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:
TAG: Surprising link between body size and extinction risk

(Date:7/24/2014)... decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year ... study on the impact of humans on declining animal ... invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms ... control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration ... Science and led by UCL, Stanford and UCSB, ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... sticky research out of York University shows a surprisingly ... toxic grass fungus: moose saliva (yes moose saliva). ... "Ungulate saliva inhibits a grassendophyte mutualism" shows that moose ... (which hosts a fungus called epichlo festucae that produces ... less toxicity. , "Plants have evolved defense mechanisms to ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... counterparts in humans, affect the connections between nerve cells ... hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays a ... memories. The results of the study have been published ... depends on the active communication between nerve cells, known ... into a dense network where they constantly relay signals ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles 2Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles 3Moose drool inhibits growth of toxic fungus: York U research 2A protein couple controls flow of information into the brain's memory center 2A protein couple controls flow of information into the brain's memory center 3A protein couple controls flow of information into the brain's memory center 4
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014  Spherix Incorporated (SPEX) -- an intellectual ... of intellectual property, today announced that the Company will ... 30, 2014 on Monday, August 18, 2014 for shareholders. ... ET on Monday, August 18, 2014 to discuss the ... company,s CEO, Anthony Hayes . Following ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014 The patent provides ... diagnostic test results. It also enables true sample ... validation and reporting of high profile assays such ... a rapidly growing area of biotechnology that includes ... cancer, and companion diagnostics in personalized medicine. The ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... RICHMOND, Calif., July 23, 2014  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. ... quarter 2014 financial results and accomplishments. ... reported a consolidated net loss of $7.0 million, or ... $5.5 million, or $0.10 per share, for the same ... Company had cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and interest ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria ... perfect semiconductor crystals into a silicon nanowire. With ... fast and multi-functional processing units can be accommodated ... research results will be published in the journal ... the cornerstone of future chip technology, but the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Spherix Schedules Shareholder Update Call 2New DNA-barcode Patent Virtually Eliminates False Test Results and Sample Mix-up 2Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 2Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 3Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 4Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 5Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 6Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 7Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 8Sangamo BioSciences Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results 9A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos 2
Cached News: