Researchers: If Meteorite Hit 13 Million Years Earlier, Dinosaurs Might Still be Around
October 30, 2012 2:19 PM
Research shows that pre-extinction disruption of food webs makes ecosystems more fragile, susceptible
, a Ph.D. student on the
University of Chicago
's Committee on Evolutionary Biology,
California Academy of Sciences
have collaborated to produce a fascinating simulations-based analysis of the factors that helped dinosaurs go extinct
at the close of the Cretaceous era.
The authors used a food web program they wrote, which looked at dozens of species. They looked to lay to rest debates about dinosaurs' diet (e.g. did
eat Triceratops, Duck-Billed dinosaurs, or a mixture of both?) by carrying out a number of simulations with each possibility considered. A total of 17 food webs, based on species alive at the time, were inspected
What they found was that the precise diet of dinosaurs mattered less than the relative diversity of one ecosystem versus another. Comments Professor Angielczyk, "Using modern food webs as guides, what we have discovered is that this uncertainty is far less important to understanding ecosystem functioning than is our general knowledge of the diets and the number of different species that would have had a particular diet."
The researchers suggest that
in the Cretaceous led to a number of changes, including the drying of a sea in North America. The net result was
a loss of diversity
Lower food web diversity made the dinosaurs more vulnerable to mass-extinction a new study claims. [Image Source: PNAS]
This meant that while the ecosystem was still flourishing, it was respectively more fragile than its equivalent, 13 million years before the meteorite impact at Chicxulub on the Yucatan Peninsula. Comments Mr. Mitchell, "The ecosystems collapsed because of the asteroid impact, and nothing in our study suggests that they would not have otherwise continued on successfully. Unusual circumstances, such as the after-effects of the asteroid impact, were needed for the vulnerability of the communities to become important."
In fact, the authors argue that the dinosaurs would likely
the calamity, had the meteorite hit 13 million years earlier, during the period of greater diversity.
If the meteorite hit 13 million years earlier, the dinosaurs might not have gone extinct.
[Image Source: D. Davis]
The authors say their analysis provides cautionary hints to help assess current ecosystems for vulnerability. States Professor Rooparine, "Besides shedding light on this ancient extinction, our findings imply that seemingly innocuous changes to ecosystems caused by humans might reduce the ecosystems' abilities to withstand unexpected disturbances."
However, the authors are also careful to note that their study did not indicate more
was a significant safeguard; rather they argue it's the amount of genetic diversity across species that's important -- in other words, saving a lot of similar species may not help as much as conserving
species that play unique roles
in the ecosystem.
The study was
in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
Study Shows Dinosaurs Lived 700,000 Years After Mass Extinction
January 31, 2011, 10:27 AM
Researchers Blame Global Warming For Dying Bird Populations
August 11, 2010, 7:19 AM
Report: Tigers Near Extinction, Only 3,200 Left as Poaching Continues
February 11, 2010, 4:12 PM
Scientists Discover Missing Evolutionary Link -- a Tiny First-gen T-Rex
September 20, 2009, 1:38 PM
New Study Links CO2 to Paleozoic Extinctions
September 1, 2007, 11:23 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
Echo Dot is a Best Seller - Sold Out Until December 1, 2016.
November 26, 2016, 6:00 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Star Wars Android Smartphones coming to a Japanese Galaxy Near You
November 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
Points to Consider when Buying Your New PC – Window 10 PC Buying Guide
Nov 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information