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Sample records for american mammal extinction

  1. Mammal extinctions, body size, and paleotemperature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bown, T.M.; Holroyd, P.A.; Rose, K.D.

    1994-01-01

    There is a general inverse relationship between the natural logarithm of tooth area (a body size indicator) of some fossil mammals and paleotemperature during approximately 2.9 million years of the early Eocene in the Bighorn Basin of northwest Wyoming. When mean temperatures became warmer, tooth areas tended to become smaller. During colder times, larger species predominated; these generally became larger or remained the same size. Paleotemperature trends also markedly affected patterns of local (and, perhaps, regional) extinction and immigration. New species appeared as immigrants during or near the hottest (smaller forms) and coldest (larger forms) intervals. Paleotemperature trend reversals commonly resulted in the ultimate extinction of both small forms (during cooling intervals) and larger forms (during warming intervals). These immigrations and extinctions mark faunal turnovers that were also modulated by sharp increases in sediment accumulation rate.

  2. Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation

    PubMed Central

    Brace, Selina; Turvey, Samuel T.; Weksler, Marcelo; Hoogland, Menno L. P.; Barnes, Ian

    2015-01-01

    Identifying general patterns of colonization and radiation in island faunas is often hindered by past human-caused extinctions. The insular Caribbean is one of the only complex oceanic-type island systems colonized by land mammals, but has witnessed the globally highest level of mammalian extinction during the Holocene. Using ancient DNA analysis, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of one of the Caribbean's now-extinct major mammal groups, the insular radiation of oryzomyine rice rats. Despite the significant problems of recovering DNA from prehistoric tropical archaeological material, it was possible to identify two discrete Late Miocene colonizations of the main Lesser Antillean island chain from mainland South America by oryzomyine lineages that were only distantly related. A high level of phylogenetic diversification was observed within oryzomyines across the Lesser Antilles, even between allopatric populations on the same island bank. The timing of oryzomyine colonization is closely similar to the age of several other Caribbean vertebrate taxa, suggesting that geomorphological conditions during the Late Miocene facilitated broadly simultaneous overwater waif dispersal of many South American lineages to the Lesser Antilles. These data provide an important baseline by which to further develop the Caribbean as a unique workshop for studying island evolution. PMID:25904660

  3. Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation.

    PubMed

    Brace, Selina; Turvey, Samuel T; Weksler, Marcelo; Hoogland, Menno L P; Barnes, Ian

    2015-05-22

    Identifying general patterns of colonization and radiation in island faunas is often hindered by past human-caused extinctions. The insular Caribbean is one of the only complex oceanic-type island systems colonized by land mammals, but has witnessed the globally highest level of mammalian extinction during the Holocene. Using ancient DNA analysis, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of one of the Caribbean's now-extinct major mammal groups, the insular radiation of oryzomyine rice rats. Despite the significant problems of recovering DNA from prehistoric tropical archaeological material, it was possible to identify two discrete Late Miocene colonizations of the main Lesser Antillean island chain from mainland South America by oryzomyine lineages that were only distantly related. A high level of phylogenetic diversification was observed within oryzomyines across the Lesser Antilles, even between allopatric populations on the same island bank. The timing of oryzomyine colonization is closely similar to the age of several other Caribbean vertebrate taxa, suggesting that geomorphological conditions during the Late Miocene facilitated broadly simultaneous overwater waif dispersal of many South American lineages to the Lesser Antilles. These data provide an important baseline by which to further develop the Caribbean as a unique workshop for studying island evolution. PMID:25904660

  4. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faith, J. Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (> 5 kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000 yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.

  5. Drivers and hotspots of extinction risk in marine mammals

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Ana D.; Boyer, Alison G.; Kim, Hwahwan; Pompa-Mansilla, Sandra; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Ceballos, Gerardo; Brown, James H.

    2012-01-01

    The world's oceans are undergoing profound changes as a result of human activities. However, the consequences of escalating human impacts on marine mammal biodiversity remain poorly understood. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identifies 25% of marine mammals as at risk of extinction, but the conservation status of nearly 40% of marine mammals remains unknown due to insufficient data. Predictive models of extinction risk are crucial to informing present and future conservation needs, yet such models have not been developed for marine mammals. In this paper, we: (i) used powerful machine-learning and spatial-modeling approaches to understand the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of marine mammal extinction risk; (ii) used this information to predict risk across all marine mammals, including IUCN “Data Deficient” species; and (iii) conducted a spatially explicit assessment of these results to understand how risk is distributed across the world's oceans. Rate of offspring production was the most important predictor of risk. Additional predictors included taxonomic group, small geographic range area, and small social group size. Although the interaction of both intrinsic and extrinsic variables was important in predicting risk, overall, intrinsic traits were more important than extrinsic variables. In addition to the 32 species already on the IUCN Red List, our model identified 15 more species, suggesting that 37% of all marine mammals are at risk of extinction. Most at-risk species occur in coastal areas and in productive regions of the high seas. We identify 13 global hotspots of risk and show how they overlap with human impacts and Marine Protected Areas. PMID:22308490

  6. Drivers and hotspots of extinction risk in marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Ana D; Boyer, Alison G; Kim, Hwahwan; Pompa-Mansilla, Sandra; Hamilton, Marcus J; Costa, Daniel P; Ceballos, Gerardo; Brown, James H

    2012-02-28

    The world's oceans are undergoing profound changes as a result of human activities. However, the consequences of escalating human impacts on marine mammal biodiversity remain poorly understood. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identifies 25% of marine mammals as at risk of extinction, but the conservation status of nearly 40% of marine mammals remains unknown due to insufficient data. Predictive models of extinction risk are crucial to informing present and future conservation needs, yet such models have not been developed for marine mammals. In this paper, we: (i) used powerful machine-learning and spatial-modeling approaches to understand the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of marine mammal extinction risk; (ii) used this information to predict risk across all marine mammals, including IUCN "Data Deficient" species; and (iii) conducted a spatially explicit assessment of these results to understand how risk is distributed across the world's oceans. Rate of offspring production was the most important predictor of risk. Additional predictors included taxonomic group, small geographic range area, and small social group size. Although the interaction of both intrinsic and extrinsic variables was important in predicting risk, overall, intrinsic traits were more important than extrinsic variables. In addition to the 32 species already on the IUCN Red List, our model identified 15 more species, suggesting that 37% of all marine mammals are at risk of extinction. Most at-risk species occur in coastal areas and in productive regions of the high seas. We identify 13 global hotspots of risk and show how they overlap with human impacts and Marine Protected Areas. PMID:22308490

  7. How global extinctions impact regional biodiversity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shan; Davies, T Jonathan; Gittleman, John L

    2012-04-23

    Phylogenetic diversity (PD) represents the evolutionary history of a species assemblage and is a valuable measure of biodiversity because it captures not only species richness but potentially also genetic and functional diversity. Preserving PD could be critical for maintaining the functional integrity of the world's ecosystems, and species extinction will have a large impact on ecosystems in areas where the ecosystem cost per species extinction is high. Here, we show that impacts from global extinctions are linked to spatial location. Using a phylogeny of all mammals, we compare regional losses of PD against a model of random extinction. At regional scales, losses differ dramatically: several biodiversity hotspots in southern Asia and Amazonia will lose an unexpectedly large proportion of PD. Global analyses may therefore underestimate the impacts of extinction on ecosystem processes and function because they occur at finer spatial scales within the context of natural biogeography. PMID:21957091

  8. Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Gregory P; Evans, Alistair R; Corfe, Ian J; Smits, Peter D; Fortelius, Mikael; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-03-22

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction approximately 66 million years ago is conventionally thought to have been a turning point in mammalian evolution. Prior to that event and for the first two-thirds of their evolutionary history, mammals were mostly confined to roles as generalized, small-bodied, nocturnal insectivores, presumably under selection pressures from dinosaurs. Release from these pressures, by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, triggered ecological diversification of mammals. Although recent individual fossil discoveries have shown that some mammalian lineages diversified ecologically during the Mesozoic era, comprehensive ecological analyses of mammalian groups crossing the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are lacking. Such analyses are needed because diversification analyses of living taxa allow only indirect inferences of past ecosystems. Here we show that in arguably the most evolutionarily successful clade of Mesozoic mammals, the Multituberculata, an adaptive radiation began at least 20 million years before the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and continued across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Disparity in dental complexity, which relates to the range of diets, rose sharply in step with generic richness and disparity in body size. Moreover, maximum dental complexity and body size demonstrate an adaptive shift towards increased herbivory. This dietary expansion tracked the ecological rise of angiosperms and suggests that the resources that were available to multituberculates were relatively unaffected by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Taken together, our results indicate that mammals were able to take advantage of new ecological opportunities in the Mesozoic and that at least some of these opportunities persisted through the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Similar broad-scale ecomorphological inventories of other radiations may help to constrain the possible causes of mass extinctions

  9. Ecological predictors of extinction risks of endemic mammals of China.

    PubMed

    Chen, You-Hua

    2014-07-01

    In this brief report, we analyzed ecological correlates of risk of extinction for mammals endemic to China using phylogenetic eigenvector methods to control for the effect of phylogenetic inertia. Extinction risks were based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and ecological explanatory attributes that include range size and climatic variables. When the effect of phylogenetic inertia were controlled, climate became the best predictor for quantifying and evaluating extinction risks of endemic mammals in China, accounting for 13% of the total variation. Range size seems to play a trivial role, explaining ~1% of total variation; however, when non-phylogenetic variation partitioning analysis was done, the role of range size then explained 7.4% of total variation. Consequently, phylogenetic inertia plays a substantial role in increasing the explanatory power of range size on the extinction risks of mammals endemic to China. Limitations of the present study are discussed, with a focus on under-represented sampling of endemic mammalian species. PMID:25017756

  10. Larger brain size indirectly increases vulnerability to extinction in mammals.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; González-Suárez, Manuela; Vilà, Carles; Revilla, Eloy

    2016-06-01

    Although previous studies have addressed the question of why large brains evolved, we have limited understanding of potential beneficial or detrimental effects of enlarged brain size in the face of current threats. Using novel phylogenetic path analysis, we evaluated how brain size directly and indirectly, via its effects on life history and ecology, influences vulnerability to extinction across 474 mammalian species. We found that larger brains, controlling for body size, indirectly increase vulnerability to extinction by extending the gestation period, increasing weaning age, and limiting litter sizes. However, we found no evidence of direct, beneficial, or detrimental effects of brain size on vulnerability to extinction, even when we explicitly considered the different types of threats that lead to vulnerability. Order-specific analyses revealed qualitatively similar patterns for Carnivora and Artiodactyla. Interestingly, for Primates, we found that larger brain size was directly (and indirectly) associated with increased vulnerability to extinction. Our results indicate that under current conditions, the constraints on life history imposed by large brains outweigh the potential benefits, undermining the resilience of the studied mammals. Contrary to the selective forces that have favored increased brain size throughout evolutionary history, at present, larger brains have become a burden for mammals. PMID:27159368

  11. First evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals.

    PubMed

    Fox, Richard C; Scott, Craig S

    2005-06-23

    Numerous non-mammalian vertebrates have evolved lethal venoms to aid either in securing prey or as protection from predators, but modern mammals that use venoms in these ways are rare, including only the duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus), the Caribbean Solenodon, and a few shrews (Soricidae) (Order Insectivora). Here we report evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals, documented by well-preserved specimens recovered from late Palaeocene rocks in Alberta, Canada. Although classified within Eutheria, these mammals are phylogenetically remote from modern Insectivora and have evolved specialized teeth as salivary venom delivery systems (VDSs) that differ markedly from one another and from those of Solenodon and shrews. Our discoveries therefore show that mammals have been much more flexible in the evolution of VDSs than previously believed, contradicting currently held notions that modern insectivorans are representative of the supposedly limited role of salivary venoms in mammalian history. Evidently, small predatory eutherians have paralleled colubroid snakes in evolving salivary venoms and their delivery systems several times independently. PMID:15973406

  12. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.

    PubMed

    Prothero, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. PMID:25236413

  13. Extinction rates in North American freshwater fishes, 1900-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkhead, Noel M.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread evidence shows that the modern rates of extinction in many plants and animals exceed background rates in the fossil record. In the present article, I investigate this issue with regard to North American freshwater fishes. From 1898 to 2006, 57 taxa became extinct, and three distinct populations were extirpated from the continent. Since 1989, the numbers of extinct North American fishes have increased by 25%. From the end of the nineteenth century to the present, modern extinctions varied by decade but significantly increased after 1950 (post-1950s mean = 7.5 extinct taxa per decade). In the twentieth century, freshwater fishes had the highest extinction rate worldwide among vertebrates. The modern extinction rate for North American freshwater fishes is conservatively estimated to be 877 times greater than the background extinction rate for freshwater fishes (one extinction every 3 million years). Reasonable estimates project that future increases in extinctions will range from 53 to 86 species by 2050.

  14. The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene

    PubMed Central

    Turvey, Samuel T.; Fritz, Susanne A.

    2011-01-01

    Although the recent historical period is usually treated as a temporal base-line for understanding patterns of mammal extinction, mammalian biodiversity loss has also taken place throughout the Late Quaternary. We explore the spatial, taxonomic and phylogenetic patterns of 241 mammal species extinctions known to have occurred during the Holocene up to the present day. To assess whether our understanding of mammalian threat processes has been affected by excluding these taxa, we incorporate extinct species data into analyses of the impact of body mass on extinction risk. We find that Holocene extinctions have been phylogenetically and spatially concentrated in specific taxa and geographical regions, which are often not congruent with those disproportionately at risk today. Large-bodied mammals have also been more extinction-prone in most geographical regions across the Holocene. Our data support the extinction filter hypothesis, whereby regional faunas from which susceptible species have already become extinct now appear less threatened; they may also suggest that different processes are responsible for driving past and present extinctions. We also find overall incompleteness and inter-regional biases in extinction data from the recent fossil record. Although direct use of fossil data in future projections of extinction risk is therefore not straightforward, insights into extinction processes from the Holocene record are still useful in understanding mammalian threat. PMID:21807737

  15. Extinction rates in North American freshwater fishes, 1900-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkhead, Noel M.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread evidence shows that the modern rates of extinction in many plants and animals exceed background rates in the fossil record. In the present article, I investigate this issue with regard to North American freshwater fishes. From 1898 to 2006, 57 taxa became extinct, and three distinct populations were extirpated from the continent. Since 1989, the numbers of extinct North American fishes have increased by 25%. From the end of the nineteenth century to the present, modern extinctions varied by decade but significantly increased after 1950 (post-1950s mean = 7.5 extinct taxa per decade). The modern extinction rate for North American freshwater fishes is conservatively estimated to be 877 times greater than the background extinction rate for freshwater fishes (one extinction every 3 million years). Reasonable estimates project that future increases in extinctions will range from 53 to 86 species by 2050.

  16. Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement.

    PubMed

    Woinarski, John C Z; Burbidge, Andrew A; Harrison, Peter L

    2015-04-14

    The highly distinctive and mostly endemic Australian land mammal fauna has suffered an extraordinary rate of extinction (>10% of the 273 endemic terrestrial species) over the last ∼200 y: in comparison, only one native land mammal from continental North America became extinct since European settlement. A further 21% of Australian endemic land mammal species are now assessed to be threatened, indicating that the rate of loss (of one to two extinctions per decade) is likely to continue. Australia's marine mammals have fared better overall, but status assessment for them is seriously impeded by lack of information. Much of the loss of Australian land mammal fauna (particularly in the vast deserts and tropical savannas) has been in areas that are remote from human population centers and recognized as relatively unmodified at global scale. In contrast to general patterns of extinction on other continents where the main cause is habitat loss, hunting, and impacts of human development, particularly in areas of high and increasing human population pressures, the loss of Australian land mammals is most likely due primarily to predation by introduced species, particularly the feral cat, Felis catus, and European red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and changed fire regimes. PMID:25675493

  17. Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: Decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement

    PubMed Central

    Woinarski, John C. Z.; Burbidge, Andrew A.; Harrison, Peter L.

    2015-01-01

    The highly distinctive and mostly endemic Australian land mammal fauna has suffered an extraordinary rate of extinction (>10% of the 273 endemic terrestrial species) over the last ∼200 y: in comparison, only one native land mammal from continental North America became extinct since European settlement. A further 21% of Australian endemic land mammal species are now assessed to be threatened, indicating that the rate of loss (of one to two extinctions per decade) is likely to continue. Australia’s marine mammals have fared better overall, but status assessment for them is seriously impeded by lack of information. Much of the loss of Australian land mammal fauna (particularly in the vast deserts and tropical savannas) has been in areas that are remote from human population centers and recognized as relatively unmodified at global scale. In contrast to general patterns of extinction on other continents where the main cause is habitat loss, hunting, and impacts of human development, particularly in areas of high and increasing human population pressures, the loss of Australian land mammals is most likely due primarily to predation by introduced species, particularly the feral cat, Felis catus, and European red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and changed fire regimes. PMID:25675493

  18. Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability

    PubMed Central

    Brace, Selina; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love; Lister, Adrian M.; Miller, Rebecca; Otte, Marcel; Germonpré, Mietje; Blockley, Simon P. E.; Stewart, John R.; Barnes, Ian

    2012-01-01

    The Late Pleistocene global extinction of many terrestrial mammal species has been a subject of intensive scientific study for over a century, yet the relative contributions of environmental changes and the global expansion of humans remain unresolved. A defining component of these extinctions is a bias toward large species, with the majority of small-mammal taxa apparently surviving into the present. Here, we investigate the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), to explore whether events during the Late Pleistocene had a discernible effect beyond the large mammal fauna. Using ancient DNA techniques to sample across three sites in North-West Europe, we observe a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in this species over the last 50,000 y. We further identify a series of extinction-recolonization events, indicating a previously unrecognized instability in Late Pleistocene small-mammal populations, which we link with climatic fluctuations. Our results reveal climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late Pleistocene biodiversity. PMID:23185018

  19. The 'individualization' of large North American mammals.

    PubMed

    Ruth, J L; Fain, S R

    1993-01-01

    The enforcement of wildlife laws and the captive breeding of threatened/endangered species requires the ability to identify individual animals. DNA profiles of a variety of large North American mammals, birds, and fish were generated using ten different oligonucleotide probes. The probes tested were four multilocus probes [33.6, 33.15, JE46, and (TGTC)5] and six 'human unilocus' probes [MS1 (D1S7), CMM101 (D14S13), YNH24 (D2S44), EFD52 (D17S26), TBQ7 (D10S28), and MS43 (D12S11). Each of the probes was chemically synthesized, and labeled by the attachment of alkaline phosphatase; after hybridization, the probes were detected by chemiluminescence catalyzed by the enzyme. Initial screening against zoo blots including samples of bear, wolf, large cat, wild sheep, deer, birds, marine mammals, and fish indicated that three multilocus probes [33.15, 33.6, (TGTC)5] gave informative patterns containing 15-40 bands for most or all of the animals tested, as did two of the 'human unilocus' probes (MS1 and CMM101). The other five probes appeared informative only in some species (for example, YNH24 against canids). Subsequent screenings of populations within species were used to determine genetic diversity by analysis of observed bandsharing (S). Large heterologous populations, such as white-tailed deer, exhibited highly diverse band patterns (S < or = 0.2). Geographically isolated and/or genetically constricted animals, such as endangered Mexican wolves, Tule elk, and Columbian white-tailed deer, exhibited much higher frequencies of bandsharing (0.6 < or = S < or = 0.95).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8400711

  20. An allometric approach to quantify the extinction vulnerability of birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Hilbers, J P; Schipper, A M; Hendriks, A J; Verones, F; Pereira, H M; Huijbregts, M A J

    2016-03-01

    Methods to quantify the vulnerability of species to extinction are typically limited by the availability of species-specific input data pertaining to life-history characteristics and population dynamics. This lack of data hampers global biodiversity assessments and conservation planning. Here, we developed a new framework that systematically quantifies extinction risk based on allometric relationships between various wildlife demographic parameters and body size. These allometric relationships have a solid theoretical and ecological foundation. Extinction risk indicators included are (1) the probability of extinction, (2) the mean time to extinction, and (3) the critical patch size. We applied our framework to assess the global extinction vulnerability of terrestrial carnivorous and non-carnivorous birds and mammals. Irrespective of the indicator used, large-bodied species were found to be more vulnerable to extinction than their smaller counterparts. The patterns with body size were confirmed for all species groups by a comparison with IUCN data on the proportion of extant threatened species: the models correctly predicted a multimodal distribution with body size for carnivorous birds and a monotonic distribution for mammals and non-carnivorous birds. Carnivorous mammals were found to have higher extinction risks than non-carnivores, while birds were more prone to extinction than mammals. These results are explained by the allometric relationships, predicting the vulnerable species groups to have lower intrinsic population growth rates, smaller population sizes, lower carrying capacities, or larger dispersal distances, which, in turn, increase the importance of losses due to environmental stochastic effects and dispersal activities. Our study is the first to integrate population viability analysis and allometry into a novel, process-based framework that is able to quantify extinction risk of a large number of species without requiring data-intensive, species

  1. The predictability of extinction: biological and external correlates of decline in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Cardillo, Marcel; Mace, Georgina M; Gittleman, John L; Jones, Kate E; Bielby, Jon; Purvis, Andy

    2008-01-01

    Extinction risk varies among species, and comparative analyses can help clarify the causes of this variation. Here we present a phylogenetic comparative analysis of species-level extinction risk across nearly the whole of the class Mammalia. Our aims were to examine systematically the degree to which general predictors of extinction risk can be identified, and to investigate the relative importance of different types of predictors (life history, ecological, human impact and environmental) in determining extinction risk. A single global model explained 27.3% of variation in mammal extinction risk, but explanatory power was lower for region-specific models (median R2=0.248) and usually higher for taxon-specific models (median R2=0.383). Geographical range size, human population density and latitude were the most consistently significant predictors of extinction risk, but otherwise there was little evidence for general, prescriptive indicators of high extinction risk across mammals. Our results therefore support the view that comparative models of relatively narrow taxonomic scope are likely to be the most precise. PMID:18367443

  2. Holocene extinction dynamics of Equus hydruntinus, a late-surviving European megafaunal mammal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crees, Jennifer J.; Turvey, Samuel T.

