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:6/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... supporting sustainable healthcare, and Renovagen Ltd, a UK supplier and manufacturer of innovative ... to support testing operations in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia. ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... Rigaku Corporation ... next event in a series of TOPIQ webinars, which will cover the Transferable ... was developed in response to social distancing measures that resulted in postponements and ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... June 16, 2020 , ... The director of stem cell ... if the stem cell medicine and pharmaceutical industries have easier access to stem cell ... starting July 5 of this year, Independence Day weekend in the U.S., Asymmetrex is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... The FSHD ... Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Clinical Trial Research Network (FSHD CTRN), with consideration ... is a consortium of academic research centers in the United States and Europe ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one of ... broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on how ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Diversified Technologies, Inc. has introduced a full ... drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. , DTI Radar Transmitter Systems ... push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time for a capacitive load. These all solid-state ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... The SDX® ... in 16 countries, has reached its 20th anniversary of worldwide use. Introduced in ... at top universities including University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: