(Date:11/26/2018)... ... November 26, 2018 , ... USARAD Holdings Inc., the leading ... Partners (Virtual Radiologic founders) among other healthcare investors exhibits at the Radiological Society ... in Chicago. The company is proud to announce a 10 year anniversary since ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: