nother 1 million years," Jackson said. "What is most remarkable is that most of the organisms that went extinct were those that liked high productivity environments, which had already disappeared for some time. Why did it take so long for them to perish? What tipped the scales?"
Jackson recently shared the 500,000-Euro prize from the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria for his work on the decline of marine life as a result of historical overfishing. He supports the idea that gradual environmental changes in the ocean may suddenly add up to conditions that make life untenable.
"Most paleontology studies report the length of time that an organism is present in the fossil recordbut that doesn't tell the whole story. Looking at the abundance of organisms helps because you can see their decline long before they go extinct. Extinction is forever, and it remains unclear how long new ecological conditions must persist before extinction occurs," Jackson said.
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, headquartered in Panama City, Panama, is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Institute furthers the understanding of tropical nature and its importance to human welfare, trains students to conduct research in the tropics and promotes conservation by increasing public awareness of the beauty and importance of tropical ecosystems.
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Contact: Beth King
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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
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