    2014-05-01

    The European wild ass (Equus hydruntinus) is a globally extinct Eurasian equid. This species was widespread in Europe and southwest Asia during the Late Pleistocene, but its distribution became restricted to southern Europe and adjacent geographic regions in the Holocene. Previous research on E. hydruntinus has focused predominantly on its taxonomy and Late Pleistocene distribution. However, its Holocene distribution and extinction remain poorly understood, despite the fact that the European wild ass represents one of Europe's very few globally extinct Holocene megafaunal mammal species. We summarise all available Holocene zooarchaeological spatio-temporal occurrence data for the species, and analyse patterns of its distribution and extinction using point pattern analysis (kernel density estimation and Clark Evans index) and optimal linear estimation. We demonstrate that the geographic range of E. hydruntinus became highly fragmented into discrete subpopulations during the Holocene, which were associated with separate regions of open habitat and which became progressively extinct between the Neolithic and Iron Age. These data challenge previous suggestions of the late survival of E. hydruntinus into the medieval period in Spain, and instead suggest that postglacial climate-driven vegetational changes were a primary factor responsible for extinction of the species, driving isolation of small remnant subpopulations that may have been increasingly vulnerable to human exploitation. This study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of Late Quaternary species extinctions in Eurasia, suggesting that they were temporally staggered and distinct in their respective extinction trajectories.

  3. Actuarial senescence can increase the risk of extinction of mammal populations.

    PubMed

    Robert, Alexandre; Chantepie, Stéphane; Pavard, Samuel; Sarrazin, François; Teplitsky, Céline

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent acknowledgement that senescence can have negative impact on survival and fertility in natural environments across a wide range of animal species, we still do not know if it can reduce the viability of wild endangered populations. Focusing on actuarial senescence (i.e., the decline of survival probabilities at old ages), we use species-specific demographic information to project the extinction risk of wild populations of 58 species of mammals, accounting (or not) for senescence. Our projections reveal potential negative effects of aging on population viability, with an average decrease of 27% of the time to extinction and a potential deterioration of the population-level projected conservation status in 10% of the species. Senescence is associated with particularly strong increases of the extinction risk in species with low mortality rates and long intervals between litters, independently of their place in the phylogeny, indicating that the pace of life history can be used to forecast the detrimental effects of aging on the viability of species. The aim of the various existing systems of classification of threatened species is to set conservation priorities based on assessments of extinction risk. Our results indicate that the quantitative effects of senescence on extinction are highly heterogeneous, which can affect the ranking of species and populations when setting conservation, priorities. In mammals, based on life history traits of a few species, generic patterns of senescence can be incorporated into projection population models to minimize these biases in viability assessments. PMID:26255361

  4. South American mammal zoogeography: evidence from convergent evolution in desert rodents.

    PubMed

    Mares, M A

    1975-05-01

    Current theories regarding colonization of South America by mammals are divided between those supported by fossil evidence, which suggest the original mammal fauna of the isolated continent was augmented by early immigrants (primates, caviomorph rodents, and later, procyonids) with a final large influx of northern mammals occurring with the formation of the Panama land bridge, and an opposing view which states that the purported "recent invaders" are too taxonomically and ecologically differentiated to have colonized since the land bridge arose. The second theory suggests that most extant mammals entered before the Plio-Pleistocene land connection. An analysis of degree of physiological adaptation, natural history, distribution patterns, and a multivariate assessment of convergent evolution of Monte Desert rodents indicate that South American cricetine rodents are not highly specialized for desert life. Their degree of adaptation could be accounted for, in large part, by adaptations for arid or semiarid Andean habitats. No Monte Desert rodent has developed the specialized desert traits that have evolved in most desert rodent faunas of the world, although extinct marsupials similar to living bipedal desert rodents were present in the Monte as recently as late Pliocene. Evidence suggests that Monte caviomorphs have been associated with the desert for a longer period than cricetines, and that the latter represent a fairly recent invasion of the Monte Desert. The data thus support the first hypothesis of South American mammal colonization. PMID:1057165

  5. Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia.

    PubMed

    Prideaux, Gavin J; Gully, Grant A; Couzens, Aidan M C; Ayliffe, Linda K; Jankowski, Nathan R; Jacobs, Zenobia; Roberts, Richard G; Hellstrom, John C; Gagan, Michael K; Hatcher, Lindsay M

    2010-12-21

    Explaining the Late Pleistocene demise of many of the world's larger terrestrial vertebrates is arguably the most enduring and debated topic in Quaternary science. Australia lost >90% of its larger species by around 40 thousand years (ka) ago, but the relative importance of human impacts and increased aridity remains unclear. Resolving the debate has been hampered by a lack of sites spanning the last glacial cycle. Here we report on an exceptional faunal succession from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia, which shows persistence of a diverse mammal community for at least 100 ka leading up to the earliest regional evidence of humans at 49 ka. Within 10 millennia, all larger mammals except the gray kangaroo and thylacine are lost from the regional record. Stable-isotope, charcoal, and small-mammal records reveal evidence of environmental change from 70 ka, but the extinctions occurred well in advance of the most extreme climatic phase. We conclude that the arrival of humans was probably decisive in the southwestern Australian extinctions, but that changes in climate and fire activity may have played facilitating roles. One-factor explanations for the Pleistocene extinctions in Australia are likely oversimplistic. PMID:21127262

  6. Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Prideaux, Gavin J.; Gully, Grant A.; Couzens, Aidan M. C.; Ayliffe, Linda K.; Jankowski, Nathan R.; Jacobs, Zenobia; Roberts, Richard G.; Hellstrom, John C.; Gagan, Michael K.; Hatcher, Lindsay M.

    2010-01-01

    Explaining the Late Pleistocene demise of many of the world's larger terrestrial vertebrates is arguably the most enduring and debated topic in Quaternary science. Australia lost >90% of its larger species by around 40 thousand years (ka) ago, but the relative importance of human impacts and increased aridity remains unclear. Resolving the debate has been hampered by a lack of sites spanning the last glacial cycle. Here we report on an exceptional faunal succession from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia, which shows persistence of a diverse mammal community for at least 100 ka leading up to the earliest regional evidence of humans at 49 ka. Within 10 millennia, all larger mammals except the gray kangaroo and thylacine are lost from the regional record. Stable-isotope, charcoal, and small-mammal records reveal evidence of environmental change from 70 ka, but the extinctions occurred well in advance of the most extreme climatic phase. We conclude that the arrival of humans was probably decisive in the southwestern Australian extinctions, but that changes in climate and fire activity may have played facilitating roles. One-factor explanations for the Pleistocene extinctions in Australia are likely oversimplistic. PMID:21127262

  7. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  8. Pre-Wisconsinan mammals from Jamaica and models of late Quaternary extinction in the greater Antilles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacPhee, R. D. E.; Ford, Derek C.; McFarlane, Donald A.

    1989-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna recovered from indurated conglomerates at Wallingford Roadside Cave (central Jamaica) is shown to be in excess of 100,000 yr old according to uranium series and electron spin resonance dating. The Wallingford local fauna is therefore pre-Wisconsinan in age, and Roadside Cave is now the oldest radiometrically dated locality in the West Indies containing identifiable species of land mammals. In the absence of a good radiometric record for Quaternary paleontological sites in the Caribbean, there is no satisfactory basis for determining whether most extinct Antillean mammals died out in a "blitzkrieg"-like event immediately following initial human colonization in the mid-Holocene. Fossils of Clidomys (Heptaxodontidae, Caviomorpha), the giant Wallingford rodent, have never been found in situ in sediments of demonstrably Holocene age, and its extinction may antedate the middle Holocene. This is also a possibility for the primate Xenothrix mcgregori, although its remains have been found in loose cave earth. A major, climate-driven bout of terrestrial vertebrate extinction at about 14,000-12,000 yr B.P. has been hypothesized for the West Indies by G. Pregill and S. L. Olson ( Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics12, 75-98, 1981), but at present there is nothing to connect the disappearance of Clidomys with this event either. Quaternary extinctions in the Caribbean may prove to be of critical significance for evaluating the reality of New World blitzkrieg, but not until an effort is mounted to constrain them rigorously using modern radiometric approaches.

  9. A model for the Holocene extinction of the mammal megafauna in Ecuador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ficcarelli, G.; Coltorti, M.; Moreno-Espinosa, M.; Pieruccini, P. L.; Rook, L.; Torre, D.

    2003-03-01

    This paper presents the results of multidisciplinary research in the Ecuadorian coastal regions, with particular emphasis on the Santa Elena Peninsula. The new evidence, together with previous data gathered on the Ecuadorian cordillera during the last 12 years, allows us to formulate a model that accounts for most of the mammal megafauna extinction at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition. After the illustration of geomorphological and paleontological evidences of the area of the Santa Elena Peninsula (and other sites), and of a summary of the paleoclimatic data, the main results and conclusions of this work are: (1) Late Pleistocene mammal assemblages survived in the Ecuadorian coast until the Early Holocene sea level rise; (2) Prior to the extinction of most of the megafauna elements (mastodons, ground sloths, equids, sabre-tooth felids), the mammal communities at Santa Elena Peninsula comprise elements with differing habitat requirements, attesting conditions of high biological pressure; (3) At the El Cautivo site (Santa Elena Peninsula), we have discovered Holocene sediments containing the first known occurrences in Ecuador of lithic artifacts that are associated with mammal megafauna remains; (4) During the last 10,000 years, the coastal region of Ecuador underwent significant changes in vegetation cover. At the Pleistocene/Holocene transition the climate changed from very arid conditions to humid conditions. Our data indicates that the megafauna definitively abandoned the Cordillera areas around 12,000 yr BP due to t he increasing aridity, and subsequently migrated to coastal areas where ecological conditions still were suitable, Santa Elena Peninsula and mainly Amazonian areas being typical. We conclude that the unusual high faunal concentrations and the change to dense vegetation cover (due to a rapid increase in precipitation in the lower Holocene) at 8000-6000 yr BP, caused the final collapse and extinction of most elements of the mammal megafauna

  10. Severe extinction and rapid recovery of mammals across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary, and the effects of rarity on patterns of extinction and recovery.

    PubMed

    Longrich, N R; Scriberas, J; Wills, M A

    2016-08-01

    The end-Cretaceous mass extinction ranks among the most severe extinctions of all time; however, patterns of extinction and recovery remain incompletely understood. In particular, it is unclear how severe the extinction was, how rapid the recovery was and how sampling biases might affect our understanding of these processes. To better understand terrestrial extinction and recovery and how sampling influences these patterns, we collected data on the occurrence and abundance of fossil mammals to examine mammalian diversity across the K-Pg boundary in North America. Our data show that the extinction was more severe and the recovery more rapid than previously thought. Extinction rates are markedly higher than previously estimated: of 59 species, four survived (93% species extinction, 86% of genera). Survival is correlated with geographic range size and abundance, with widespread, common species tending to survive. This creates a sampling artefact in which rare species are both more vulnerable to extinction and less likely to be recovered, such that the fossil record is inherently biased towards the survivors. The recovery was remarkably rapid. Within 300 000 years, local diversity recovered and regional diversity rose to twice Cretaceous levels, driven by increased endemicity; morphological disparity increased above levels observed in the Cretaceous. The speed of the recovery tends to be obscured by sampling effects; faunas show increased endemicity, such that a rapid, regional increase in diversity and disparity is not seen in geographically restricted studies. Sampling biases that operate against rare taxa appear to obscure the severity of extinction and the pace of recovery across the K-Pg boundary, and similar biases may operate during other extinction events. PMID:27167897

  11. Impacts of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Robert W; Janečka, Jan E; Gatesy, John; Ryder, Oliver A; Fisher, Colleen A; Teeling, Emma C; Goodbla, Alisha; Eizirik, Eduardo; Simão, Taiz L L; Stadler, Tanja; Rabosky, Daniel L; Honeycutt, Rodney L; Flynn, John J; Ingram, Colleen M; Steiner, Cynthia; Williams, Tiffani L; Robinson, Terence J; Burk-Herrick, Angela; Westerman, Michael; Ayoub, Nadia A; Springer, Mark S; Murphy, William J

    2011-10-28

    Previous analyses of relations, divergence times, and diversification patterns among extant mammalian families have relied on supertree methods and local molecular clocks. We constructed a molecular supermatrix for mammalian families and analyzed these data with likelihood-based methods and relaxed molecular clocks. Phylogenetic analyses resulted in a robust phylogeny with better resolution than phylogenies from supertree methods. Relaxed clock analyses support the long-fuse model of diversification and highlight the importance of including multiple fossil calibrations that are spread across the tree. Molecular time trees and diversification analyses suggest important roles for the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and Cretaceous-Paleogene (KPg) mass extinction in opening up ecospace that promoted interordinal and intraordinal diversification, respectively. By contrast, diversification analyses provide no support for the hypothesis concerning the delayed rise of present-day mammals during the Eocene Period. PMID:21940861

  12. Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology

    PubMed Central

    Di Marco, Moreno; Buchanan, Graeme M.; Szantoi, Zoltan; Holmgren, Milena; Grottolo Marasini, Gabriele; Gross, Dorit; Tranquilli, Sandra; Boitani, Luigi; Rondinini, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Although conservation intervention has reversed the decline of some species, our success is outweighed by a much larger number of species moving towards extinction. Extinction risk modelling can identify correlates of risk and species not yet recognized to be threatened. Here, we use machine learning models to identify correlates of extinction risk in African terrestrial mammals using a set of variables belonging to four classes: species distribution state, human pressures, conservation response and species biology. We derived information on distribution state and human pressure from satellite-borne imagery. Variables in all four classes were identified as important predictors of extinction risk, and interactions were observed among variables in different classes (e.g. level of protection, human threats, species distribution ranges). Species biology had a key role in mediating the effect of external variables. The model was 90% accurate in classifying extinction risk status of species, but in a few cases the observed and modelled extinction risk mismatched. Species in this condition might suffer from an incorrect classification of extinction risk (hence require reassessment). An increased availability of satellite imagery combined with improved resolution and classification accuracy of the resulting maps will play a progressively greater role in conservation monitoring. PMID:24733953

  13. Constraining the time of extinction of the South American fox Dusicyon avus (Carnivora, Canidae) during the late Holocene.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prevosti, Francisco; Santiago, Fernando; Prates, Luciano; Salemme, Mónica; Martin, Fabiana

    2010-05-01

    The mass extinction at the end of the Pleistocene affected South America during the Late Pleistocene and the Early Holocene, when megamammals and large mammals disappeared. Several carnivores became extinct, like the sabretooth Smilodon, the short face bear (Arctotherium) and some large canids (i.e. Protocyon, Canis dirus). After this mass event virtually no carnivores became extinct in South America. The only exception is the fox Dusicyon avus, a middle sized canid (estimated body mass between 10-15 kg) with a more carnivore diet than the living South American foxes (i.e. Lycalopex culpaeus). The last record of the species comes from middle-late Holocene archaeological sites in the Pampean Region (Argentina) and Patagonia (Argentina and Chile). During the Late Pleistocene D. avus had a wide distribution, that covered part of Uruguay, Argentina (Buenos Aires province) and the southernmost Chile. Albeit some remains from late Holocene sites have been published, these remains lack of isotopic dates that could (allow?) constraint (to determine) the date of extinction of this fox. In this contribution we present several new records from the Pampean Region and Patagonia, and several taxon dates. The new records indicate that D. avus disappeared in the late Holocene at least ≈ 3000 years BP in the island of Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia) and ≈ 1600 BP in the continent. Since at this time humans were occupying most of the Pampas and Patagonia a revision of the causes behind the extinction of this fox is required.

  14. The changing role of mammal life histories in Late Quaternary extinction vulnerability on continents and islands.

    PubMed

    Lyons, S Kathleen; Miller, Joshua H; Fraser, Danielle; Smith, Felisa A; Boyer, Alison; Lindsey, Emily; Mychajliw, Alexis M

    2016-06-01

    Understanding extinction drivers in a human-dominated world is necessary to preserve biodiversity. We provide an overview of Quaternary extinctions and compare mammalian extinction events on continents and islands after human arrival in system-specific prehistoric and historic contexts. We highlight the role of body size and life-history traits in these extinctions. We find a significant size-bias except for extinctions on small islands in historic times. Using phylogenetic regression and classification trees, we find that while life-history traits are poor predictors of historic extinctions, those associated with difficulty in responding quickly to perturbations, such as small litter size, are good predictors of prehistoric extinctions. Our results are consistent with the idea that prehistoric and historic extinctions form a single continuing event with the same likely primary driver, humans, but the diversity of impacts and affected faunas is much greater in historic extinctions. PMID:27330176

  15. Mass Extinction and the Disappearance of Unknown Mammal Species: Scenario and Perspectives of a Biodiversity Hotspot's Hotspot.

    PubMed

    Mendes Pontes, Antonio Rossano; Beltrão, Antonio Carlos Mariz; Normande, Iran Campello; Malta, Alexandre de Jesus Rodrigues; Silva Júnior, Antonio Paulo da; Santos, André Maurício Melo

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to determine the conservation status of medium- and large-sized mammals and evaluate the impact of 500 years of forest fragmentation on this group of animals in the Pernambuco Endemism Center, in the biogeographical zone of the Atlantic forest north of the São Francisco River in northeastern Brazil. Line transect surveys were performed in 21 forest fragments, resulting in a checklist of the mammals of the entire Pernambuco Endemism Center area. We ran a generalized linear model (Factorial ANCOVA) to analyze to what extent the vegetation type, fragment area, isolation, sampling effort (as total kilometers walked), or higher-order interactions predicted (a) richness and (b) sighting rates. To determine if the distribution of the species within the forest fragments exhibited a nested pattern, we used the NODF metric. Subsequently, we performed a Binomial Logistic Regression to predict the probability of encountering each species according to fragment size. Out of 38 medium- and large-sized mammal species formerly occurring in the study area, only 53.8% (n = 21) were sighted. No fragment hosted the entire remaining mammal community, and only four species (19%) occurred in very small fragments (73.3% of the remaining forest fragments, with a mean size of 2.8 ha). The mammalian community was highly simplified, with all large mammals being regionally extinct. Neither the species richness nor sighting rate was controlled by the vegetation type, the area of the forest fragments, isolation or any higher-order interaction. Although a highly significant nested subset pattern was detected, it was not related to the ranking of the area of forest fragments or isolation. The probability of the occurrence of a mammal species in a given forest patch varied unpredictably, and the probability of detecting larger species was even observed to decrease with increasing patch size. In an ongoing process of mass extinction, half of the studied mammals have gone extinct. The

  16. Mass Extinction and the Disappearance of Unknown Mammal Species: Scenario and Perspectives of a Biodiversity Hotspot’s Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Mendes Pontes, Antonio Rossano; Beltrão, Antonio Carlos Mariz; Normande, Iran Campello; Malta, Alexandre de Jesus Rodrigues; da Silva Júnior, Antonio Paulo; Santos, André Maurício Melo

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to determine the conservation status of medium- and large-sized mammals and evaluate the impact of 500 years of forest fragmentation on this group of animals in the Pernambuco Endemism Center, in the biogeographical zone of the Atlantic forest north of the São Francisco River in northeastern Brazil. Line transect surveys were performed in 21 forest fragments, resulting in a checklist of the mammals of the entire Pernambuco Endemism Center area. We ran a generalized linear model (Factorial ANCOVA) to analyze to what extent the vegetation type, fragment area, isolation, sampling effort (as total kilometers walked), or higher-order interactions predicted (a) richness and (b) sighting rates. To determine if the distribution of the species within the forest fragments exhibited a nested pattern, we used the NODF metric. Subsequently, we performed a Binomial Logistic Regression to predict the probability of encountering each species according to fragment size. Out of 38 medium- and large-sized mammal species formerly occurring in the study area, only 53.8% (n = 21) were sighted. No fragment hosted the entire remaining mammal community, and only four species (19%) occurred in very small fragments (73.3% of the remaining forest fragments, with a mean size of 2.8 ha). The mammalian community was highly simplified, with all large mammals being regionally extinct. Neither the species richness nor sighting rate was controlled by the vegetation type, the area of the forest fragments, isolation or any higher-order interaction. Although a highly significant nested subset pattern was detected, it was not related to the ranking of the area of forest fragments or isolation. The probability of the occurrence of a mammal species in a given forest patch varied unpredictably, and the probability of detecting larger species was even observed to decrease with increasing patch size. In an ongoing process of mass extinction, half of the studied mammals have gone extinct. The

  17. Inferring extinction in North American and Hawaiian birds in the presence of sighting uncertainty

    PubMed Central

    Jarić, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    For most species the timing of extinction events is uncertain, occurring sometime after the last sighting. However, the sightings themselves may also be uncertain. Recently a number of methods have been developed that incorporate sighting uncertainty in the inference of extinction based on a series of sightings. Here we estimate the timing of extinction for 41 of 52 North American and Hawaiian bird taxa and populations, the results of which suggest all became extinct before 2009. By acknowledging sighting uncertainty it results in two opposite effects, one pushing the timing of extinction away from the last sighting and the other drawing the timing of extinction nearer to it. However, for 14 assessed taxa and populations the upper 95% bounds lie beyond the end of the observation period and therefore suggest the possibility of continued persistence. This has important implications for conservation decision-makers and potentially reduces the likelihood of Romeo’s Error.

  18. Testing for Depéret's Rule (Body Size Increase) in Mammals using Combined Extinct and Extant Data

    PubMed Central

    Bokma, Folmer; Godinot, Marc; Maridet, Olivier; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Costeur, Loïc; Solé, Floréal; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel; Peigné, Stéphane; Jacques, Florian; Laurin, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed “Cope's rule” but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after Depéret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. Depéret's rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for Depéret's rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes. PMID:26508768

  19. Testing for Depéret's Rule (Body Size Increase) in Mammals using Combined Extinct and Extant Data.

    PubMed

    Bokma, Folmer; Godinot, Marc; Maridet, Olivier; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Costeur, Loïc; Solé, Floréal; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel; Peigné, Stéphane; Jacques, Florian; Laurin, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed "Cope's rule" but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after Depéret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. Depéret's rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for Depéret's rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes. PMID:26508768

  20. The evolution of mammal body sizes: responses to Cenozoic climate change in North American mammals.

    PubMed

    Lovegrove, B G; Mowoe, M O

    2013-06-01

    Explanations for the evolution of body size in mammals have remained surprisingly elusive despite the central importance of body size in evolutionary biology. Here, we present a model which argues that the body sizes of Nearctic mammals were moulded by Cenozoic climate and vegetation changes. Following the early Eocene Climate Optimum, forests retreated and gave way to open woodland and savannah landscapes, followed later by grasslands. Many herbivores that radiated in these new landscapes underwent a switch from browsing to grazing associated with increased unguligrade cursoriality and body size, the latter driven by the energetics and constraints of cellulose digestion (fermentation). Carnivores also increased in size and digitigrade, cursorial capacity to occupy a size distribution allowing the capture of prey of the widest range of body sizes. With the emergence of larger, faster carnivores, plantigrade mammals were constrained from evolving to large body sizes and most remained smaller than 1 kg throughout the middle Cenozoic. We find no consistent support for either Cope's Rule or Bergmann's Rule in plantigrade mammals, the largest locomotor guild (n = 1186, 59% of species in the database). Some cold-specialist plantigrade mammals, such as beavers and marmots, showed dramatic increases in body mass following the Miocene Climate Optimum which may, however, be partially explained by Bergmann's rule. This study reemphasizes the necessity of considering the evolutionary history and resultant form and function of mammalian morphotypes when attempting to understand contemporary mammalian body size distributions. PMID:23675820

  1. A new phylogeny for basal Trechnotheria and Cladotheria and affinities of South American endemic Late Cretaceous mammals.

    PubMed

    Averianov, Alexander O; Martin, Thomas; Lopatin, Alexey V

    2013-04-01

    The endemic South American mammals Meridiolestida, considered previously as dryolestoid cladotherians, are found to be non-cladotherian trechnotherians related to spalacotheriid symmetrodontans based on a parsimony analysis of 137 morphological characters among 44 taxa. Spalacotheriidae is the sister taxon to Meridiolestida, and the latter clade is derived from a primitive spalacolestine that migrated to South America from North America at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous. Meridiolestida survived until the early Paleocene (Peligrotherium) and early Miocene (Necrolestes) in South America, and their extinction is probably linked to the increasing competition with metatherian and eutherian tribosphenic mammals. The clade Meridiolestida plus Spalacotheriidae is the sister taxon to Cladotheria and forms a new clade Alethinotheria. Alethinotheria and its sister taxon Zhangheotheria, new clade (Zhangheotheriidae plus basal taxa), comprise Trechnotheria. Cladotheria is divided into Zatheria (plus stem taxa, including Amphitherium) and Dryolestida, including Dryolestidae and a paraphyletic array of basal dryolestidans (formerly classified as "Paurodontidae"). The South American Vincelestes and Groebertherium are basal dryolestidans. PMID:23494201

  2. Late Cenozoic onset of the latitudinal diversity gradient of North American mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcot, Jonathan D.; Fox, David L.; Niebuhr, Spencer R.

    2016-06-01

    The decline of species richness from equator to pole, or latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), is nearly universal among clades of living organisms, yet whether it was such a pervasive pattern in the geologic past remains uncertain. Here, we calculate the strength of the LDG for terrestrial mammals in North America over the past 65 My, using 27,903 fossil occurrences of Cenozoic terrestrial mammals from western North America downloaded from the Paleobiology Database. Accounting for temporal and spatial variation in sampling, the LDG was substantially weaker than it is today for most of the Cenozoic and the robust modern LDG of North American mammals evolved only over the last 4 My. The strength of the LDG correlates negatively with global temperature, suggesting a role of global climate patterns in the establishment and maintenance of the LDG for North American mammals.

  3. Late Cenozoic onset of the latitudinal diversity gradient of North American mammals.

    PubMed

    Marcot, Jonathan D; Fox, David L; Niebuhr, Spencer R

    2016-06-28

    The decline of species richness from equator to pole, or latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), is nearly universal among clades of living organisms, yet whether it was such a pervasive pattern in the geologic past remains uncertain. Here, we calculate the strength of the LDG for terrestrial mammals in North America over the past 65 My, using 27,903 fossil occurrences of Cenozoic terrestrial mammals from western North America downloaded from the Paleobiology Database. Accounting for temporal and spatial variation in sampling, the LDG was substantially weaker than it is today for most of the Cenozoic and the robust modern LDG of North American mammals evolved only over the last 4 My. The strength of the LDG correlates negatively with global temperature, suggesting a role of global climate patterns in the establishment and maintenance of the LDG for North American mammals. PMID:27298355

  4. Constraint envelope analyses of macroecological patterns reveal climatic effects on Pleistocene mammal extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S.; Hortal, Joaquín; Varela, Sara; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F.

    2014-07-01

    Quantitative analysis of macroecological patterns for late Pleistocene assemblages can be useful for disentangling the causes of late Quaternary extinctions (LQE). However, previous analyses have usually assumed linear relationships between macroecological traits, such as body size and range size/range shift, that may have led to erroneous interpretations. Here, we analyzed mammalian datasets to show how macroecological patterns support climate change as an important driver of the LQE, which is contrary to previous analyses that did not account for more complex relationships among traits. We employed quantile regression methods that allow a detailed and fine-tuned quantitative analysis of complex macroecological patterns revealed as polygonal relationships (i.e., constraint envelopes). We showed that these triangular-shaped envelopes that describe the macroecological relationship between body size and geographical range shift reflect nonrandom extinction processes under which the large-bodied species are more prone to extinction during events of severe habitat loss, such as glacial/interglacial transitions. Hence, we provide both a theoretical background and methodological framework to better understand how climate change induces body size-biased species sorting and shapes complex macroecological patterns.

  5. Determination of hip-joint loading patterns of living and extinct mammals using an inverse Wolff's law approach.

    PubMed

    Christen, Patrik; Ito, Keita; Galis, Frietson; van Rietbergen, Bert

    2015-04-01

    It is well known that bone adapts its microstructure in response to loading. Based on this form-follows-function relationship, we previously developed a reverse approach to derive joint loads from bone microstructure as acquired with micro-computed tomography. Here, we challenge this approach by calculating hip-joint loading patterns for human and dog, two species exhibiting different locomotion, and comparing them to in vivo measurements. As a proof of concept to use the approach also for extinct taxa, we applied it to a cave lion fossil bone. Calculations were in close agreement with in vivo measurements during walking for extant species, showing distinguished patterns for bipedalism and quadrupedalism. The cave lion calculations clearly revealed its quadrupedal locomotion and suggested a more diverse behaviour compared to the dog, which is in agreement with extant felids. This indicates that our novel approach is potentially useful for making inferences about locomotion in living as well as extinct mammals and to study evolutionary joint development. PMID:24952222

  6. Keystone effects of an alien top-predator stem extinctions of native mammals.

    PubMed

    Letnic, Mike; Koch, Freya; Gordon, Chris; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Christopher R

    2009-09-22

    Alien predators can have catastrophic effects on ecosystems and are thought to be much more harmful to biodiversity than their native counterparts. However, trophic cascade theory and the mesopredator release hypothesis predict that the removal of top predators will result in the reorganization of trophic webs and loss of biodiversity. Using field data collected throughout arid Australia, we provide evidence that removal of an alien top-predator, the dingo, has cascading effects through lower trophic levels. Dingo removal was linked to increased activity of herbivores and an invasive mesopredator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and to the loss of grass cover and native species of small mammals. Using species distribution data, we predict that reintroducing or maintaining dingo populations would produce a net benefit for the conservation of threatened native mammals across greater than 2.42 x 10(6) km(2) of Australia. Our study provides evidence that an alien top predator can assume a keystone role and be beneficial for biodiversity conservation, and also that mammalian carnivores more generally can generate strong trophic cascades in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:19535372

  7. American Indian Studies in the Extinct Languages of Southeastern New England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Frank Waabu

    2005-01-01

    This monograph contains 13 self-contained brief treatises that comprise material on linguistic, historical and cultural studies of the extinct American Indian languages of southeastern New England. These Indian languages, and their dialects, were once spoken principally in the States of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. They are called…

  8. A unique feeding strategy of the extinct marine mammal Kolponomos: convergence on sabretooths and sea otters.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Z Jack; Grohé, Camille; Flynn, John J

    2016-03-16

    Mammalian molluscivores feed mainly by shell-crushing or suction-feeding. The extinct marine arctoid, Kolponomos, has been interpreted as an otter-like shell-crusher based on similar dentitions. However, neither the masticatory biomechanics of the shell-crushing adaptation nor the way Kolponomos may have captured hard-shelled prey have been tested. Based on mandibular symphyseal morphology shared by Kolponomos and sabre-toothed carnivores, we hypothesize a sabretooth-like mechanism for Kolponomos prey-capture, whereby the mandible functioned as an anchor. Torque generated from jaw closure and head flexion was used to dislodge prey by prying, with prey then crushed using cheek teeth. We test this hypothesized feeding sequence using phylogenetically informed biomechanical simulations and shape analyses, and find a strongly supported, shared high mandibular stiffness in simulated prey-capture bites and mandibular shape in Kolponomos and the sabre-toothed cat Smilodon. These two distantly related taxa converged on using mandibles to anchor cranial torqueing forces when prying substrate-bound prey in the former and sabre-driving forces during prey-killing in the latter. Simulated prey-crushing bites indicate that Kolponomos and sea otters exhibit alternative structural stiffness-bite efficiency combinations in mandibular biomechanical adaptation for shell-crushing. This unique feeding system of Kolponomos exemplifies a mosaic of form-function convergence relative to other Carnivora. PMID:26936242

  9. A land-bridge island perspective on mammalian extinctions in western North American parks.

    PubMed

    Newmark, W D

    In recent years, a number of authors have suggested several geometric principles for the design of nature reserves based upon the hypothesis that nature reserves are analogous to land-bridge islands. Land-bridge islands are islands that were formerly connected to the mainland and were created by a rise in the level of the ocean. Land-bridge islands are considered supersaturated with species in that the ratio of island to mainland species numbers is higher than expected from the area of the island. As a result, the rate of extinction should exceed the rate of colonization on a land-bridge island, resulting in a loss of species that is suggested to be related to the size and degree of isolation of the island. If nature reserves are considered to be similar to land-bridge islands, because most are slowly becoming isolated from their surroundings by habitat disturbance outside the reserves, several predictions follow. First, the total number of extinctions should exceed the total number of colonizations within a reverse; second, the number of extinctions should be inversely related to reserve size; and third, the number of extinctions should be directly related to reserve age. I report here that the natural post-establishment loss of mammalian species in 14 western North American national parks is consistent with these predictions of the land-bridge island hypothesis and that all but the largest western North American national parks are too small to retain an intact mammalian fauna. PMID:3808043

  10. [Book review] Battle against extinction: Native fish management in the American West, by W. L. Minckley and J. E. Deacon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walsh, S.J.

    1993-01-01

    Review of: BATTLE AGAINST EXTINCTION: NATIVE FISH MANAGEMENT IN THE AMERICAN WEST. W. L. Minckley and J. E. Deacon (eds.). 1991. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson. ISBN 0-8165-1221-3. 517 p., $40.00 (hardcover).

  11. Preliminary Radiocarbon Chronology and Paleoecological Analysis of the Small Mammals in Samwel and Potter Creek Caves, Shasta County, California, and its Relation to the End-Pleistocene Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feranec, R. S.; Blois, J. L.; Hadly, E. A.

    2005-12-01

    Although mostly excavated before 1910, the fossil deposits discovered in Samwel and Potter Creek Caves in northern California have been little studied. The deposits within the caves have yielded both extinct megafauna and archaeological remains implying that the deposits cross the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Small mammals are abundant within these cave deposits, and many of these smaller mammals are from extant species of California, survivors of the end Pleistocene extinction. Because of the abundant fossils collected in stratigraphic context, our ultimate goal is the use these unique sites to assess community and population response of the extant mammals to the end Pleistocene event. However, our initial aim was to answer the following two questions regarding the small mammal communities: (1) What is the chronology of the small mammals in the cave deposits? (2) Are ecological changes occurring within the small mammal taxa? To determine chronology, we prepared 10 small mammal samples for radiocarbon analysis using standard techniques. The samples were analyzed and dated at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our dates, selected from across the strata, ranged from 1,200 to 21,000 radiocarbon years before present. For a preliminary assessment of ecological changes through time, we used cranial metrics of ground squirrels ( Spermophilus sp.). Diastemal length (the distance between the first molariform tooth and incisor) is an index of body size, which is a function of the physiology of the individual. Toothrow measures the length of the molariform teeth, and does not change with the ontogeny of the individual, but can represent heritable, evolutionary changes in size or species replacement. Our preliminary results are promising, demonstrating a significant decrease in diastemal length, or ecophenotypic body size, at the top of the deposit. No significant change was observed in toothrow length. Our results confirm that the deposits of these northern

  12. Ancient DNA from the extinct South American giant glyptodont Doedicurus sp. (Xenarthra: Glyptodontidae) reveals that glyptodonts evolved from Eocene armadillos.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Scanferla, Agustin; Soibelzon, Esteban; Bonini, Ricardo; Ochoa, Javier; Cooper, Alan

    2016-07-01

    Glyptodonts were giant (some of them up to ~2400 kg), heavily armoured relatives of living armadillos, which became extinct during the Late Pleistocene/early Holocene alongside much of the South American megafauna. Although glyptodonts were an important component of Cenozoic South American faunas, their early evolution and phylogenetic affinities within the order Cingulata (armoured New World placental mammals) remain controversial. In this study, we used hybridization enrichment and high-throughput sequencing to obtain a partial mitochondrial genome from Doedicurus sp., the largest (1.5 m tall, and 4 m long) and one of the last surviving glyptodonts. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that glyptodonts fall within the diversity of living armadillos. Reanalysis of morphological data using a molecular 'backbone constraint' revealed several morphological characters that supported a close relationship between glyptodonts and the tiny extant fairy armadillos (Chlamyphorinae). This is surprising as these taxa are among the most derived cingulates: glyptodonts were generally large-bodied and heavily armoured, while the fairy armadillos are tiny (~9-17 cm) and adapted for burrowing. Calibration of our phylogeny with the first appearance of glyptodonts in the Eocene resulted in a more precise timeline for xenarthran evolution. The osteological novelties of glyptodonts and their specialization for grazing appear to have evolved rapidly during the Late Eocene to Early Miocene, coincident with global temperature decreases and a shift from wet closed forest towards drier open woodland and grassland across much of South America. This environmental change may have driven the evolution of glyptodonts, culminating in the bizarre giant forms of the Pleistocene. PMID:27158910

  13. Dispersal, niche breadth and population extinction: colonization ratios predict range size in North American dragonflies.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Shannon J; Davis, Christopher J; Werner, Earl E; Robeson, Michael S

    2014-07-01

    Species' range sizes are shaped by fundamental differences in species' ecological and evolutionary characteristics, and understanding the mechanisms determining range size can shed light on the factors responsible for generating and structuring biological diversity. Moreover, because geographic range size is associated with a species' risk of extinction and their ability to respond to global changes in climate and land use, understanding these mechanisms has important conservation implications. Despite the hypotheses that dispersal behaviour is a strong determinant of species range areas, few data are available to directly compare the relationship between dispersal behaviour and range size. Here, we overcome this limitation by combining data from a multispecies dispersal experiment with additional species-level trait data that are commonly hypothesized to affect range size (e.g. niche breadth, local abundance and body size.). This enables us to examine the relationship between these species-level traits and range size across North America for fifteen dragonfly species. Ten models based on a priori predictions about the relationship between species traits and range size were evaluated and two models were identified as good predictors of species range size. These models indicated that only two species' level traits, dispersal behaviour and niche breadth were strongly related to range size. The evidence from these two models indicated that dragonfly species that disperse more often and further had larger North American ranges. Extinction and colonization dynamics are expected to be a key linkage between dispersal behaviour and range size in dragonflies. To evaluate how extinction and colonization dynamics among dragonflies were related to range size we used an independent data set of extinction and colonization rates for eleven dragonfly species and assessed the relationship between these populations rates and North American range areas for these species. We found a

  14. Implications of Diet for the Extinction of Saber-Toothed Cats and American Lions

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.; Schubert, Blaine W.; Scott, Jessica R.; Ungar, Peter S.

    2012-01-01

    The saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis, and American lion, Panthera atrox, were among the largest terrestrial carnivores that lived during the Pleistocene, going extinct along with other megafauna ∼12,000 years ago. Previous work suggests that times were difficult at La Brea (California) during the late Pleistocene, as nearly all carnivores have greater incidences of tooth breakage (used to infer greater carcass utilization) compared to today. As Dental Microwear Texture Analysis (DMTA) can differentiate between levels of bone consumption in extant carnivores, we use DMTA to clarify the dietary niches of extinct carnivorans from La Brea. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that times were tough at La Brea with carnivorous taxa utilizing more of the carcasses. Our results show no evidence of bone crushing by P. atrox, with DMTA attributes most similar to the extant cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, which actively avoids bone. In contrast, S. fatalis has DMTA attributes most similar to the African lion Panthera leo, implying that S. fatalis did not avoid bone to the extent previously suggested by SEM microwear data. DMTA characters most indicative of bone consumption (i.e., complexity and textural fill volume) suggest that carcass utilization by the extinct carnivorans was not necessarily more complete during the Pleistocene at La Brea; thus, times may not have been “tougher” than the present. Additionally, minor to no significant differences in DMTA attributes from older (∼30–35 Ka) to younger (∼11.5 Ka) deposits offer little evidence that declining prey resources were a primary cause of extinction for these large cats. PMID:23300674

  15. Implications of diet for the extinction of saber-toothed cats and American lions.

    PubMed

    Desantis, Larisa R G; Schubert, Blaine W; Scott, Jessica R; Ungar, Peter S

    2012-01-01

    The saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis, and American lion, Panthera atrox, were among the largest terrestrial carnivores that lived during the Pleistocene, going extinct along with other megafauna ∼12,000 years ago. Previous work suggests that times were difficult at La Brea (California) during the late Pleistocene, as nearly all carnivores have greater incidences of tooth breakage (used to infer greater carcass utilization) compared to today. As Dental Microwear Texture Analysis (DMTA) can differentiate between levels of bone consumption in extant carnivores, we use DMTA to clarify the dietary niches of extinct carnivorans from La Brea. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that times were tough at La Brea with carnivorous taxa utilizing more of the carcasses. Our results show no evidence of bone crushing by P. atrox, with DMTA attributes most similar to the extant cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, which actively avoids bone. In contrast, S. fatalis has DMTA attributes most similar to the African lion Panthera leo, implying that S. fatalis did not avoid bone to the extent previously suggested by SEM microwear data. DMTA characters most indicative of bone consumption (i.e., complexity and textural fill volume) suggest that carcass utilization by the extinct carnivorans was not necessarily more complete during the Pleistocene at La Brea; thus, times may not have been "tougher" than the present. Additionally, minor to no significant differences in DMTA attributes from older (∼30-35 Ka) to younger (∼11.5 Ka) deposits offer little evidence that declining prey resources were a primary cause of extinction for these large cats. PMID:23300674

  16. Genomic Data from Extinct North American Camelops Revise Camel Evolutionary History.

    PubMed

    Heintzman, Peter D; Zazula, Grant D; Cahill, James A; Reyes, Alberto V; MacPhee, Ross D E; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-09-01

    Recent advances in paleogenomic technologies have enabled an increasingly detailed understanding of the evolutionary relationships of now-extinct mammalian taxa. However, a number of enigmatic Quaternary species have never been characterized with molecular data, often because available fossils are rare or are found in environments that are not optimal for DNA preservation. Here, we analyze paleogenomic data extracted from bones attributed to the late Pleistocene western camel, Camelops cf. hesternus, a species that was distributed across central and western North America until its extinction approximately 13,000 years ago. Despite a modal sequence length of only around 35 base pairs, we reconstructed high-coverage complete mitochondrial genomes and low-coverage partial nuclear genomes for each specimen. We find that Camelops is sister to African and Asian bactrian and dromedary camels, to the exclusion of South American camelids (llamas, guanacos, alpacas, and vicuñas). These results contradict previous morphology-based phylogenetic models for Camelops, which suggest instead a closer relationship between Camelops and the South American camelids. The molecular data imply a Late Miocene divergence of the Camelops clade from lineages that separately gave rise to the extant camels of Eurasia. Our results demonstrate the increasing capacity of modern paleogenomic methods to resolve evolutionary relationships among distantly related lineages. PMID:26037535

  17. Audubon Mammal Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are an illustrated student reader, "The Story of Mammals," a leaders' guide, a large wall chart picturing 39 North American mammals, and a separate booklet describing the mammals on the wall chart. The student reader presents these main topics: What Is a Mammal?; How Mammals Differ From Each Other; Where, When, and How To Find Mammals;…

  18. [Extinction of large herbivore mammals: niche characteristics of musk ox Ovibos moschatus and reindeer Rangifer tarandus coexisting in isolation].

    PubMed

    Sheremet'ev, I S; Rosenfel'd, S B; Sipko, T P; Gruzdev, A R

    2014-01-01

    The extinction of large northern herbivores is a puzzle for many biologists. It is long debated whether climate change or human activity was the main factor of the extinction. The survival of the weak trophic competitors should reject the climatic hypothesis. Extant species of Pleistocene communities allow testing this explicitly. Up to date, reindeer and musk ox coexist in the Arctic territory. Their island populations provide a unique natural experiment to assess the role of competition. On Wrangel Island, their population sizes show the opposite trends and the same situation recurs on other Arctic islands--the reindeer population size decreases with the muskoxen population increasing. We have shown that the trends are defined by food-web structure. Niche overlap between species is found to .be considerable and cannot be facilitated by habitat partitioning. The number of plant species in the muskoxen diet was higher than in the reindeer. The exclusive part of the muskoxen diet was higher as well. Food webs in all of the habitat types showed the same relation. However, the changes in herbivores distribution during the Pleistocene demonstrate the opposite pattern. Therefore, the competitive advantage could not save the Palaearctic musk ox, and the extinction seems to be a result of selective overkill. Conclusively, the human activity may be considered as the main factor of the Late Pleistocene herbivore extinctions, and the musk ox reintroducing should be coupled with extensive conservational measures. PMID:25486798

  19. [Extinction of large herbivore mammals: niche characteristics of musk ox Ovibos moschatus and reindeer Rangifer tarandus coexisting in isolation].

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

    The extinction of large northern herbivores is a puzzle for many biologists. It is long debated whether climate change or human activity was the main factor of the extinction. The survival of the weak trophic competitors should reject the climatic hypothesis. Extant species of Pleistocene communities allow testing this explicitly. Up to date, reindeer and musk ox coexist in the Arctic territory. Their island populations provide a unique natural experiment to assess the role of competition. On Wrangel Island, their population sizes show the opposite trends and the same situation recurs on other Arctic islands--the reindeer population size decreases with the muskoxen population increasing. We have shown that the trends are defined by food-web structure. Niche overlap between species is found to .be considerable and cannot be facilitated by habitat partitioning. The number of plant species in the muskoxen diet was higher than in the reindeer. The exclusive part of the muskoxen diet was higher as well. Food webs in all of the habitat types showed the same relation. However, the changes in herbivores distribution during the Pleistocene demonstrate the opposite pattern. Therefore, the competitive advantage could not save the Palaearctic musk ox, and the extinction seems to be a result of selective overkill. Conclusively, the human activity may be considered as the main factor of the Late Pleistocene herbivore extinctions, and the musk ox reintroducing should be coupled with extensive conservational measures. PMID:25508929

  20. The impact of climate change on large mammal distribution and extinction: Evidence from the last glacial/interglacial transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lister, Adrian M.; Stuart, Anthony J.

    2008-09-01

    The last major global revolution of climate was the transition from the last glacial stage to the present interglacial, ca. 25-10 ka. Vegetational belts and mammalian communities underwent major reorganisation. New radiocarbon data show that the complex series of climatic changes affected the ranges of mammalian species dramatically, but in differing ways related to the ecologies of individual species. For species that ultimately went extinct, the reduction in range was a prolonged and geographically complex process taking thousands or tens of thousands of years. Recent genetic studies using ancient DNA show that this process was often accompanied by loss of genetic variation and, presumably, adaptive flexibility. Even so, some species survived for thousands of years in small, terminal refugia before finally becoming extinct - a pattern akin to the 'extinction lag' or 'extinction debt' posited for endangered modern taxa. Whether refugial species can survive to re-expand into new areas, especially in anthropogenically disturbed environments, is determined by a complex of factors and is not inevitable.

  1. Splendid oddness: revisiting the curious trophic relationships of South American Pleistocene mammals and their abundance.

    PubMed

    Fariña, Richard A; Czerwonogora, Ada; di Giacomo, Mariana

    2014-03-01

    The South American Pleistocene mammal fauna includes great-sized animals that have intrigued scientists for over two centuries. Here we intend to update the knowledge on its palaeoecology and provide new evidence regarding two approaches: energetics and population density and relative abundance of fossils per taxa. To determine whether an imbalance exists, population density models were applied to several South American fossil faunas and the results compared to those that best describe the palaeoecology of African faunas. The results on the abundance study for Uruguay and the province of Buenos Aires during the Lujanian stage/age reveal that bulk-feeding ground sloths (Lestodon and Glossotherium) were more represented in the first territory, while the more selective Scelidotherium and Megatherium were more abundant in the second. Although the obtained values were corrected to avoid size-related taphonomic biases, linear regressions of abundance vs. body mass plots did not fit the expected either for first or second consumers. South American Pleistocene faunas behave differently from what models suggest they should. Changes in sea level and available area could account for these differences; the possibility of a floodplain in the area then emerged could explain seasonal changes, which would modify the calculations of energetics and abundance. PMID:24676170

  2. Mountaintop island age determines species richness of boreal mammals in the American Southwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frey, J.K.; Bogan, M.A.; Yates, T.L.

    2007-01-01

    Models that describe the mechanisms responsible for insular patterns of species richness include the equilibrium theory of island biogeography and the nonequilibrium vicariance model. The relative importance of dispersal or vicariance in structuring insular distribution patterns can be inferred from these models. Predictions of the alternative models were tested for boreal mammals in the American Southwest. Age of mountaintop islands of boreal habitat was determined by constructing a geographic cladogram based on characteristics of intervening valley barriers. Other independent variables included area and isolation of mountaintop islands. Island age was the most important predictor of species richness. In contrast with previous studies of species richness patterns in this system, these results supported the nonequilibrium vicariance model, which indicates that vicariance has been the primary determinant of species distribution patterns in this system. Copyright ?? Ecography 2007.

  3. A paleothermometer based on abundances of 13C-18O bonds in bioapatite: Calibration and reconstruction of the body temperatures of extinct Cenozoic mammals and Mesozoic dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eagle, R.; Schauble, E. A.; Tripati, A. K.; Fricke, H. C.; Tuetken, T.; Eiler, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    The stable isotope compositions of biologically precipitated apatite in bone, teeth, and scales are widely used to obtain information on the diet, behavior, and physiology of extinct organisms, and to reconstruct past climate in terrestrial and marine settings. Here we report the application of a new type of geochemical measurement to bioapatite, a ‘clumped isotope’ thermometer based on the thermodynamically driven preference for 13C and 18O to bond with each other within carbonate ions in the crystal lattice of apatite. This effect is dependent on temperature but unlike conventional stable isotope paleotemperature proxies, is independent from the isotopic composition of water from which the mineral formed. We show that the abundance of 13C-18O bonds in the carbonate component of apatite from modern teeth is proportional to the body temperature of the organism, with an accuracy of 1-2oC, and that the empirical calibration is supported by a theoretical model of isotopic ordering. We also report initial paleothermometry results from analyses of Cenozoic fossil mammal teeth and Mesozoic dinosaur teeth. Therefore, clumped isotope analysis of bioapatite represents a new approach in the study of the physiology of extinct species by allowing the first relatively assumption-free measurement of their body temperatures. It will also open new avenues in the study of paleoclimate, as the measurements of clumped isotopes in apatite from fossils, such as conodonts and brachiopods, as well as phosphorites, have the potential to record environmental temperatures.

  4. Evolution of bone compactness in extant and extinct moles (Talpidae): exploring humeral microstructure in small fossorial mammals

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Talpids include forms with different degree of fossoriality, with major specializations in the humerus in the case of the fully fossorial moles. We studied the humeral microanatomy of eleven extant and eight extinct talpid taxa of different lifestyles and of two non-fossorial outgroups and examined the effects of size and phylogeny. We tested the hypothesis that bone microanatomy is different in highly derived humeri of fossorial taxa than in terrestrial and semi-aquatic ones, likely due to special mechanical strains to which they are exposed to during digging. This study is the first comprehensive examination of histological parameters in an ecologically diverse and small-sized mammalian clade. Results No pattern of global bone compactness was found in the humeri of talpids that could be related to biomechanical specialization, phylogeny or size. The transition zone from the medullary cavity to the cortical compacta was larger and the ellipse ratio smaller in fossorial talpids than in non-fossorial talpids. No differences were detected between the two distantly related fossorial clades, Talpini and Scalopini. Conclusions At this small size, the overall morphology of the humerus plays a predominant role in absorbing the load, and microanatomical features such as an increase in bone compactness are less important, perhaps due to insufficient gravitational effects. The ellipse ratio of bone compactness shows relatively high intraspecific variation, and therefore predictions from this ratio based on single specimens are invalid. PMID:23442022

  5. Trends in North American small mammals found in common barn-owl (Tyto alba) dietary studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R., Jr.; Bunck, C.M.

    1991-01-01

    Data on mammals were compiled from published studies of common barn-owl (Tyto alba) pellets. Mammalian composition of pellet samples was analyzed within geographic regions in regard to year, mean annual precipitation, latitude, and number of individual mammals in the sample. Percentages of individuals in pellets that were shrews increased whereas the percentages of rodents decreased with greater mean annual precipitation, especially in northern and western areas of North America. From the 1920s through 1980s, in northern and eastern areas the percentage of species that was shrews decreased, and in northern and central areas the percentage of individuals that was murid rats and mice increased. Human alterations of habitats during these seven decades are postulated to have caused changes in available small mammals, leading to changes in the barn-owl diet.

  6. Small mammal diversity loss in response to late-Pleistocene climatic change.

    PubMed

    Blois, Jessica L; McGuire, Jenny L; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2010-06-10

    Communities have been shaped in numerous ways by past climatic change; this process continues today. At the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago, North American communities were substantially altered by the interplay of two events. The climate shifted from the cold, arid Last Glacial Maximum to the warm, mesic Holocene interglacial, causing many mammal species to shift their geographic distributions substantially. Populations were further stressed as humans arrived on the continent. The resulting megafaunal extinction event, in which 70 of the roughly 220 largest mammals in North America (32%) became extinct, has received much attention. However, responses of small mammals to events at the end of the Pleistocene have been much less studied, despite the sensitivity of these animals to current and future environmental change. Here we examine community changes in small mammals in northern California during the last 'natural' global warming event at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and show that even though no small mammals in the local community became extinct, species losses and gains, combined with changes in abundance, caused declines in both the evenness and richness of communities. Modern mammalian communities are thus depauperate not only as a result of megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene but also because of diversity loss among small mammals. Our results suggest that across future landscapes there will be some unanticipated effects of global change on diversity: restructuring of small mammal communities, significant loss of richness, and perhaps the rising dominance of native 'weedy' species. PMID:20495547

  7. The youngest South American rhynchocephalian, a survivor of the K/Pg extinction

    PubMed Central

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gómez, Raúl O.; Rougier, Guillermo W.

    2014-01-01

    Rhynchocephalian lepidosaurs, though once widespread worldwide, are represented today only by the tuatara (Sphenodon) of New Zealand. After their apparent early Cretaceous extinction in Laurasia, they survived in southern continents. In South America, they are represented by different lineages of Late Cretaceous eupropalinal forms until their disappearance by the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/Pg) boundary. We describe here the only unambiguous Palaeogene rhynchocephalian from South America; this new taxon is a younger species of the otherwise Late Cretaceous genus Kawasphenodon. Phylogenetic analysis confirms the allocation of the genus to the clade Opisthodontia. The new form from the Palaeogene of Central Patagonia is much smaller than Kawasphenodon expectatus from the Late Cretaceous of Northern Patagonia. The new species shows that at least one group of rhynchocephalians not related to the extant Sphenodon survived in South America beyond the K/Pg extinction event. Furthermore, it adds to other trans-K/Pg ectotherm tetrapod taxa, suggesting that the end-Cretaceous extinction affected Patagonia more benignly than the Laurasian landmasses. PMID:25143041

  8. The youngest South American rhynchocephalian, a survivor of the K/Pg extinction.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gómez, Raúl O; Rougier, Guillermo W

    2014-10-01

    Rhynchocephalian lepidosaurs, though once widespread worldwide, are represented today only by the tuatara (Sphenodon) of New Zealand. After their apparent early Cretaceous extinction in Laurasia, they survived in southern continents. In South America, they are represented by different lineages of Late Cretaceous eupropalinal forms until their disappearance by the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/Pg) boundary. We describe here the only unambiguous Palaeogene rhynchocephalian from South America; this new taxon is a younger species of the otherwise Late Cretaceous genus Kawasphenodon. Phylogenetic analysis confirms the allocation of the genus to the clade Opisthodontia. The new form from the Palaeogene of Central Patagonia is much smaller than Kawasphenodon expectatus from the Late Cretaceous of Northern Patagonia. The new species shows that at least one group of rhynchocephalians not related to the extant Sphenodon survived in South America beyond the K/Pg extinction event. Furthermore, it adds to other trans-K/Pg ectotherm tetrapod taxa, suggesting that the end-Cretaceous extinction affected Patagonia more benignly than the Laurasian landmasses. PMID:25143041

  9. Disappearance of the last lions and hyenas of Europe in the Late Quaternary - a chain reaction of large mammal prey migration, extinction and human antagonism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    there are no records of indirectly dated hyena and lion remains being younger then even Aurignacian/Early Gravettian (35.000-28.000 BP). Those largest Late Quaternary predators must have got extinct in northern Germany with the Late Weichselian/Wuermian extending Skandinavian Glacier, which reached northern Europe between Hamburg and Berlin its maximum extension about 24.000 BP (Skupin et al. 1993). The two largest predators of the Late Quaternary of Europe seem to have been well represented in the Gravettian and up to Magdalénian Late Palaeolithic of southern Europe, in which mainly lions, but only rarely hyenas are well documented within the cave and mobile art (e.g Breuil 1952, Begouen and Clottes 1987, Chauvet et al. 1995, Diedrich and Rathgeber in review, Diedrich 2005). Hyenas and lions must have been represented in the Gravettian, Early and Middle and possibly even ?Late Magdalenian in southern Europe, which must have resulted from a southern migration of those predators during the Late Weichselian/Wuermian together with the megafauna and humans. The disappearance of hyenas and lions also correlate with the extinction of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros in northern Germany. The large mammals such as elephants and rhinoceroses were highly important for hyenas and lions during the Late Quaternary. Hyenas had a systematic scavenging strategy on both large prey which was even "transferred" until today compared to modern spotted hyenas and lions of Africa (Diedrich 2010d, e, in prep). Where those Late Quaternary giant mammals such as woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros were absent in middle mountainous regions (e.g. Sauerland Karst, Harz Mountain Karst, Bohemian Karst, Thuringian Karst) those had to kill other medium sized animals such as horse or steppe bison and those in larger amounts (Diedrich 2008, 2010c). Woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoth seem to be not known in northern Germany after Aurignacian/?Early Gravettian times (Sauerland Karst and Münsterland Bay

  10. Expected time-invariant effects of biological traits on mammal species duration

    PubMed Central

    Smits, Peter D.

    2015-01-01

    Determining which biological traits influence differences in extinction risk is vital for understanding the differential diversification of life and for making predictions about species’ vulnerability to anthropogenic impacts. Here I present a hierarchical Bayesian survival model of North American Cenozoic mammal species durations in relation to species-level ecological factors, time of origination, and phylogenetic relationships. I find support for the survival of the unspecialized as a time-invariant generalization of trait-based extinction risk. Furthermore, I find that phylogenetic and temporal effects are both substantial factors associated with differences in species durations. Finally, I find that the estimated effects of these factors are partially incongruous with how these factors are correlated with extinction risk of the extant species. These findings parallel previous observations that background extinction is a poor predictor of mass extinction events and suggest that attention should be focused on mass extinctions to gain insight into modern species loss. PMID:26438873

  11. Expected time-invariant effects of biological traits on mammal species duration.

    PubMed

    Smits, Peter D

    2015-10-20

    Determining which biological traits influence differences in extinction risk is vital for understanding the differential diversification of life and for making predictions about species' vulnerability to anthropogenic impacts. Here I present a hierarchical Bayesian survival model of North American Cenozoic mammal species durations in relation to species-level ecological factors, time of origination, and phylogenetic relationships. I find support for the survival of the unspecialized as a time-invariant generalization of trait-based extinction risk. Furthermore, I find that phylogenetic and temporal effects are both substantial factors associated with differences in species durations. Finally, I find that the estimated effects of these factors are partially incongruous with how these factors are correlated with extinction risk of the extant species. These findings parallel previous observations that background extinction is a poor predictor of mass extinction events and suggest that attention should be focused on mass extinctions to gain insight into modern species loss. PMID:26438873

  12. Neotropical mammal diversity and the Great American Biotic Interchange: spatial and temporal variation in South America's fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo, Juan D.; Forasiepi, Analía; Jaramillo, Carlos; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2015-01-01

    The vast mammal diversity of the Neotropics is the result of a long evolutionary history. During most of the Cenozoic, South America was an island continent with an endemic mammalian fauna. This isolation ceased during the late Neogene after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, resulting in an event known as the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). In this study, we investigate biogeographic patterns in South America, just before or when the first immigrants are recorded and we review the temporal and geographical distribution of fossil mammals during the GABI. We performed a dissimilarity analysis which grouped the faunal assemblages according to their age and their geographic distribution. Our data support the differentiation between tropical and temperate assemblages in South America during the middle and late Miocene. The GABI begins during the late Miocene (~10–7 Ma) and the putative oldest migrations are recorded in the temperate region, where the number of GABI participants rapidly increases after ~5 Ma and this trend continues during the Pleistocene. A sampling bias toward higher latitudes and younger records challenges the study of the temporal and geographic patterns of the GABI. PMID:25601879

  13. Magnetic polarity stratigraphy of Inchasi: a Pliocene mammal-bearing locality from the Bolivian Andes deposited just before the Great American Interchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.; Anaya, Federico; Argollo, Jaime

    1993-01-01

    The newly discovered section at Inchasi, located about 50 km southeast of Potosi, Bolivia, in the eastern Cordillera, consists of about 120 m of undeformed terrestrial sediments containing fossil mammals. Paleomagnetic analysis of 54 sites indicates a polarity pattern with an estimated duration of about 0.64 Ma. The rich Inchasi local fauna indicates a Montehermosan and/or Chapadmalalan land mammal age (Pliocene). Given these constraints, Inchasi correlates from the interval between the late Gilbert (within the Cochiti subchron) to the early Gauss (within the Mammoth subchron) chrons; that is, between about 4.0 and 3.3 Ma. The distinct lack of North American mammals in the Inchasi local fauna provides some of the first well-calibrated evidence that the Great American Interchange occurred after about 3.0 Ma, as has been previously stated based on other calibrations of the earliest immigrant (Uquian) faunas.

  14. Viremia in North American Mammals and Birds After Experimental Infection with Chikungunya Viruses.

    PubMed

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Nemeth, Nicole M; Kohler, Dennis J; Bowen, Richard A

    2016-03-01

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus, which is known to cause severe disease only in humans. To investigate its potential zoonotic host range and evaluate reservoir competence among these hosts, experimental infections were performed on individuals from nine avian and 12 mammalian species representing both domestic and wild animals common to North America. Hamsters and inbred mice have previously been shown to develop viremia after inoculation with CHIKV and were used as positive controls for infection. Aside from big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), none of the mammals or birds developed detectable viremia or overt clinical disease. However, most mammals and a smaller proportion of birds developed neutralizing antibody responses to CHIKV. On the basis of these results, it seems unlikely that CHIKV poses a significant health threat to most domestic animals or wildlife and that the species examined do not likely contribute to natural transmission cycles. Additional studies should further evaluate bats and wild rodents as potential reservoir hosts for CHIKV transmission during human epidemics. PMID:26666699

  15. High Precision U/Pb Geochronology of Eocene-Miocene South American Land Mammal Ages at Gran Barranca, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, R. E.; Kohn, M. J.; Madden, R. H.; Strömberg, C. E.; Carlini, A. A.

    2009-12-01

    Constraining the ages and duration of Cenozoic South American Land Mammal Ages (SALMAs) has been based on 40Ar/39Ar dating and magnetic polarity stratigraphy. At Gran Barranca (68.7°W, 45.7°S) - South America’s most important site and sequence for constraining SALMAs -uncertainties of ~ 1 Myr persist. To better constrain the ages of mammalian and plant assemblages and stable isotope stratigraphies, we employed high-precision (±50 kyr) single-crystal zircon U/Pb dating. These results generally confirm previous chronologies, but change the timing or duration of some SALMAs at Gran Barranca by 0.5-1 Myr. We collected 23 tuffs from six members of the Sarmiento Formation that contain 7 successive formally recognized SALMAs spanning the middle Eocene through the early Miocene. These strata include the type faunas for the Barrancan, Mustersan and Colhuehuapian SALMAs. Zircons were separated and chemically treated using standard techniques, spiked with EARTHTIME ET535, and analyzed for U-Pb ratios at Boise State University. Simpson’s Y, a prominent marker tuff within the Barrancan SALMA, yielded a date of ˜40.0 Ma. The Rosado Tuff, in the Rosado Member, contains Mustersan SALMA age mammals and yields a date of ˜38.3 Ma. Two tuffs in the Lower Puesto Almendra Member (Bed 10 and the Kay Tuff, stratigraphically above a Mustersan SALMA mammal assemblage) yielded ages of ˜37.0 and ˜36.9 Ma respectively. The Big Mammal Tuff at the base of the Colhuehuapian SALMA is ˜20.9 Ma, and the MMZ24.5 Tuff between the Colhuehuapian and Pinturan SALMAs is ˜19.1 Ma. Together with published magnetostratigraphy, these U/Pb dates have the following implications: (a) The known duration of the Barrancan SALMA is shortened by ~ 1 Myr and spans 40.5-39.0 Ma, (b) The Mustersan SALMA at Gran Barranca is between ˜38.3 and ˜37.0 Ma, (c) The Colhuehuapian SALMA must fall between ˜20.9 and ˜19.8 Ma, and (d) the fossil levels referred to the Pinturan SALMA are bracketed between ˜19.1 and

  16. Biostratigraphic implications of the first Eocene land-mammal fauna from the North American coastal plain

    SciTech Connect

    Westgate, J.W. )

    1988-11-01

    A newly discovered vertebrate fossil assemblage, the Casa Blanca local fauna, comes from the Laredo Formation, Claiborne Group, of Webb County, Texas, and is the first reported Eocene land-mammal fauna from the coastal plain of North America. The mammalian fauna is correlated with the Serendipity and Canderlaria local faunas of west Texas, the Uinta C faunas of the Rocky Mountains, the Santiago Formation local fauna of southern California, and the Swift Current Creek local fauna of Saskatchewan, The vertebrate-bearing deposit lies about 32 m above a horizon containing the marine gastropod Turritella cortezi, which ranges from east Texas to northeast Mexico in the lower half of the Cook Mountain and Laredo Formations and is a guide fossil to the Hurricane Lentil in the Cook Mountain Formation. Nannoplankton found in these middle Eocene formations belong to the upper half of Nannoplankton Zone 16 and allow correlation with European beds of late Lutetian to early Bartonian age.

  17. Biostratigraphic implications of the first Eocene land-mammal fauna from the North American coastal plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westgate, James W.

    1988-11-01

    A newly discovered vertebrate fossil assemblage, the Casa Blanca local fauna, comes from the Laredo Formation, Claiborne Group, of Webb County, Texas, and is the first reported Eocene land-mammal fauna from the coastal plain of North America. The mammalian fauna is correlated with the Serendipity and Candelaria local faunas of west Texas, the Uinta C faunas of the Rocky Mountains, the Santiago Formation local fauna of southern California, and the Swift Current Creek local fauna of Saskatchewan. The vertebrate-bearing deposit lies about 32 m above a horizon containing the marine gastropod Turritella cortezi, which ranges from east Texas to northeast Mexico in the lower half of the Cook Mountain and Laredo Formations and is a guide fossil to the Hurricane Lentil in the Cook Mountain Formation. Nannoplankton found in these middle Eocene formations belong to the upper half of Nannoplankton Zone I6 and allow correlation with European beds of late Lutetian to early Bartonian age.

  18. Disappearance of the last lions and hyenas of Europe in the Late Quaternary - a chain reaction of large mammal prey migration, extinction and human antagonism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    there are no records of indirectly dated hyena and lion remains being younger then even Aurignacian/Early Gravettian (35.000-28.000 BP). Those largest Late Quaternary predators must have got extinct in northern Germany with the Late Weichselian/Wuermian extending Skandinavian Glacier, which reached northern Europe between Hamburg and Berlin its maximum extension about 24.000 BP (Skupin et al. 1993). The two largest predators of the Late Quaternary of Europe seem to have been well represented in the Gravettian and up to Magdalénian Late Palaeolithic of southern Europe, in which mainly lions, but only rarely hyenas are well documented within the cave and mobile art (e.g Breuil 1952, Begouen and Clottes 1987, Chauvet et al. 1995, Diedrich and Rathgeber in review, Diedrich 2005). Hyenas and lions must have been represented in the Gravettian, Early and Middle and possibly even ?Late Magdalenian in southern Europe, which must have resulted from a southern migration of those predators during the Late Weichselian/Wuermian together with the megafauna and humans. The disappearance of hyenas and lions also correlate with the extinction of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros in northern Germany. The large mammals such as elephants and rhinoceroses were highly important for hyenas and lions during the Late Quaternary. Hyenas had a systematic scavenging strategy on both large prey which was even "transferred" until today compared to modern spotted hyenas and lions of Africa (Diedrich 2010d, e, in prep). Where those Late Quaternary giant mammals such as woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros were absent in middle mountainous regions (e.g. Sauerland Karst, Harz Mountain Karst, Bohemian Karst, Thuringian Karst) those had to kill other medium sized animals such as horse or steppe bison and those in larger amounts (Diedrich 2008, 2010c). Woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoth seem to be not known in northern Germany after Aurignacian/?Early Gravettian times (Sauerland Karst and Münsterland Bay

  19. Local Colonization-Extinction Dynamics Generate Lags in the Response to Climate Change in Eastern North American Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talluto, M. V.; Boulangeat, I.; Vissault, S.; Gravel, D.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is likely to push many species to the limits of their ecological niches and lead to mismatches between species ranges and local environmental conditions. Forested ecosystems in particular may have difficulty tracking climate change due to slow growth and dispersal rates. Correlative species distribution models (SDMs), commonly used to predict the response of species distributions to climate change, relate species occurrences to climate to describe the present niche; however they often project into the future without accounting for slow processes that might produce lags in the response to climate change. An alternative type of model that analyzes patch-scale colonization and extinction (C-E) rates along an environmental gradient has been successful in describing species range limits in theoretical studies. Because the model is stochastic and dynamic, it is more robust to changes in the environmental gradient than static SDMs. We applied such a model to 40 of the most abundant trees in eastern North American forests, using repeated observations across multiple decades to parameterize the C-E rates. We show that C-E rates for many species respond to climate in a manner that generates predicted range limits when the species is at equilibrium with the environment. Moreover, current distributions of many species are significantly out of equilibrium with the present climate, with predicted range limits shifted 10s to 100s of km northward from the present distribution. These results suggest that present warming has already exceeded the thermal tolerance at the southern range limits for the dominant trees of eastern North American forests, producing millions of ha of newly suitable areas north of the present distribution of these species that have not yet been colonized, as well as large southern regions where species are present but expected to be lost in the long-term as dead trees are not replaced, even if no further climate warming occurs.

  20. Influence of Tertiary paleoenvironmental changes on the diversification of South American mammals: a relaxed molecular clock study within xenarthrans

    PubMed Central

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Vizcaíno, Sergio F; Douzery, Emmanuel JP

    2004-01-01

    Background Comparative genomic data among organisms allow the reconstruction of their phylogenies and evolutionary time scales. Molecular timings have been recently used to suggest that environmental global change have shaped the evolutionary history of diverse terrestrial organisms. Living xenarthrans (armadillos, anteaters and sloths) constitute an ideal model for studying the influence of past environmental changes on species diversification. Indeed, extant xenarthran species are relicts from an evolutionary radiation enhanced by their isolation in South America during the Tertiary era, a period for which major climate variations and tectonic events are relatively well documented. Results We applied a Bayesian approach to three nuclear genes in order to relax the molecular clock assumption while accounting for differences in evolutionary dynamics among genes and incorporating paleontological uncertainties. We obtained a molecular time scale for the evolution of extant xenarthrans and other placental mammals. Divergence time estimates provide substantial evidence for contemporaneous diversification events among independent xenarthran lineages. This correlated pattern of diversification might possibly relate to major environmental changes that occurred in South America during the Cenozoic. Conclusions The observed synchronicity between planetary and biological events suggests that global change played a crucial role in shaping the evolutionary history of extant xenarthrans. Our findings open ways to test this hypothesis further in other South American mammalian endemics like hystricognath rodents, platyrrhine primates, and didelphid marsupials. PMID:15115541

  1. The genomes of the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) encode a more complete purine catabolic pathway than placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Keebaugh, Alaine C; Thomas, James W

    2009-09-01

    The end product of purine catabolism varies amongst vertebrates and is a consequence of independent gene inactivation events that have truncated the purine catabolic pathway. Mammals have traditionally been grouped into two classes based on their end product of purine catabolism: most mammals, whose end product is allantoin due to an ancient loss of allantoinase (ALLN), and the hominoids, whose end product is uric acid due to recent inactivations of urate oxidase (UOX). However little is known about purine catabolism in marsupials and monotremes. Here we report the results of a comparative genomics study designed to characterize the purine catabolic pathway in a marsupial, the South American opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and a monotreme, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). We found that both genomes encode a more complete set of genes for purine catabolism than do eutherians and conclude that a near complete purine catabolic pathway was present in the common ancestor of all mammals, and that the loss of ALLN is specific to placental mammals. Our results therefore provide a revised history for gene loss in the purine catabolic pathway and suggest that marsupials and monotremes represent a third class of mammals with respect to their end products of purine catabolism. PMID:20161190

  2. Species extinction mires ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Holzman, D.

    1990-03-26

    Extinction is normal in the evolution of life, but amphibians, insects, birds and mammals are vanishing at an alarming pace. While habitat destruction, overexploitation and pollution are among the main causes, some disappearances cannot be explained. The extinction problem among amphibians mirrors the general, worldwide phenomenon. A synergism of insults may be responsible. Chance events such as a dry year might occasionally clean out a pond. But a larger lake nearby would replenish it. Now acid pollution adds to the ponds' burden while stocking of amphibian-eating sport fish in the lake - which happens even in natural parks - would destroy the source of replenishment. Some fear that extinctions ultimately could destroy nature's fabric.

  3. Impact of non-native terrestrial mammals on the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland, Canada.

    PubMed

    Strong, Justin S; Leroux, Shawn J

    2014-01-01

    The island of Newfoundland is unique because it has as many non-native terrestrial mammals as native ones. The impacts of non-native species on native flora and fauna can be profound and invasive species have been identified as one of the primary drivers of species extinction. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of a non-native species assemblage on community and ecosystem properties. We reviewed the literature to build the first terrestrial mammal food web for the island of Newfoundland and then used network analyses to investigate how the timing of introductions and trophic position of non-native species has affected the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web in Newfoundland. The first non-native mammals (house mouse and brown rat) became established in Newfoundland with human settlement in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Coyotes and southern red-backed voles are the most recent mammals to establish themselves on the island in 1985 and 1998, respectively. The fraction of intermediate species increased with the addition of non-native mammals over time whereas the fraction of basal and top species declined over time. This increase in intermediate species mediated by non-native species arrivals led to an overall increase in the terrestrial mammal food web connectance and generality (i.e. mean number of prey per predator). This diverse prey base and sources of carrion may have facilitated the natural establishment of coyotes on the island. Also, there is some evidence that the introduction of non-native prey species such as the southern red-backed vole has contributed to the recovery of the threatened American marten. Long-term monitoring of the food web is required to understand and predict the impacts of the diverse novel interactions that are developing in the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland. PMID:25170923

  4. Impact of Non-Native Terrestrial Mammals on the Structure of the Terrestrial Mammal Food Web of Newfoundland, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Strong, Justin S.; Leroux, Shawn J.

    2014-01-01

    The island of Newfoundland is unique because it has as many non-native terrestrial mammals as native ones. The impacts of non-native species on native flora and fauna can be profound and invasive species have been identified as one of the primary drivers of species extinction. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of a non-native species assemblage on community and ecosystem properties. We reviewed the literature to build the first terrestrial mammal food web for the island of Newfoundland and then used network analyses to investigate how the timing of introductions and trophic position of non-native species has affected the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web in Newfoundland. The first non-native mammals (house mouse and brown rat) became established in Newfoundland with human settlement in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Coyotes and southern red-backed voles are the most recent mammals to establish themselves on the island in 1985 and 1998, respectively. The fraction of intermediate species increased with the addition of non-native mammals over time whereas the fraction of basal and top species declined over time. This increase in intermediate species mediated by non-native species arrivals led to an overall increase in the terrestrial mammal food web connectance and generality (i.e. mean number of prey per predator). This diverse prey base and sources of carrion may have facilitated the natural establishment of coyotes on the island. Also, there is some evidence that the introduction of non-native prey species such as the southern red-backed vole has contributed to the recovery of the threatened American marten. Long-term monitoring of the food web is required to understand and predict the impacts of the diverse novel interactions that are developing in the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland. PMID:25170923

  5. Iridium anomaly approximately synchronous with terminal eocene extinctions

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, W.; Asaro, F.; Michel, H.V.; Alvarez, L.W.

    1982-05-21

    An iridium anomaly has been found in coincidence with the known microtektite level in cores from Deep Sea Drilling Project site 149 in the Caribbean Sea. The iridium was probably not in the microtektites but deposited simultaneously with them; this could occur if the iridium was deposited from a dust cloud resulting from a bolide impact, as suggested for the anomaly associated with the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Other workers have deduced that the microtektites are part of the North American strewn tektite field, which is dated at about 34 million years before present, and that the microtektite horizon in deep-sea cores is synchronous with the extinction of five radiolarian species. Mass extinctions also occur in terrestrial mammals within 4 million years of this time. The iridium anomaly and the tektites and microtektites are supportive of a major bolide impact about 34 million years ago.

  6. Iridium anomaly approximately synchronous with terminal eocene extinctions.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, W; Asaro, F; Michel, H V; Alvarez, L W

    1982-05-21

    An iridium anomaly has been found in coincidence with the known microtektite level in cores from Deep Sea Drilling Project site 149 in the Caribbean Sea. The iridium was probably not in the microtektites but deposited simultaneously with them; this could occur if the iridium was deposited from a dust cloud resulting from a bolide impact, as suggested for the anomaly associated with the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Other workers have deduced that the microtektites are part of the North American strewn tektite field, which is dated at about 34 million years before present, and that the microtektite horizon in deep-sea cores is synchronous with the extinction of five radiolarian species. Mass extinctions also occur in terrestrial mammals within 4 million years of this time. The iridium anomaly and the tektites and microtektites are supportive of a major bolide impact about 34 million years ago. PMID:17819180

  7. The Late Quaternary biogeographic histories of some Great Basin mammals (western USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grayson, Donald K.

    2006-11-01

    The Great Basin of arid western North America provides one of the most detailed late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal records available for any part of the world, though the record is by far strongest for small mammals. Of the 35 genera of now-extinct North American Pleistocene mammals, 19 are known to have occurred in the Great Basin, a list that is likely to be complete or nearly so. Of these 19, seven can be shown to have survived beyond 12,000 radiocarbon years ago, a proportion similar to that for North America as a whole. Horses, camels, mammoth, and helmeted musk-oxen appear to have been the most abundant of these genera. Pygmy rabbits ( Brachylagus idahoensis), yellow-bellied marmots ( Marmota flaviventris), and bushy-tailed woodrats ( Neotoma cinerea) declined in abundance at the end of the Pleistocene, at about the same time as populations south of their current arid western distributional boundary were extirpated. Subsequent declines occurred during the hot/dry middle Holocene. Pygmy rabbits also declined as modern pinyon-juniper woodlands developed across the Great Basin. The Snake Range of eastern Nevada has seen the late Pleistocene or Holocene extinction of both northern pocket gophers ( Thomomys talpoides) and pikas ( Ochotona princeps). Coupled with the rarity of yellow-bellied marmots here, these histories make the Snake Range a biogeographic oddity. These and other Great Basin mammal histories provide significant insights into the possible responses of Great Basin small mammals to global warming.

  8. Rethinking Extinction.

    PubMed

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E; Niv, Yael; Daw, Nathaniel; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2015-10-01

    Extinction serves as the leading theoretical framework and experimental model to describe how learned behaviors diminish through absence of anticipated reinforcement. In the past decade, extinction has moved beyond the realm of associative learning theory and behavioral experimentation in animals and has become a topic of considerable interest in the neuroscience of learning, memory, and emotion. Here, we review research and theories of extinction, both as a learning process and as a behavioral technique, and consider whether traditional understandings warrant a re-examination. We discuss the neurobiology, cognitive factors, and major computational theories, and revisit the predominant view that extinction results in new learning that interferes with expression of the original memory. Additionally, we reconsider the limitations of extinction as a technique to prevent the relapse of maladaptive behavior and discuss novel approaches, informed by contemporary theoretical advances, that augment traditional extinction methods to target and potentially alter maladaptive memories. PMID:26447572

  9. Dietary controls on extinction versus survival among avian megafauna in the late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Stidham, Thomas A.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Emslie, Steven D.; Koch, Paul L.

    2006-08-01

    The late Pleistocene extinction decimated terrestrial megafaunal communities in North America, but did not affect marine mammal populations. In coastal regions, marine megafauna may have provided a buffer that allowed some large predators or scavengers, such as California condors (Gymnogyps californianus), to survive into the Holocene. To track the influence of marine resources on avifaunas we analyzed the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotope composition of collagen from late Pleistocene vultures and raptors, including species that survived the extinction (condor, bald eagle, golden eagle) and extinct species (teratorn, black vulture). At the Rancho La Brea and McKittrick tar pits of southern California, isotope values for extinct teratorns (Teratornis merriami, n = 10) and black vultures (Coragyps occidentalis, n = 8) show that they fed entirely in a terrestrial C3 ecosystem. In contrast, La Brea condors cluster into two groups, one with a terrestrial diet (n = 4), and the other with a strong marine influence (n = 5). At localities in the American southwest, Texas, and Florida, where condors became extinct, they have isotope values indicating entirely terrestrial diets (n = 10). Our results suggest that dependence upon terrestrial megafaunal carrion as a food source led to the extinction of inland California condor populations and coastal populations of teratorns and black vultures at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, whereas use of marine foods allowed coastal condor populations to survive.

  10. Ecological Diversity in South American Mammals: Their Geographical Distribution Shows Variable Associations with Phylogenetic Diversity and Does Not Follow the Latitudinal Richness Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Fergnani, Paula Nilda; Ruggiero, Adriana

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which the latitudinal gradient in species richness may be paralleled by a similar gradient of increasing functional or phylogenetic diversity is a matter of controversy. We evaluated whether taxonomic richness (TR) is informative in terms of ecological diversity (ED, an approximation to functional diversity) and phylogenetic diversity (AvPD) using data on 531 mammal species representing South American old autochthonous (marsupials, xenarthrans), mid-Cenozoic immigrants (hystricognaths, primates) and newcomers (carnivorans, artiodactyls). If closely related species are ecologically more similar than distantly related species, AvPD will be a strong predictor of ED; however, lower ED than predicted from AvPD may be due to species retaining most of their ancestral characters, suggesting niche conservatism. This pattern could occur in tropical rainforests for taxa of tropical affinity (old autochthonous and mid-Cenozoic immigrants) and in open and arid habitats for newcomers. In contrast, higher ED than expected from AvPD could occur, possibly in association with niche evolution, in arid and open habitats for taxa of tropical affinity and in forested habitats for newcomers. We found that TR was a poor predictor of ED and AvPD. After controlling for TR, there was considerable variability in the extent to which AvPD accounted for ED. Taxa of tropical affinity did not support the prediction of ED deficit within tropical rainforests, rather, they showed a mosaic of regions with an excess of ED interspersed with zones of ED deficit within the tropics; newcomers showed ED deficit in arid and open regions. Some taxa of tropical affinity showed excess of ED in tropical desert areas (hystricognaths) or temperate semideserts (xenarthrans); newcomers showed excess of ED at cold-temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This result suggests that extreme climatic conditions at both temperate and tropical latitudes may have promoted niche evolution in mammals

  11. Ecological Diversity in South American Mammals: Their Geographical Distribution Shows Variable Associations with Phylogenetic Diversity and Does Not Follow the Latitudinal Richness Gradient.

    PubMed

    Fergnani, Paula Nilda; Ruggiero, Adriana

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which the latitudinal gradient in species richness may be paralleled by a similar gradient of increasing functional or phylogenetic diversity is a matter of controversy. We evaluated whether taxonomic richness (TR) is informative in terms of ecological diversity (ED, an approximation to functional diversity) and phylogenetic diversity (AvPD) using data on 531 mammal species representing South American old autochthonous (marsupials, xenarthrans), mid-Cenozoic immigrants (hystricognaths, primates) and newcomers (carnivorans, artiodactyls). If closely related species are ecologically more similar than distantly related species, AvPD will be a strong predictor of ED; however, lower ED than predicted from AvPD may be due to species retaining most of their ancestral characters, suggesting niche conservatism. This pattern could occur in tropical rainforests for taxa of tropical affinity (old autochthonous and mid-Cenozoic immigrants) and in open and arid habitats for newcomers. In contrast, higher ED than expected from AvPD could occur, possibly in association with niche evolution, in arid and open habitats for taxa of tropical affinity and in forested habitats for newcomers. We found that TR was a poor predictor of ED and AvPD. After controlling for TR, there was considerable variability in the extent to which AvPD accounted for ED. Taxa of tropical affinity did not support the prediction of ED deficit within tropical rainforests, rather, they showed a mosaic of regions with an excess of ED interspersed with zones of ED deficit within the tropics; newcomers showed ED deficit in arid and open regions. Some taxa of tropical affinity showed excess of ED in tropical desert areas (hystricognaths) or temperate semideserts (xenarthrans); newcomers showed excess of ED at cold-temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. This result suggests that extreme climatic conditions at both temperate and tropical latitudes may have promoted niche evolution in mammals

  12. Alien species as a driver of recent extinctions.

    PubMed

    Bellard, Céline; Cassey, Phillip; Blackburn, Tim M

    2016-02-01

    We assessed the prevalence of alien species as a driver of recent extinctions in five major taxa (plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), using data from the IUCN Red List. Our results show that alien species are the second most common threat associated with species that have gone completely extinct from these taxa since AD 1500. Aliens are the most common threat associated with extinctions in three of the five taxa analysed, and for vertebrate extinctions overall. PMID:26888913

  13. South american geochronology: radiometric time scale for middle to late tertiary mammal-bearing horizons in patagonia.

    PubMed

    Marshall, L G; Pascual, R; Curtis, G H; Drake, R E

    1977-03-25

    Radiometric (potassium-argon) age determinations for basalts and tuffs associated with middle to late Tertiary mammal-bearing horizons in Patagonia, southern Argentina, permit refinement of boundaries and hiatuses between beds of Deseadan (early Oligocene) through Friasian (middle to late Miocene) age. At two localities beds of Deseadan age are overlain by basalts, which gave dates of 33.6 and 35.4 million years ago; 34.0 million years ago is tentatively accepted as a terminal date for known Deseadan. At several localities beds of Colhuehuapian age are underlain by basalts, which gave dates ranging from 28.8 to 24.3 million years ago; 25.0 million years is tentatively taken as a basal age for known Colhuehuapian. The paleontological hiatus between known Deseadan and known Colhuehuapian is thus in the order of 9.0 million years. Two tuffs from the Santa Cruz Formation (Santacrucian) gave ages of 21.7 and 18.5 million years. Plagioclase and biotite concentrates of an ignimbrite from the Collón Curá Formation (Friasian) gave ages ranging from 15.4 to 14.0 million years. PMID:17738414

  14. Biostratigraphic case studies of six major extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sloan, R. E.

    1988-01-01

    Biostratigraphic case studies of six major extinctions show all are gradual save one, which is a catastrophic extinction of terrestrial origin. These extinctions show a continuum of environmental insults from major to minor. The major causes of these extinctions are positive and negative eustatic sea level changes, temperature, or ecological competition. Extraterrestrial causes should not be posited without positive association with a stratigraphically sharp extinction. The Cretaceous-Tertiary terrestrial extinction is considerably smaller in percentage of extinction than the marine extinction and is spread over 10 my of the Cretaceous and 1 my of the Tertiary. Sixty percent of the 30 dinosaurs in the northern Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada had become extinct in the 9 my before the late Maastrichtian sea level drop. The best data on the Permo-Triassic terrestrial extinction are from the Karoo basin of South Africa. This is a series of 6 extinctions in some 8 my, recorded in some 2800 meters of sediment. Precision of dating is enhanced by the high rate of accumulation of these sediments. Few data are readily available on the timing of the marine Permo-Triassic extinction, due to the very restricted number of sequences of Tatarian marine rocks. The terminal Ordovician extinction at 438 my is relatively rapid, taking place over about 0.5 my. The most significant aspect of this extinction is a eustatic sea level lowering associated with a major episode of glaciation. New data on this extinction is the reduction from 61 genera of trilobites in North America to 14, for a 77 percent extinction. Another Ordovician extinction present over 10 percent of the North American craton occurs at 454 my in the form of a catastrophic extinction due to a volcanic eruption which blanketed the U.S. east of the Transcontinental Arch. This is the only other sizeable extinction in the Ordovician.

  15. Extinction Risk Escalates in the Tropics

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C.; Vamosi, Steven M.

    2008-01-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient remains one of the most widely recognized yet puzzling patterns in nature [1]. Presently, the high level of extinction of tropical species, referred to as the “tropical biodiversity crisis”, has the potential to erode this pattern. While the connection between species richness, extinction, and speciation has long intrigued biologists [2], [3], these interactions have experienced increased poignancy due to their relevancy to where we should concentrate our conservation efforts. Natural extinction is a phenomenon thought to have its own latitudinal gradient, with lower extinction rates in the tropics being reported in beetles, birds, mammals, and bivalves [4]–[7]. Processes that have buffered ecosystems from high extinction rates in the past may also buffer ecosystems against disturbance of anthropogenic origin. While potential parallels between historical and present-day extinction patterns have been acknowledged, they remain only superficially explored and plant extinction patterns have been particularly neglected. Studies on the disappearances of animal species have reached conflicting conclusions, with the rate of extinction appearing either higher [8] or lower [9] in species richness hotspots. Our global study of extinction risk in vascular plants finds disproportionately higher extinction risk in tropical countries, even when indicators of human pressure (GDP, population density, forest cover change) are taken into account. Our results are at odds with the notion that the tropics represent a museum of plant biodiversity (places of historically lowered extinction) and we discuss mechanisms that may reconcile this apparent contradiction. PMID:19066623

  16. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions – Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras

    PubMed Central

    Liebergesell, Mario; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:26848836

  17. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    PubMed

    Liebergesell, Mario; Reu, Björn; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Peñuelas, Josep; Wirth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:26848836

  18. Extinctions of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1988-01-01

    This meeting presentation examines mass extinctions through earth's history. Extinctions are charted for marine families and marine genera. Timing of marine genera extinctions is discussed. Periodicity in extinctions during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras is plotted and compared with Paleozoic extinction peaks. The role of extinction in evolution and mankind's role in present extinctions are examined.

  19. Relating Sub-Surface Ice Features to Physiological Stress in a Climate Sensitive Mammal, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, and ongoing research suggests loss of sub-surface ice as a mechanism. However, no studies have demonstrated physiological responses of pikas to sub-surface ice features. Here we present the first analysis of physiological stress in pikas living in and adjacent to habitats underlain by ice. Fresh fecal samples were collected non-invasively from two adjacent sites in the Rocky Mountains (one with sub-surface ice and one without) and analyzed for glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM). We also measured sub-surface microclimates in each habitat. Results indicate lower GCM concentration in sites with sub-surface ice, suggesting that pikas are less stressed in favorable microclimates resulting from sub-surface ice features. GCM response was well predicted by habitat characteristics associated with sub-surface ice features, such as lower mean summer temperatures. These results suggest that pikas inhabiting areas without sub-surface ice features are experiencing higher levels of physiological stress and may be more susceptible to changing climates. Although post-deposition environmental effects can confound analyses based on fecal GCM, we found no evidence for such effects in this study. Sub-surface ice features are key to water cycling and storage and will likely represent an increasingly important component of water resources in a warming climate. Fecal samples collected from additional watersheds as part of current pika monitoring programs could be used to further characterize relationships between pika stress and sub-surface ice features. PMID:25803587

  20. Hibernation and daily torpor minimize mammalian extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; Turbill, Christopher

    2009-10-01

    Small mammals appear to be less vulnerable to extinction than large species, but the underlying reasons are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that almost all (93.5%) of 61 recently extinct mammal species were homeothermic, maintaining a constant high body temperature and thus energy expenditure, which demands a high intake of food, long foraging times, and thus exposure to predators. In contrast, only 6.5% of extinct mammals were likely heterothermic and employed multi-day torpor (hibernation) or daily torpor, even though torpor is widespread within more than half of all mammalian orders. Torpor is characterized by substantial reductions of body temperature and energy expenditure and enhances survival during adverse conditions by minimizing food and water requirements, and consequently reduces foraging requirements and exposure to predators. Moreover, because life span is generally longer in heterothermic mammals than in related homeotherms, heterotherms can employ a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy to withstand adverse periods and then repopulate when circumstances improve. Thus, torpor is a crucial but hitherto unappreciated attribute of small mammals for avoiding extinction. Many opportunistic heterothermic species, because of their plastic energetic requirements, may also stand a better chance of future survival than homeothermic species in the face of greater climatic extremes and changes in environmental conditions caused by global warming.

  1. Collagen Sequence Analysis of the Extinct Giant Ground Sloths Lestodon and Megatherium.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Michael; Fariña, Richard A; Lawless, Craig; Tambusso, P Sebastián; Varela, Luciano; Carlini, Alfredo A; Powell, Jaime E; Martinez, Jorge G

    2015-01-01

    For over 200 years, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas that have ranged from giant ground sloths to the 'native' South American ungulates, groups of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America. Ground sloths belong to the South American xenarthrans, a group with modern although morphologically and ecologically very different representatives (anteaters, armadillos and sloths), which has been proposed to be one of the four main eutherian clades. Recently, proteomics analyses of bone collagen have recently been used to yield a molecular phylogeny for a range of mammals including the unusual 'Malagasy aardvark' shown to be most closely related to the afrotherian tenrecs, and the south American ungulates supporting their morphological association with condylarths. However, proteomics results generate partial sequence information that could impact upon the phylogenetic placement that has not been appropriately tested. For comparison, this paper examines the phylogenetic potential of proteomics-based sequencing through the analysis of collagen extracted from two extinct giant ground sloths, Lestodon and Megatherium. The ground sloths were placed as sister taxa to extant sloths, but with a closer relationship between Lestodon and the extant sloths than the basal Megatherium. These results highlight that proteomics methods could yield plausible phylogenies that share similarities with other methods, but have the potential to be more useful in fossils beyond the limits of ancient DNA survival. PMID:26540101

  2. Collagen Sequence Analysis of the Extinct Giant Ground Sloths Lestodon and Megatherium

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael; Fariña, Richard A.; Lawless, Craig; Tambusso, P. Sebastián; Varela, Luciano; Carlini, Alfredo A.; Powell, Jaime E.; Martinez, Jorge G.

    2015-01-01

    For over 200 years, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas that have ranged from giant ground sloths to the ‘native’ South American ungulates, groups of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America. Ground sloths belong to the South American xenarthrans, a group with modern although morphologically and ecologically very different representatives (anteaters, armadillos and sloths), which has been proposed to be one of the four main eutherian clades. Recently, proteomics analyses of bone collagen have recently been used to yield a molecular phylogeny for a range of mammals including the unusual ‘Malagasy aardvark’ shown to be most closely related to the afrotherian tenrecs, and the south American ungulates supporting their morphological association with condylarths. However, proteomics results generate partial sequence information that could impact upon the phylogenetic placement that has not been appropriately tested. For comparison, this paper examines the phylogenetic potential of proteomics-based sequencing through the analysis of collagen extracted from two extinct giant ground sloths, Lestodon and Megatherium. The ground sloths were placed as sister taxa to extant sloths, but with a closer relationship between Lestodon and the extant sloths than the basal Megatherium. These results highlight that proteomics methods could yield plausible phylogenies that share similarities with other methods, but have the potential to be more useful in fossils beyond the limits of ancient DNA survival. PMID:26540101

  3. Australian Extinctions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia--which occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago--may be linked. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College believe that massive fires set by the first humans may have altered the ecosystem of…

  4. The changing fates of the world's mammals.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Michael; Belant, Jerrold L; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Lamoreux, John; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N

    2011-09-27

    A recent complete assessment of the conservation status of 5487 mammal species demonstrated that at least one-fifth are at risk of extinction in the wild. We retrospectively identified genuine changes in extinction risk for mammals between 1996 and 2008 to calculate changes in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Index (RLI). Species-level trends in the conservation status of mammalian diversity reveal that extinction risk in large-bodied species is increasing, and that the rate of deterioration has been most accelerated in the Indomalayan and Australasian realms. Expanding agriculture and hunting have been the main drivers of increased extinction risk in mammals. Site-based protection and management, legislation, and captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes have led to improvements in 24 species. We contextualize these changes, and explain why both deteriorations and improvements may be under-reported. Although this study highlights where conservation actions are leading to improvements, it fails to account for instances where conservation has prevented further deteriorations in the status of the world's mammals. The continued utility of the RLI is dependent on sustained investment to ensure repeated assessments of mammals over time and to facilitate future calculations of the RLI and measurement against global targets. PMID:21844039

  5. The changing fates of the world's mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Michael; Belant, Jerrold L.; Chanson, Janice S.; Cox, Neil A.; Lamoreux, John; Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N.

    2011-01-01

    A recent complete assessment of the conservation status of 5487 mammal species demonstrated that at least one-fifth are at risk of extinction in the wild. We retrospectively identified genuine changes in extinction risk for mammals between 1996 and 2008 to calculate changes in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Index (RLI). Species-level trends in the conservation status of mammalian diversity reveal that extinction risk in large-bodied species is increasing, and that the rate of deterioration has been most accelerated in the Indomalayan and Australasian realms. Expanding agriculture and hunting have been the main drivers of increased extinction risk in mammals. Site-based protection and management, legislation, and captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes have led to improvements in 24 species. We contextualize these changes, and explain why both deteriorations and improvements may be under-reported. Although this study highlights where conservation actions are leading to improvements, it fails to account for instances where conservation has prevented further deteriorations in the status of the world's mammals. The continued utility of the RLI is dependent on sustained investment to ensure repeated assessments of mammals over time and to facilitate future calculations of the RLI and measurement against global targets. PMID:21844039

  6. Allometry in dinosaurs and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    The proportions of the leg bones change as the size of an animal becomes larger since the mass of the animal increases at a faster rate than the cross-sectional area of its leg bones. For the case of elastic similarity (in which the longitudinal stress in the legs remains constant in animals of all sizes), the diameter d and length L of the femur should be related as d = A L3/2. For geometric similarity (in which all dimensions are scaled by the same factor), d = A L. For animals with femora longer than 20 cm, we find the power law relationship to be d = A Lb with b = 1.13 +/- 0.06 for extant mammals (the largest mammal being Loxodonta africana with a 1.00-m-long femur) and b = 1.18 +/- 0.02 for dinosaurs (the largest dinosaur being Brachiosaurus brancai with a 2.03-m-long femur). These data show that extinct dinosaurs and extant animals scale in the same basic manner. The large sauropods (with femora twice as long as found in elephants) scale in a manner consistent with extrapolation of the scaling shown by extant mammals. These results argue that extinct dinosaurs moved in a manner very similar to extant mammals.

  7. Marine Mammals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meith, Nikki

    Marine mammals have not only fascinated and inspired human beings for thousands of years, but they also support a big business by providing flesh for sea-borne factories, sustaining Arctic lifestyles and traditions, and attracting tourists to ocean aquaria. While they are being harpooned, bludgeoned, shot, netted, and trained to jump through…

  8. Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in substantial conservation gains.

    PubMed

    Jones, Holly P; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Tershy, Bernie R; Kappes, Peter J; Corkery, Ilse; Aguirre-Muñoz, Alfonso; Armstrong, Doug P; Bonnaud, Elsa; Burbidge, Andrew A; Campbell, Karl; Courchamp, Franck; Cowan, Philip E; Cuthbert, Richard J; Ebbert, Steve; Genovesi, Piero; Howald, Gregg R; Keitt, Bradford S; Kress, Stephen W; Miskelly, Colin M; Oppel, Steffen; Poncet, Sally; Rauzon, Mark J; Rocamora, Gérard; Russell, James C; Samaniego-Herrera, Araceli; Seddon, Philip J; Spatz, Dena R; Towns, David R; Croll, Donald A

    2016-04-12

    More than US$21 billion is spent annually on biodiversity conservation. Despite their importance for preventing or slowing extinctions and preserving biodiversity, conservation interventions are rarely assessed systematically for their global impact. Islands house a disproportionately higher amount of biodiversity compared with mainlands, much of which is highly threatened with extinction. Indeed, island species make up nearly two-thirds of recent extinctions. Islands therefore are critical targets of conservation. We used an extensive literature and database review paired with expert interviews to estimate the global benefits of an increasingly used conservation action to stem biodiversity loss: eradication of invasive mammals on islands. We found 236 native terrestrial insular faunal species (596 populations) that benefitted through positive demographic and/or distributional responses from 251 eradications of invasive mammals on 181 islands. Seven native species (eight populations) were negatively impacted by invasive mammal eradication. Four threatened species had their International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List extinction-risk categories reduced as a direct result of invasive mammal eradication, and no species moved to a higher extinction-risk category. We predict that 107 highly threatened birds, mammals, and reptiles on the IUCN Red List-6% of all these highly threatened species-likely have benefitted from invasive mammal eradications on islands. Because monitoring of eradication outcomes is sporadic and limited, the impacts of global eradications are likely greater than we report here. Our results highlight the importance of invasive mammal eradication on islands for protecting the world's most imperiled fauna. PMID:27001852

  9. Invasive mammal eradication on islands results in substantial conservation gains

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Holly P.; Holmes, Nick D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Kappes, Peter J.; Corkery, Ilse; Aguirre-Muñoz, Alfonso; Armstrong, Doug P.; Bonnaud, Elsa; Burbidge, Andrew A.; Campbell, Karl; Courchamp, Franck; Cowan, Philip E.; Cuthbert, Richard J.; Ebbert, Steve; Genovesi, Piero; Howald, Gregg R.; Keitt, Bradford S.; Kress, Stephen W.; Miskelly, Colin M.; Oppel, Steffen; Poncet, Sally; Rauzon, Mark J.; Rocamora, Gérard; Russell, James C.; Samaniego-Herrera, Araceli; Seddon, Philip J.; Spatz, Dena R.; Towns, David R.; Croll, Donald A.

    2016-01-01

    More than US$21 billion is spent annually on biodiversity conservation. Despite their importance for preventing or slowing extinctions and preserving biodiversity, conservation interventions are rarely assessed systematically for their global impact. Islands house a disproportionately higher amount of biodiversity compared with mainlands, much of which is highly threatened with extinction. Indeed, island species make up nearly two-thirds of recent extinctions. Islands therefore are critical targets of conservation. We used an extensive literature and database review paired with expert interviews to estimate the global benefits of an increasingly used conservation action to stem biodiversity loss: eradication of invasive mammals on islands. We found 236 native terrestrial insular faunal species (596 populations) that benefitted through positive demographic and/or distributional responses from 251 eradications of invasive mammals on 181 islands. Seven native species (eight populations) were negatively impacted by invasive mammal eradication. Four threatened species had their International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List extinction-risk categories reduced as a direct result of invasive mammal eradication, and no species moved to a higher extinction-risk category. We predict that 107 highly threatened birds, mammals, and reptiles on the IUCN Red List—6% of all these highly threatened species—likely have benefitted from invasive mammal eradications on islands. Because monitoring of eradication outcomes is sporadic and limited, the impacts of global eradications are likely greater than we report here. Our results highlight the importance of invasive mammal eradication on islands for protecting the world's most imperiled fauna. PMID:27001852

  10. Mass extinctions caused by large bolide impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, L.W.

    1987-07-01

    Evidence indicates that the collision of Earth and a large piece of Solar System derbris such as a meteoroid, asteroid or comet caused the great extinctions of 65 million years ago, leading to the transition from the age of the dinosaurs to the age of the mammals.

  11. Invasive mammals.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Every region of the world is concerned by potential mammal invasions, as humans are already present on all the world's land masses. All these invasions are a result of species introductions by humans for one reason or another. The authors briefly review the known movements and observed consequences of mammal-related invasions. They take examples from all five continents, as well as from a few island systems. The ancient introduction of game species, and later of domestic species, has been followed more recently by movements of commercial species. We are now seeing the emergence of what are known as entertainment species. In a number of cases, such introductions have led to the establishment of new epidemiological cycles that previously might never have been thought possible. According to current indicators, this phenomenon is not on the wane. PMID:20919577

  12. The nonmarine Lower Cretaceous of the North American Western Interior foreland basin: New biostratigraphic results from ostracod correlations and early mammals, and their implications for paleontology and geology of the basin—An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sames, Benjamin; Cifelli, Richard L.; Schudack, Michael E.

    2010-08-01

    The timespan represented by the hiatus between nonmarine Upper Jurassic (Early Berriasian?) and unconformably overlying Lower Cretaceous deposits throughout the North American Western Interior foreland basin has been under discussion for the entire 20th century and remains controversial to date. Ongoing research in revision of Early Cretaceous nonmarine ostracods of some respective North American formations leads to a breakthrough concerning the verification of their biostratigraphic utility as well as their subsequent application. These ostracods are not as endemic as hitherto believed and can be used for supraregional and regional correlation, as well as improvement of the age determination of North American units. New results strongly suggest a maximum age of Late Berriasian to Valanginian (˜ 142-138 Ma) for the lower part of the Lakota (Black Hills area, South Dakota) and Cedar Mountain (Utah) formations. A pre-Aptian maximum age for the Lakota Formation is supported by early mammals. These biostratigraphic results affect the correlatable formations as well, and therefore have broad implications on basin-related geologic and paleontologic topics that are overviewed and discussed herein. The central issue hampering an integrated synthesis of the foreland basin is its yet imprecise chronostratigraphic framework and documentation. Temporal relationships between the gologic processes of the basin and their control factors are still insufficiently calibrated or controversial. Detailed ongoing revision of North American Early Cretaceous nonmarine ostracods demonstrates their applicability, utility, and further potential as tool for improvement of the chronostratigraphy of the Western Interior foreland basin at both small and large scales. These ostracods also foster understanding of animal (e.g. early mammals and dinosaurs) and plant (angiosperms) evolution on the North American continent and show promise of providing age determinations for single-sample horizons in

  13. Impossible Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, Charles S.

    2003-03-01

    Every 225 million years the Earth, and all the life on it, completes one revolution around the Milky Way Galaxy. During this remarkable journey, life is influenced by calamitous changes. Comets and asteroids strike the surface of the Earth, stars explode, enormous volcanoes erupt, and, more recently, humans litter the planet with waste. Many animals and plants become extinct during the voyage, but humble microbes, simple creatures made of a single cell, survive this journey. This book takes a tour of the microbial world, from the coldest and deepest places on Earth to the hottest and highest, and witnesses some of the most catastrophic events that life can face. Impossible Extinction tells this remarkable story to the general reader by explaining how microbes have survived on Earth for over three billion years. Charles Cockell received his doctorate from the University of Oxford, and is currently a microbiologist with rhe Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), based at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. His research focusses on astrobiology, life in the extremes and the human exploration of Mars. Cockell has been on expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Mongolia, and in 1993 he piloted a modified insect-collecting ultra-light aircraft over the Indonesian rainforests. He is Chair of the Twenty-one Eleven Foundation for Exploration, a charity that supports expeditions that forge links between space exploration and environmentalism.

  14. Les mammiferes aquatiques: lexique anglais-francais des mammiferes marins actuels ou recemment disparus, y compris les especes d'eau douce des groupes surtout marins (Aquatic Mammals: English-French Glossary of Livinq or Recently Extinct Marine Mammals, Including the Fresh Water Species of Prevalently Marine Groups).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nekrassoff, Vladimir N.

    1980-01-01

    Introduces a new glossary of aquatic mammals representing recent taxonomic revisions. Describes its design, which consists of the glossary proper, listing the scientific name of each entry followed by its English and French equivalents, and of two indexes, listing other common names for the same entries referred back to the scientific term. (MES)

  15. Dynamics of extinction debt across five taxonomic groups.

    PubMed

    Halley, John M; Monokrousos, Nikolaos; Mazaris, Antonios D; Newmark, William D; Vokou, Despoina

    2016-01-01

    Species extinction following habitat loss is well documented. However, these extinctions do not happen immediately. The biodiversity surplus (extinction debt) declines with some delay through the process of relaxation. Estimating the time constants of relaxation, mainly the expected time to first extinction and the commonly used time for half the extinction debt to be paid off (half-life), is crucial for conservation purposes. Currently, there is no agreement on the rate of relaxation and the factors that it depends on. Here we find that half-life increases with area for all groups examined in a large meta-analysis of extinction data. A common pattern emerges if we use average number of individuals per species before habitat loss as an area index: for mammals, birds, reptiles and plants, the relationship has an exponent close to a half. We also find that the time to first determined extinction is short and increases slowly with area. PMID:27452815

  16. Dynamics of extinction debt across five taxonomic groups

    PubMed Central

    Halley, John M.; Monokrousos, Nikolaos; Mazaris, Antonios D.; Newmark, William D.; Vokou, Despoina

    2016-01-01

    Species extinction following habitat loss is well documented. However, these extinctions do not happen immediately. The biodiversity surplus (extinction debt) declines with some delay through the process of relaxation. Estimating the time constants of relaxation, mainly the expected time to first extinction and the commonly used time for half the extinction debt to be paid off (half-life), is crucial for conservation purposes. Currently, there is no agreement on the rate of relaxation and the factors that it depends on. Here we find that half-life increases with area for all groups examined in a large meta-analysis of extinction data. A common pattern emerges if we use average number of individuals per species before habitat loss as an area index: for mammals, birds, reptiles and plants, the relationship has an exponent close to a half. We also find that the time to first determined extinction is short and increases slowly with area. PMID:27452815

  17. THE subfossil occurrence and paleoecological significance of small mammals at ankilitelo cave, southwestern Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muldoon, K.M.; De Blieux, D. D.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Small mammals are rarely reported from subfossil sites in Madagascar despite their importance for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, especially as it relates to recent ecological changes on the island. We describe the uniquely rich subfossil small mammal fauna from Ankilitelo Cave, southwestern Madagascar. The Ankilitelo fauna is dated to the late Holocene (???500 years ago), documenting the youngest appearances of the extinct giant lemur taxa Palaeopropithecus, Megaladapis, and Archaeolemur, in association with abundant remains of small vertebrates, including bats, tenrecs, carnivorans, rodents, and primates. The Ankilitelo fauna is composed of 34 mammalian species, making it one of the most diverse Holocene assemblages in Madagascar. The fauna comprises the 1 st report of the short-tailed shrew tenrec (Microgale brevicaudata) and the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) in southwestern Madagascar. Further, Ankilitelo documents the presence of southwestern species that are rare or that have greatly restricted ranges today, such as Nasolo's shrew tenrec (M. nasoloi), Grandidier's mongoose (Galidictis grandidieri), the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata), and the giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). A simple cause for the unusual small mammal occurrences at Ankilitelo is not obvious. Synergistic interactions between climate change, recent fragmentation and human-initiated degradation of forested habitats, and community-level processes, such as predation, most likely explain the disjunct distributions of the small mammals documented at Ankilitelo. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  18. Mammals of the Sea.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information on sea mammals, including definitions and characteristics of cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians. Contains descriptions of the teaching activities "Whale Music,""Draw A Whale to Scale,""Adopt a Sea Mammal," and "Sea Mammal Sleuths." (TW)

  19. What Makes a Mammal a Mammal?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Describes the distinctive characteristics of mammals and compares modern mammals with their prehistoric relatives as well as with other animal groups. Includes activities and ready-to-copy games, illustrations, and diagrams of wolves, vertebrates, and past and present mammals. (ML)

  20. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    PubMed

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (< 9%) have a fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. PMID:26932459

  1. Predation selectively culls medium-sized species from island mammal faunas

    PubMed Central

    Hanna, Emily; Cardillo, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Globally, elevated extinction risk in mammals is strongly associated with large body size. However, in regions where introduced predators exert strong top-down pressure on mammal populations, the selectivity of extinctions may be skewed towards species of intermediate body size, leading to a hump-shaped relationship between size and extinction risk. The existence of this kind of extinction pattern, and its link to predation, has been contentious and difficult to demonstrate. Here, we test the hypothesis of a hump-shaped body size–extinction relationship, using a database of 927 island mammal populations. We show that the size-selectivity of extinctions on many islands has exceeded that expected under null models. On islands with introduced predators, extinctions are biased towards intermediate body sizes, but this bias does not occur on islands without predators. Hence, on islands with a large-bodied mammal fauna, predators are selectively culling species from the lower end of the size distribution, and on islands with a small-bodied fauna they are culling species from the upper end. These findings suggest that it will be difficult to use predictable generalizations about extinction patterns, such as a positive body size–extinction risk association, to anticipate future species declines and plan conservation strategies accordingly. PMID:24694691

  2. The maximum rate of mammal evolution.

    PubMed

    Evans, Alistair R; Jones, David; Boyer, Alison G; Brown, James H; Costa, Daniel P; Ernest, S K Morgan; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L; Hamilton, Marcus J; Harding, Larisa E; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S Kathleen; Okie, Jordan G; Saarinen, Juha J; Sibly, Richard M; Smith, Felisa A; Stephens, Patrick R; Theodor, Jessica M; Uhen, Mark D

    2012-03-13

    How fast can a mammal evolve from the size of a mouse to the size of an elephant? Achieving such a large transformation calls for major biological reorganization. Thus, the speed at which this occurs has important implications for extensive faunal changes, including adaptive radiations and recovery from mass extinctions. To quantify the pace of large-scale evolution we developed a metric, clade maximum rate, which represents the maximum evolutionary rate of a trait within a clade. We applied this metric to body mass evolution in mammals over the last 70 million years, during which multiple large evolutionary transitions occurred in oceans and on continents and islands. Our computations suggest that it took a minimum of 1.6, 5.1, and 10 million generations for terrestrial mammal mass to increase 100-, and 1,000-, and 5,000-fold, respectively. Values for whales were down to half the length (i.e., 1.1, 3, and 5 million generations), perhaps due to the reduced mechanical constraints of living in an aquatic environment. When differences in generation time are considered, we find an exponential increase in maximum mammal body mass during the 35 million years following the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event. Our results also indicate a basic asymmetry in macroevolution: very large decreases (such as extreme insular dwarfism) can happen at more than 10 times the rate of increases. Our findings allow more rigorous comparisons of microevolutionary and macroevolutionary patterns and processes. PMID:22308461

  3. The maximum rate of mammal evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Alistair R.; Jones, David; Boyer, Alison G.; Brown, James H.; Costa, Daniel P.; Ernest, S. K. Morgan; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L.; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Harding, Larisa E.; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S. Kathleen; Okie, Jordan G.; Saarinen, Juha J.; Sibly, Richard M.; Smith, Felisa A.; Stephens, Patrick R.; Theodor, Jessica M.; Uhen, Mark D.

    2012-03-01

    How fast can a mammal evolve from the size of a mouse to the size of an elephant? Achieving such a large transformation calls for major biological reorganization. Thus, the speed at which this occurs has important implications for extensive faunal changes, including adaptive radiations and recovery from mass extinctions. To quantify the pace of large-scale evolution we developed a metric, clade maximum rate, which represents the maximum evolutionary rate of a trait within a clade. We applied this metric to body mass evolution in mammals over the last 70 million years, during which multiple large evolutionary transitions occurred in oceans and on continents and islands. Our computations suggest that it took a minimum of 1.6, 5.1, and 10 million generations for terrestrial mammal mass to increase 100-, and 1,000-, and 5,000-fold, respectively. Values for whales were down to half the length (i.e., 1.1, 3, and 5 million generations), perhaps due to the reduced mechanical constraints of living in an aquatic environment. When differences in generation time are considered, we find an exponential increase in maximum mammal body mass during the 35 million years following the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event. Our results also indicate a basic asymmetry in macroevolution: very large decreases (such as extreme insular dwarfism) can happen at more than 10 times the rate of increases. Our findings allow more rigorous comparisons of microevolutionary and macroevolutionary patterns and processes.

  4. Extant mammal body masses suggest punctuated equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Tiina M; Bokma, Folmer

    2008-10-01

    Is gradual microevolutionary change within species simultaneously the source of macroevolutionary differentiation between species? Since its first publication, Darwin's original idea that phenotypic differences between species develop gradually over time, as the accumulation of small selection-induced changes in successive generations has been challenged by palaeontologists claiming that, instead, new species quickly acquire their phenotypes to remain virtually unchanged until going extinct again. This controversy, widely known as the 'punctuated equilibrium' debate, remained unresolved, largely owing to the difficulty of distinguishing biological species from fossil remains. We analysed body masses of 2143 existing mammal species on a phylogeny comprising 4510 (i.e. nearly all) extant species to estimate rates of gradual (anagenetic) and speciational (cladogenetic) evolution. Our Bayesian estimates from mammals as well as separate sub-clades such as primates and carnivores suggest that gradual evolution is responsible for only a small part of body size variation between mammal species. PMID:18595835

  5. Recovery Trends in Marine Mammal Populations

    PubMed Central

    Magera, Anna M.; Mills Flemming, Joanna E.; Kaschner, Kristin; Christensen, Line B.; Lotze, Heike K.

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1) publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2) abundance trends and recovery status, and (3) historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%), Significantly Decreasing (10%), Non-Significant Change (28%) and Unknown (20%). Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters) showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47), larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular, increased

  6. Mammalian Biogeography and the Latitudinal Climatic Gradient in Western North America During the Paleocene Evolutionary Radiation of Mammals (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, D. L.; Rose, P.

    2010-12-01

    We use the middle Paleocene (ca. 63-58) mammalian fossil record of western North America to examine the latitudinal gradients in both species richness and body size of mammals during their evolutionary radiation following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Decreasing species richness with latitude is a biogeographic pattern common to most clades today, including mammals, and is linked to climatic gradients; an inverse relationship between body size and environmental temperature (Bergmann’s rule) is well-known both within and among species of living endothermic vertebrates, including diverse clades of mammals. Despite the frequency among mammals of these patterns today, their long-term histories in the fossil record is not well documented. We compiled mammalian taxonomic occurrence data from published literature, online museum collection databases, and the Paleobiology Database for roughly 160 Torrejonian (To, ca. 63-60 Ma) and Tiffanian (Ti, ca. 60-58 Ma) North American Land Mammal Age fossil localities in western North America from Texas to Alberta. These localities were binned into nine geographic regions based on paleolatitude, and the centroids of the regions span ca. 28° of latitude. For the faunas from these regions, we compiled body size data from the literature for 170 Paleocene (Torrejonian and Tiffanian) mammal species, using lower first molar area (m1 LxW) as a proxy for body mass. The phosphate oxygen isotope composition of teeth from species of a single clade of herbivorous mammals (Phenacodontidae) indicates that mid-Paleocene latitudinal climate gradients were broadly similar to modern gradients in the region, so we treat paleolatitude as a proxy for temperature. Slopes of separate least squares linear regressions of rarefied To and Ti species richness on paleolatitude are not significantly different from zero, and the regressions explain only a small fraction of the variances in richness. For all species, m1 area has a statistically

  7. [Jaws of primitive mammals].

    PubMed

    Tsubamoto, Takehisa

    2005-06-01

    Some of main osteological differences between mammals and reptiles are seen in the number of bones that constitute lower jaw and in jaw articulation. A lower jaw of mammals consists of only one bone, while in reptiles it consists of several bones (e.g., four to six in lizards and five in crocodiles). The jaw articulation in mammals is performed by squamosal of the skull and the mandible ( = dentary), while in reptiles it is done by quadrate of the skull and articular of the lower jaw. When mammals first appeared about 200 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era, the jaws of primitive mammals were morphologically intermediate between those of reptiles and typical mammals. Here, I briefly introduce the evolution of lower jaw morphology from the reptilian one to the mammalian one, showing lower jaw features of some mammal-like reptiles and primitive mammals. PMID:15930721

  8. Is extinction forever?

    PubMed

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D; Bridge, Eli S; Crawford, Priscilla H C; Hough, Daniel J; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Patten, Michael A

    2015-05-01

    Mistrust of science has seeped into public perception of the most fundamental aspect of conservation-extinction. The term ought to be straightforward, and yet, there is a disconnect between scientific discussion and public views. This is not a mere semantic issue, rather one of communication. Within a population dynamics context, we say that a species went locally extinct, later to document its return. Conveying our findings matters, for when we use local extinction, an essentially nonsensical phrase, rather than extirpation, which is what is meant, then we contribute to, if not create outright, a problem for public understanding of conservation, particularly as local extinction is often shortened to extinction in media sources. The public that receives the message of our research void of context and modifiers comes away with the idea that extinction is not forever or, worse for conservation as a whole, that an extinction crisis has been invented. PMID:25711479

  9. Is extinction forever?

    PubMed Central

    Bridge, Eli S.; Crawford, Priscilla H. C.; Hough, Daniel J.; Kelly, Jeffrey F.; Patten, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Mistrust of science has seeped into public perception of the most fundamental aspect of conservation—extinction. The term ought to be straightforward, and yet, there is a disconnect between scientific discussion and public views. This is not a mere semantic issue, rather one of communication. Within a population dynamics context, we say that a species went locally extinct, later to document its return. Conveying our findings matters, for when we use local extinction, an essentially nonsensical phrase, rather than extirpation, which is what is meant, then we contribute to, if not create outright, a problem for public understanding of conservation, particularly as local extinction is often shortened to extinction in media sources. The public that receives the message of our research void of context and modifiers comes away with the idea that extinction is not forever or, worse for conservation as a whole, that an extinction crisis has been invented. PMID:25711479

  10. Biological selectivity of extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitchell, Jennifer A.

    Selective survival across major extinction event horizons is both a bothersome puzzle and an opportunity to delimit the biologically interesting question of causality. Heritable differences in characters may have predictable consequences in terms of differential species survival. Differences in magnitude and intensity of extinction are insufficient to distinguish background from mass extinction regimes. Biological adaptations may establish links of causality between abnormal times of mass extinction and normal times of background extinction. A current hypothesis, developed from a comparison of extinction patterns among Late Cretaceous molluscs, is that biological adaptations of organisms, effective during normal times of Earth history, are ineffectual during times of crises. A counter example is provided by data from high-latitude laminated marine strata that preserve evidence of an actively exploited life-history strategy among Late Cretaceous phytoplankton. These data illustrate a causal dependency between a biological character selected for during times of background extinction and macroevolutionary survivorship during an unusual time of crisis.

  11. Modelling the extinction of Steller's sea cow

    PubMed Central

    Turvey, S.T; Risley, C.L

    2005-01-01

    Steller's sea cow, a giant sirenian discovered in 1741 and extinct by 1768, is one of the few megafaunal mammal species to have died out during the historical period. The species is traditionally considered to have been exterminated by ‘blitzkrieg’-style direct overharvesting for food, but it has also been proposed that its extinction resulted from a sea urchin population explosion triggered by extirpation of local sea otter populations that eliminated the shallow-water kelps on which sea cows fed. Hunting records from eighteenth century Russian expeditions to the Commander Islands, in conjunction with life-history data extrapolated from dugongs, permit modelling of sea cow extinction dynamics. Sea cows were massively and wastefully overexploited, being hunted at over seven times the sustainable limit, and suggesting that the initial Bering Island sea cow population must have been higher than suggested by previous researchers to allow the species to survive even until 1768. Environmental changes caused by sea otter declines are unlikely to have contributed to this extinction event. This indicates that megafaunal extinctions can be effected by small bands of hunters using pre-industrial technologies, and highlights the catastrophic impact of wastefulness when overexploiting resources mistakenly perceived as ‘infinite’. PMID:17148336

  12. Modelling the extinction of Steller's sea cow.

    PubMed

    Turvey, S T; Risley, C L

    2006-03-22

    Steller's sea cow, a giant sirenian discovered in 1741 and extinct by 1768, is one of the few megafaunal mammal species to have died out during the historical period. The species is traditionally considered to have been exterminated by 'blitzkrieg'-style direct overharvesting for food, but it has also been proposed that its extinction resulted from a sea urchin population explosion triggered by extirpation of local sea otter populations that eliminated the shallow-water kelps on which sea cows fed. Hunting records from eighteenth century Russian expeditions to the Commander Islands, in conjunction with life-history data extrapolated from dugongs, permit modelling of sea cow extinction dynamics. Sea cows were massively and wastefully overexploited, being hunted at over seven times the sustainable limit, and suggesting that the initial Bering Island sea cow population must have been higher than suggested by previous researchers to allow the species to survive even until 1768. Environmental changes caused by sea otter declines are unlikely to have contributed to this extinction event. This indicates that megafaunal extinctions can be effected by small bands of hunters using pre-industrial technologies, and highlights the catastrophic impact of wastefulness when overexploiting resources mistakenly perceived as 'infinite'. PMID:17148336

  13. Of Mammoths and Men: A Case Study in Extinction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schiller, Nancy A.; Herreid, Clyde Freeman

    2001-01-01

    Explores various theories for the extinction of the great Ice Age mammals and Homo neanderthalensis. Presents an activity in which students research evidence for and against the various hypotheses, then meet in class to discuss the merits of each. (Author/ASK)

  14. Parallel extinction risk and global distribution of languages and species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutherland, William J.

    2003-05-01

    There are global threats to biodiversity with current extinction rates well above background levels. Although less well publicized, numerous human languages have also become extinct, and others are threatened with extinction. However, estimates of the number of threatened languages vary considerably owing to the wide range of criteria used. For example, languages have been classified as threatened if the number of speakers is less than 100, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 (ref. 3). Here I show, by applying internationally agreed criteria for classifying species extinction risk, that languages are more threatened than birds or mammals. Rare languages are more likely to show evidence of decline than commoner ones. Areas with high language diversity also have high bird and mammal diversity and all three show similar relationships to area, latitude, area of forest and, for languages and birds, maximum altitude. The time of human settlement has little effect on current language diversity. Although similar factors explain the diversity of languages and biodiversity, the factors explaining extinction risk for birds and mammals (high altitude, high human densities and insularity) do not explain the numbers of endangered languages.

  15. Parallel extinction risk and global distribution of languages and species.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, William J

    2003-05-15

    There are global threats to biodiversity with current extinction rates well above background levels. Although less well publicized, numerous human languages have also become extinct, and others are threatened with extinction. However, estimates of the number of threatened languages vary considerably owing to the wide range of criteria used. For example, languages have been classified as threatened if the number of speakers is less than 100, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 (ref. 3). Here I show, by applying internationally agreed criteria for classifying species extinction risk, that languages are more threatened than birds or mammals. Rare languages are more likely to show evidence of decline than commoner ones. Areas with high language diversity also have high bird and mammal diversity and all three show similar relationships to area, latitude, area of forest and, for languages and birds, maximum altitude. The time of human settlement has little effect on current language diversity. Although similar factors explain the diversity of languages and biodiversity, the factors explaining extinction risk for birds and mammals (high altitude, high human densities and insularity) do not explain the numbers of endangered languages. PMID:12748639

  16. Protection of Marine Mammals.

    PubMed

    Knoll, Michaela; Ciaccia, Ettore; Dekeling, René; Kvadsheim, Petter; Liddell, Kate; Gunnarsson, Stig-Lennart; Ludwig, Stefan; Nissen, Ivor; Lorenzen, Dirk; Kreimeyer, Roman; Pavan, Gianni; Meneghetti, Nello; Nordlund, Nina; Benders, Frank; van der Zwan, Timo; van Zon, Tim; Fraser, Leanne; Johansson, Torbjörn; Garmelius, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Within the European Defense Agency (EDA), the Protection of Marine Mammals (PoMM) project, a comprehensive common marine mammal database essential for risk mitigation tools, was established. The database, built on an extensive dataset collection with the focus on areas of operational interest for European navies, consists of annual and seasonal distribution and density maps, random and systematic sightings, an encyclopedia providing knowledge on the characteristics of 126 marine mammal species, data on marine mammal protection areas, and audio information including numerous examples of various vocalizations. Special investigations on marine mammal acoustics were carried out to improve the detection and classification capabilities. PMID:26611003

  17. Radiocarbon dating of extinct fauna in the Americas recovered from tar pits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jull, A. J. T.; Iturralde-Vinent, M.; O'Malley, J. M.; MacPhee, R. D. E.; McDonald, H. G.; Martin, P. S.; Moody, J.; Rincón, A.

    2004-08-01

    We have obtained radiocarbon dates by accelerator mass spectrometry on bones of extinct large mammals from tar pits. Results on some samples of Glyptodon and Holmesina (extinct large mammals similar to armadillos) yielded ages of >25 and >21 ka, respectively. We also studied the radiocarbon ages of three different samples of bones from the extinct Cuban ground sloth, Parocnus bownii, which yielded dates ranging from 4960 ± 280 to 11 880 ± 420 yr BP. In order to remove the tar component pretreat the samples sufficiently to obtain reliable dates, we cleaned the samples by Soxhlet extraction in benzene. Resulting samples of collagenous material were often small.

  18. Secondary extinctions of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Brodie, Jedediah F; Aslan, Clare E; Rogers, Haldre S; Redford, Kent H; Maron, John L; Bronstein, Judith L; Groves, Craig R

    2014-12-01

    Extinctions beget further extinctions when species lose obligate mutualists, predators, prey, or hosts. Here, we develop a conceptual model of species and community attributes affecting secondary extinction likelihood, incorporating mechanisms that buffer organisms against partner loss. Specialized interactors, including 'cryptic specialists' with diverse but nonredundant partner assemblages, incur elevated risk. Risk is also higher for species that cannot either evolve new traits following partner loss or obtain novel partners in communities reorganizing under changing environmental conditions. Partner loss occurs alongside other anthropogenic impacts; multiple stressors can circumvent ecological buffers, enhancing secondary extinction risk. Stressors can also offset each other, reducing secondary extinction risk, a hitherto unappreciated phenomenon. This synthesis suggests improved conservation planning tactics and critical directions for research on secondary extinctions. PMID:25445878

  19. Gradual extinction reduces reinstatement

    PubMed Central

    Shiban, Youssef; Wittmann, Jasmin; Weißinger, Mara; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigated whether gradually reducing the frequency of aversive stimuli during extinction can prevent the return of fear. Thirty-one participants of a three-stage procedure (acquisition, extinction and a reinstatement test on day 2) were randomly assigned to a standard extinction (SE) and gradual extinction (GE) procedure. The two groups differed only in the extinction procedure. While the SE group ran through a regular extinction process without any negative events, the frequency of the aversive stimuli during the extinction phase was gradually reduced for the GE group. The unconditioned stimulus (US) was an air blast (5 bar, 10 ms). A spider and a scorpion were used as conditioned stimuli (CS). The outcome variables were contingency ratings and physiological measures (skin conductance response, SCR and startle response). There were no differences found between the two groups for the acquisition and extinction phases concerning contingency ratings, SCR, or startle response. GE compared to SE significantly reduced the return of fear in the reinstatement test for the startle response but not for SCR or contingency ratings. This study was successful in translating the findings in rodent to humans. The results suggest that the GE process is suitable for increasing the efficacy of fear extinction. PMID:26441581

  20. Mass extinction: a commentary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1987-01-01

    Four neocatastrophist claims about mass extinction are currently being debated; they are that: 1, the late Cretaceous mass extinction was caused by large body impact; 2, as many as five other major extinctions were caused by impact; 3, the timing of extinction events since the Permian is uniformly periodic; and 4, the ages of impact craters on Earth are also periodic and in phase with the extinctions. Although strongly interconnected the four claims are independent in the sense that none depends on the others. Evidence for a link between impact and extinction is strong but still needs more confirmation through bed-by-bed and laboratory studies. An important area for future research is the question of whether extinction is a continuous process, with the rate increasing at times of mass extinctions, or whether it is episodic at all scales. If the latter is shown to be generally true, then species are at risk of extinction only rarely during their existence and catastrophism, in the sense of isolated events of extreme stress, is indicated. This is line of reasoning can only be considered an hypothesis for testing. In a larger context, paleontologists may benefit from a research strategy that looks to known Solar System and Galactic phenomena for predictions about environmental effects on earth. The recent success in the recognition of Milankovitch Cycles in the late Pleistocene record is an example of the potential of this research area.

  1. Rafinesque’s names for western American mammals, including the earliest scientific name for the coyote (Canis latrans Say, 1822), based on the apocryphal journal of Charles Le Raye

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2015-01-01

    In 1817, the naturalist Constantine S. Rafinesque named nine new species of mammals from the American West, indicating the recently published journal of Charles Le Raye as the primary source for his descriptions. Le Raye was purported to be a French Canadian fur trader who, as a captive of the Sioux, had traveled across broad portions of the Missouri and Yellowstone river drainages a few years before the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) traversed much of the same region. Le Raye's journal was relied upon by generations of scholars as a valuable source documenting the native peoples and natural history of the Upper Missouri river in the era just prior to European settlement. Subsequent research, however, has shown that Le Raye never existed, and his purported journal is fraudulent. Despite this, Rafinesque's creation of the names followed conventional and accepted practice at the time, and they are porentially available. Fortunately, much of the Le Raye journal was based on verifiable sources, such as Patrick Gass's published account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Identification of the original source materials makes it possible to establish the correct application of Rafinesque's names and to determine their current status. This process reveals that the earliest scientific name for the coyote (Canis latrans Say, 1822) was Canis chlorops Rafinesque, 1817; this name is now a nomen oblitum, however, and is no longer available.

  2. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, J. I.; Kowalski, G. J.; Klimova, A.; Staniland, I. J.; Baylis, A. M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations. PMID:27493782

  3. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations. PMID:27493782

  4. I. Sexual, individual, and geographical variation in leucosticte tephrocotis, II.Geographical variation among North American mammals, especially in respect to size

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, J.A.

    1876-01-01

    Having recently had an opportunity (through the kindness of Professor Baird) of studying with some care the magnificent series of skulls of the North American Mammalia belonging to the National Museum (amounting often to eighty or a hundred specimens of a single species), I have been strongly impressed with the different degrees of variability exhibited by the representatives of the species and genera of even the same family. The variation in size, for instance, with latitude, in the Wolves and Foxes is surprisingly great, amounting in some species (as will be shown later) to 25 per cent. of the average size of the species, while in other species of the Ferae it is almost nil. Contrary to the general supposition, the variation in size among representatives of the same species is not always a decrease with the decrease of the latitude of the locality, but is in some cases exactly the reverse, in some species there being a very considerable and indisputable increase southward. This, for instance, is very markedly true of some species of Felis and in Procyon lotor. Consequently, the very generally-received impression that in North America the species of Mammalia diminish in size southward, or with the decrease in the latitude (and altitude) of the locality, requires modification. While such is generally the case, the reverse of this too often occurs, with occasional instances also of a total absence of variation in size with locality, to be considered as forming "the exceptions" necessary to "prove the rule".

  5. Oestrid flies: eradication and extinction versus biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Colwell, Douglas D; Otranto, Domenico; Stevens, Jamie R

    2009-11-01

    Larvae of oestrid flies are obligate parasites of mammals. This article focuses on two potential drivers that could be forcing these flies into extinction: (i) the highly effective and widespread use of anti-parasitic drugs for domestic livestock; and (ii) the co-extinction of oestrids associated with non-domestic hosts that are endangered. Other oestrid species could be the victims of benign neglect in that they are so poorly studied that their disappearance might go unnoticed. In addition, we explore current knowledge in each of these categories of vulnerability for oestrids, and address the potential impacts of their disappearance. Finally, we examine the potential consequences of eradicating a group of livestock parasites, and ask what possibilities for improvement of the health of humans and animals might also be lost. PMID:19762281

  6. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). PMID:25784036

  7. Asynchronous extinction of late Quaternary sloths on continents and islands

    PubMed Central

    Steadman, David W.; Martin, Paul S.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Jull, A. J. T.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Woods, Charles A.; Iturralde-Vinent, Manuel; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.

    2005-01-01

    Whatever the cause, it is extraordinary that dozens of genera of large mammals became extinct during the late Quaternary throughout the Western Hemisphere, including 90% of the genera of the xenarthran suborder Phyllophaga (sloths). Radiocarbon dates directly on dung, bones, or other tissue of extinct sloths place their “last appearance” datum at ≈11,000 radiocarbon years before present (yr BP) or slightly less in North America, ≈10,500 yr BP in South America, and ≈4,400 yr BP on West Indian islands. This asynchronous situation is not compatible with glacial–interglacial climate change forcing these extinctions, especially given the great elevational, latitudinal, and longitudinal variation of the sloth-bearing continental sites. Instead, the chronology of last appearance of extinct sloths, whether on continents or islands, more closely tracks the first arrival of people. PMID:16085711

  8. Effects of overtraining on extinction in newts (Cynops pyrrhogaster).

    PubMed

    Shibasaki, Masahiro; Ishida, Masato

    2012-11-01

    The overtraining extinction effect (OEE), a phenomenon in which extended training facilitates extinction, has been found in mammals and reptiles. However, fish have never shown OEE. No study has yet investigated OEE in newts, a representative amphibian species. We tested whether newts, Cynops pyrrhogaster, show OEE in a straight-array task. All animals received five trials per day and were given a piece of dried worm during reinforced trials. They showed significant acquisition and extinction effects in reinforced and nonreinforced trials. However, we found no difference in extinction performance between a group with 25-trial acquisition and one with 75-trial acquisition, suggesting that OEE was not found in newts. OEE has generally been explained in terms of frustration-related mechanisms. Our results suggest that emotional reactions to nonreward, such as frustration, may not influence behavior in amphibians. PMID:22468939

  9. Genomic ancestry of the American puma (Puma concolor).

    PubMed

    Culver, M; Johnson, W E; Pecon-Slattery, J; O'Brien, S J

    2000-01-01

    Puma concolor, a large American cat species, occupies the most extensive range of any New World terrestrial mammal, spanning 110 degrees of latitude from the Canadian Yukon to the Straits of Magellan. Until the recent Holocene, pumas coexisted with a diverse array of carnivores including the American lion (Panthera atrox), the North American cheetah (Miracynonyx trumani), and the saber toothed tiger (Smilodon fatalis). Genomic DNA specimens from 315 pumas of specified geographic origin (261 contemporary and 54 museum specimens) were collected for molecular genetic and phylogenetic analyses of three mitochondrial gene sequences (16S rRNA, ATPase-8, and NADH-5) plus composite microsatellite genotypes (10 feline loci). Six phylogeographic groupings or subspecies were resolved, and the entire North American population (186 individuals from 15 previously named subspecies) was genetically homogeneous in overall variation relative to central and South American populations. The marked uniformity of mtDNA and a reduction in microsatellite allele size expansion indicates that North American pumas derive from a recent (late Pleistocene circa 10,000 years ago) replacement and recolonization by a small number of founders who themselves originated from a centrum of puma genetic diversity in eastern South America 200,000-300,000 years ago. The recolonization of North American pumas was coincident with a massive late Pleistocene extinction event that eliminated 80% of large vertebrates in North America and may have extirpated pumas from that continent as well. PMID:10833043

  10. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  11. Protection of mammal diversity in Central America.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Giri, Chandra

    2008-08-01

    Central America is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, but varies widely in the attention its countries devote to conservation. Protected areas, widely considered the cornerstone of conservation, were not always created with the intent of conserving that biodiversity. We assessed how well the protected-area system of Central America includes the region's mammal diversity. This first required a refinement of existing range maps to reduce their extensive errors of commission (i.e., predicted presences in places where species do not occur). For this refinement, we used the ecological limits of each species to identify and remove unsuitable areas from the range. We then compared these maps with the locations of protected areas to measure the habitat protected for each of the region's 250 endemic mammals. The species most vulnerable to extinction-those with small ranges-were largely outside protected areas. Nevertheless, the most strictly protected areas tended toward areas with many small-ranged species. To improve the protection coverage of mammal diversity in the region, we identified a set of priority sites that would best complement the existing protected areas. Protecting these new sites would require a relatively small increase in the total area protected, but could greatly enhance mammal conservation. PMID:18616739

  12. Is extinction age dependent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doran, N.A.; Arnold, A.J.; Parker, W.C.; Huffer, F.W.

    2006-01-01

    Age-dependent extinction is an observation with important biological implications. Van Valen's Red Queen hypothesis triggered three decades of research testing its primary implication: that age is independent of extinction. In contrast to this, later studies with species-level data have indicated the possible presence of age dependence. Since the formulation of the Red Queen hypothesis, more powerful tests of survivorship models have been developed. This is the first report of the application of the Cox Proportional Hazards model to paleontological data. Planktonic foraminiferal morphospecies allow the taxonomic and precise stratigraphic resolution necessary for the Cox model. As a whole, planktonic foraminiferal morphospecies clearly show age-dependent extinction. In particular, the effect is attributable to the presence of shorter-ranged species (range < 4 myr) following extinction events. These shorter-ranged species also possess tests with unique morphological architecture. The morphological differences are probably epiphenomena of underlying developmental and heterochronic processes of shorter-ranged species that survived various extinction events. Extinction survivors carry developmental and morphological characteristics into postextinction recovery times, and this sets them apart from species populations established independently of extinction events. Copyright ?? 2006, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  13. Small Mammal Intrigue.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cristol, Daniel A.

    1985-01-01

    Gives introductory information about the study of small mammals including the selection and use of harmless live-traps, handling and identification, techniques for observation and trapping in the wild, and safety measures. Suggests useful references for teachers wishing to develop a small mammal study program for their students. (JHZ)

  14. Mammals in Our Lives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Examines how humans have treated mammals throughout history. Identifies both the problems facing animals and the corrective efforts that are currently underway. Student activities include stories, games, a scavenger hunt, a mural, a puzzle, and a survey focusing on mammals. (ML)

  15. Post-Clovis survival of American Mastodon in the southern Great Lakes Region of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodman, Neal; Beavan Athfield, Nancy

    2009-11-01

    The end of the Pleistocene in North America was marked by a wave of extinctions of large mammals, with the last known appearances of many species falling between ca. 11,000-10,000 14C yr BP. Temporally, this period overlaps with the Clovis Paleoindian cultural complex (11,190-10,530 14C yr BP) and with sudden climatic changes that define the beginning of the Younger Dryas chronozone (ca. 11,000-10,000 14C yr BP), both of which have been considered as potential proximal causes of this extinction event. Radiocarbon dating of enamel and filtered bone collagen from an extinct American Mastodon ( Mammut americanum) from northern Indiana, USA, by accelerator mass spectrometer yielded direct dates of 10,055 ± 40 14C yr BP and 10,032 ± 40 14C yr BP, indicating that the animal survived beyond the Clovis time period and into the late Younger Dryas. Although the late survival of this species in mid-continental North America does not remove either humans or climatic change as contributing causes for the late Pleistocene extinctions, neither Clovis hunters nor the climatic perturbations initiating the Younger Dryas chronozone were immediately responsible for driving mastodons to extinction.

  16. A life-history approach to the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Wenyun; Smith, Felisa A; Charnov, Eric L

    2013-10-01

    A major criticism of the "overkill" theory for the late Pleistocene extinction in the Americas has been the seeming implausibility of a relatively small number of humans selectively killing off millions of large-bodied mammals. Critics argue that early Paleoindian hunters had to be extremely selective to have produced the highly size-biased extinction pattern characteristic of this event. Here, we derive a probabilistic extinction model that predicts the extinction risk of mammals at any body mass without invoking selective human harvest. The new model systematically analyzes the variability in life-history characteristics, such as the instantaneous mortality rate, age of first reproduction, and the maximum net reproductive rate. It captures the body size-biased extinction pattern in the late Pleistocene and precisely predicts the percentage of unexpectedly persisting large mammals and extinct small ones. A test with a global late Quaternary mammal database well supports the model. The model also emphasizes that quantitatively analyzing patterns of variability in ecological factors can shed light on diverse behaviors and patterns in nature. From a macro-scale conservation perspective, our model can be modified to predict the fate of biota under the pressures from both climate change and human impacts. PMID:24021404

  17. Human Population Density and Extinction Risk in the World's Carnivores

    PubMed Central

    Purvis, Andy; Sechrest, Wes; Gittleman, John L; Bielby, Jon; Mace, Georgina M

    2004-01-01

    Understanding why some species are at high risk of extinction, while others remain relatively safe, is central to the development of a predictive conservation science. Recent studies have shown that a species' extinction risk may be determined by two types of factors: intrinsic biological traits and exposure to external anthropogenic threats. However, little is known about the relative and interacting effects of intrinsic and external variables on extinction risk. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that extinction risk in the mammal order Carnivora is predicted more strongly by biology than exposure to high-density human populations. However, biology interacts with human population density to determine extinction risk: biological traits explain 80% of variation in risk for carnivore species with high levels of exposure to human populations, compared to 45% for carnivores generally. The results suggest that biology will become a more critical determinant of risk as human populations expand. We demonstrate how a model predicting extinction risk from biology can be combined with projected human population density to identify species likely to move most rapidly towards extinction by the year 2030. African viverrid species are particularly likely to become threatened, even though most are currently considered relatively safe. We suggest that a preemptive approach to species conservation is needed to identify and protect species that may not be threatened at present but may become so in the near future. PMID:15252445

  18. Temporal Dynamics of Recovery from Extinction Shortly after Extinction Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archbold, Georgina E.; Dobbek, Nick; Nader, Karim

    2013-01-01

    Evidence suggests that extinction is new learning. Memory acquisition involves both short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) components; however, few studies have examined early phases of extinction retention. Retention of auditory fear extinction was examined at various time points. Shortly (1-4 h) after extinction acquisition…

  19. Fear Extinction in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun-hui; Knapska, Ewelina; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Rabinak, Christine A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Pavlovian conditioning paradigms have become important model systems for understanding the neuroscience of behavior. In particular, studies of the extinction of Pavlovian fear responses are yielding important information about the neural substrates of anxiety disorders in humans. These studies are germane to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral interventions that suppress fear, including exposure therapy. This chapter described detailed behavioral protocols for examining the nature and properties of fear extinction in laboratory rodents. PMID:19340814

  20. Can we avoid the Sixth Mass Extinction? Setting today's extinction crisis in the context of the Big Five

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnosky, A. D.

    2012-12-01

    While the ultimate extinction driver now—Homo sapiens—is unique with respect to the drivers of past extinctions, comparison of parallel neontological and paleontological information helps calibrate how far the so-called Sixth Mass Extinction has progressed and whether it is inevitable. Such comparisons document that rates of extinction today are approaching or exceeding those that characterized the Big Five Mass Extinctions. Continuation of present extinction rates for vertebrates, for example, would result in 75% species loss—the minimum benchmark exhibited in the Big Five extinctions—within 3 to 22 centuries, assuming constant rates of loss and no threshold effects. Preceding and during each of the Big Five, the global ecosystem experienced major changes in climate, atmospheric chemisty, and ocean chemistry—not unlike what is being observed presently. Nevertheless, only 1-2% of well-assessed modern species have been lost over the past five centuries, still far below what characterized past mass extinctions in the strict paleontological sense. For mammals, adding in the end-Pleistocene species that died out would increase the species-loss percentage by some 5%. If threatened vertebrate species were to actually go extinct, losses would rise to between 14 and 40%, depending on the group. Such observations highlight that, although many species have already had their populations drastically reduced to near-critical levels, the Sixth Mass Extinction has not yet progressed to the point where it is unavoidable. Put another way, the vast majority of species that have occupied the world in concert with Homo sapiens are still alive and are possible to save. That task, however, will require slowing the abnormally high extinction rates that are now in progress, which in turn requires unified efforts to cap human population growth, decrease the average human footprint, reduce fossil fuel use while simultaneously increasing clean energy technologies, integrate

  1. Extinction with multiple excitors

    PubMed Central

    McConnell, Bridget L.; Miguez, Gonzalo; Miller, Ralph R.

    2012-01-01

    Four conditioned suppression experiments with rats, using an ABC renewal design, investigated the effects of compounding the target conditioned excitor with additional, nontarget conditioned excitors during extinction. Experiment 1 showed stronger extinction, as evidenced by less renewal, when the target excitor was extinguished in compound with a second excitor, relative to when it was extinguished with associatively neutral stimuli. Critically, this deepened extinction effect was attenuated (i.e., more renewal occurred) when a third excitor was added during extinction training. This novel demonstration contradicts the predictions of associative learning models based on total error reduction, but it is explicable in terms of a counteraction effect within the framework of the extended comparator hypothesis. The attenuated deepened extinction effect was replicated in Experiments 2a and 3, which also showed that pretraining consisting of weakening the association between the two additional excitors (Experiments 2a and 2b) or weakening the association between one of the additional excitors and the unconditioned stimulus (Experiment 3) attenuated the counteraction effect, thereby resulting in a decrease in responding to the target excitor. These results suggest that more than simple total error reduction determines responding after extinction. PMID:23055103

  2. Extinction of oscillating populations.

    PubMed

    Smith, Naftali R; Meerson, Baruch

    2016-03-01

    Established populations often exhibit oscillations in their sizes that, in the deterministic theory, correspond to a limit cycle in the space of population sizes. If a population is isolated, the intrinsic stochasticity of elemental processes can ultimately bring it to extinction. Here we study extinction of oscillating populations in a stochastic version of the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model. To this end we develop a WKB (Wentzel, Kramers and Brillouin) approximation to the master equation, employing the characteristic population size as the large parameter. Similar WKB theories have been developed previously in the context of population extinction from an attracting multipopulation fixed point. We evaluate the extinction rates and find the most probable paths to extinction from the limit cycle by applying Floquet theory to the dynamics of an effective four-dimensional WKB Hamiltonian. We show that the entropic barriers to extinction change in a nonanalytic way as the system passes through the Hopf bifurcation. We also study the subleading pre-exponential factors of the WKB approximation. PMID:27078294

  3. Extinction of oscillating populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Naftali R.; Meerson, Baruch

    2016-03-01

    Established populations often exhibit oscillations in their sizes that, in the deterministic theory, correspond to a limit cycle in the space of population sizes. If a population is isolated, the intrinsic stochasticity of elemental processes can ultimately bring it to extinction. Here we study extinction of oscillating populations in a stochastic version of the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model. To this end we develop a WKB (Wentzel, Kramers and Brillouin) approximation to the master equation, employing the characteristic population size as the large parameter. Similar WKB theories have been developed previously in the context of population extinction from an attracting multipopulation fixed point. We evaluate the extinction rates and find the most probable paths to extinction from the limit cycle by applying Floquet theory to the dynamics of an effective four-dimensional WKB Hamiltonian. We show that the entropic barriers to extinction change in a nonanalytic way as the system passes through the Hopf bifurcation. We also study the subleading pre-exponential factors of the WKB approximation.

  4. Mass extinction causes debated

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katzoff, Judith A.

    A highly charged atmosphere and a tacit agreement to disagree marked the first Union session at the 1985 AGU Fall Meeting,“Where Are We Now on Iridium, Anomalies, Extinctions, Impacts, Volcanism, and Periodicity?” The session brought together a remarkably large and varied group of participants who are studying topics related to mass extinctions. “The important thing is bringing all these people together, sharing … how they think,” said J. John Sepkoski, Jr., of the University of Chicago, who presented one of the session's invited papers.The controversies under discussion included the nature of the catastrophic events that may have occurred 65 million years ago to precipitate mass extinctions between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods and whether mass extinctions have occurred at regular intervals (and if so, what those intervals are). Both the group advocating extraterrestrial impacts and that advocating episodes of unusual terrestrial volcanism seemed to agree that both kinds of catastrophes would have brought on highly acidic precipitation that could have threatened many life forms. In fact, one paleontologist called for closer examination of patterns of survival during periods of mass extinctions in order to gain clues about the nature of the events that may have brought on the extinctions. “The survivors … set limits on what could have occurred,” said William A. Clemens of the University of California, Berkeley.

  5. Convergent dental adaptations in pseudo-tribosphenic and tribosphenic mammals.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhe-Xi; Ji, Qiang; Yuan, Chong-Xi

    2007-11-01

    Tribosphenic molars of basal marsupials and placentals are a major adaptation, with the protocone (pestle) of the upper molar crushing and grinding in the talonid basin (mortar) on the lower molar. The extinct pseudo-tribosphenic mammals have a reversed tribosphenic molar in which a pseudo-talonid is anterior to the trigonid, to receive the pseudo-protocone of the upper molar. The pseudo-protocone is analogous to the protocone, but the anteriorly placed pseudo-talonid is opposite to the posterior talonid basin of true tribosphenic mammals. Here we describe a mammal of the Middle Jurassic period with highly derived pseudo-tribosphenic molars but predominantly primitive mandibular and skeletal features, and place it in a basal position in mammal phylogeny. Its shoulder girdle and limbs show fossorial features similar to those of mammaliaforms and monotremes, but different compared with those of the earliest-known Laurasian tribosphenic (boreosphenid) mammals. The find reveals a much greater range of dental evolution in Mesozoic mammals than in their extant descendants, and strengthens the hypothesis of homoplasy of 'tribosphenic-like' molars among mammals. PMID:17972884

  6. Ancient collagen reveals evolutionary history of the endemic South American 'ungulates'.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Michael

    2015-05-01

    Since the late eighteenth century, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas, revealing a previously unimagined chapter in the history of mammals. The most bizarre of these are the 'native' South American ungulates thought to represent a group of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America, but with an uncertain affinity to any particular placental lineage. Many authors have considered them descended from Laurasian 'condylarths', which also includes the probable ancestors of perissodactyls and artiodactyls, whereas others have placed them either closer to the uniquely South American xenarthrans (anteaters, armadillos and sloths) or the basal afrotherians (e.g. elephants and hyraxes). These hypotheses have been debated owing to conflicting morphological characteristics and the hitherto inability to retrieve molecular information. Of the 'native' South American mammals, only the toxodonts and litopterns persisted until the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene. Owing to known difficulties in retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from specimens from warm climates, this research presents a molecular phylogeny for both Macrauchenia patachonica (Litopterna) and Toxodon platensis (Notoungulata) recovered using proteomics-based (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) sequencing analyses of bone collagen. The results place both taxa in a clade that is monophyletic with the perissodactyls, which today are represented by horses, rhinoceroses and tapirs. PMID:25833851

  7. Ancient collagen reveals evolutionary history of the endemic South American ‘ungulates’

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Since the late eighteenth century, fossils of bizarre extinct creatures have been described from the Americas, revealing a previously unimagined chapter in the history of mammals. The most bizarre of these are the ‘native’ South American ungulates thought to represent a group of mammals that evolved in relative isolation on South America, but with an uncertain affinity to any particular placental lineage. Many authors have considered them descended from Laurasian ‘condylarths’, which also includes the probable ancestors of perissodactyls and artiodactyls, whereas others have placed them either closer to the uniquely South American xenarthrans (anteaters, armadillos and sloths) or the basal afrotherians (e.g. elephants and hyraxes). These hypotheses have been debated owing to conflicting morphological characteristics and the hitherto inability to retrieve molecular information. Of the ‘native’ South American mammals, only the toxodonts and litopterns persisted until the Late Pleistocene–Early Holocene. Owing to known difficulties in retrieving ancient DNA (aDNA) from specimens from warm climates, this research presents a molecular phylogeny for both Macrauchenia patachonica (Litopterna) and Toxodon platensis (Notoungulata) recovered using proteomics-based (liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry) sequencing analyses of bone collagen. The results place both taxa in a clade that is monophyletic with the perissodactyls, which today are represented by horses, rhinoceroses and tapirs. PMID:25833851

  8. Rewinding the process of mammalian extinction.

    PubMed

    Saragusty, Joseph; Diecke, Sebastian; Drukker, Micha; Durrant, Barbara; Friedrich Ben-Nun, Inbar; Galli, Cesare; Göritz, Frank; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hermes, Robert; Holtze, Susanne; Johnson, Stacey; Lazzari, Giovanna; Loi, Pasqualino; Loring, Jeanne F; Okita, Keisuke; Renfree, Marilyn B; Seet, Steven; Voracek, Thomas; Stejskal, Jan; Ryder, Oliver A; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2016-07-01

    With only three living individuals left on this planet, the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) could be considered doomed for extinction. It might still be possible, however, to rescue the (sub)species by combining novel stem cell and assisted reproductive technologies. To discuss the various practical options available to us, we convened a multidisciplinary meeting under the name "Conservation by Cellular Technologies." The outcome of this meeting and the proposed road map that, if successfully implemented, would ultimately lead to a self-sustaining population of an extremely endangered species are outlined here. The ideas discussed here, while centered on the northern white rhinoceros, are equally applicable, after proper adjustments, to other mammals on the brink of extinction. Through implementation of these ideas we hope to establish the foundation for reversal of some of the effects of what has been termed the sixth mass extinction event in the history of Earth, and the first anthropogenic one. Zoo Biol. 35:280-292, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27142508

  9. Ecotoxicology of wild mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Shore, R.F.

    2000-01-01

    An international group of 32 scientists has critically reviewed the scientific literature on exposure and effects of environmental contaminants in wild mammals. Although the absolute number of toxicological studies in domesticated and wild mammals eclipses that for birds, a detailed examination of scientific publications and databases reveal that information for 'wild' birds is actually greater than that for 'wild' mammals. Of the various taxa of mammals, ecotoxicological data is most noticeably lacking for marsupials and monotremes. In contrast, rodents (comprising 43% of all mammal species) have been studied extensively, despite evidence of their tolerance to some organochlorine compounds, rodenticides, and even radionuclides. Mammalian species at greatest risk of exposure include those that consume a high percentage of their body weight on a daily basis (e.g., shrews, moles and bats). Aquatic mammals tend to bioaccumulate tremendous burdens of lipophilic contaminants, although storage in their fat depots may actually limit toxicity. Carnivores appear to be more sensitive to adverse effects of environmental contaminants than herbivores. Remarkably few of the thousands of compounds manufactured worldwide have been toxicologically evaluated in wild mammals, and concentrations of even fewer have been monitored in tissues. Overarching research needs include: development of new exposure/effects models and better methods for estimation of species sensitivities; generation of comparative data on contaminant bioavailability, sublethal responses and detoxication mechanisms; enhanced understanding of pesticide, industrial contaminant and metal interactions; identification of endocrine disruptive contaminants and their overall ecological significance; and finally, estimating the relative contribution of environmental contamination as a factor affecting wild mammal populations.

  10. Hybridization and extinction.

    PubMed

    Todesco, Marco; Pascual, Mariana A; Owens, Gregory L; Ostevik, Katherine L; Moyers, Brook T; Hübner, Sariel; Heredia, Sylvia M; Hahn, Min A; Caseys, Celine; Bock, Dan G; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2016-08-01

    Hybridization may drive rare taxa to extinction through genetic swamping, where the rare form is replaced by hybrids, or by demographic swamping, where population growth rates are reduced due to the wasteful production of maladaptive hybrids. Conversely, hybridization may rescue the viability of small, inbred populations. Understanding the factors that contribute to destructive versus constructive outcomes of hybridization is key to managing conservation concerns. Here, we survey the literature for studies of hybridization and extinction to identify the ecological, evolutionary, and genetic factors that critically affect extinction risk through hybridization. We find that while extinction risk is highly situation dependent, genetic swamping is much more frequent than demographic swamping. In addition, human involvement is associated with increased risk and high reproductive isolation with reduced risk. Although climate change is predicted to increase the risk of hybridization-induced extinction, we find little empirical support for this prediction. Similarly, theoretical and experimental studies imply that genetic rescue through hybridization may be equally or more probable than demographic swamping, but our literature survey failed to support this claim. We conclude that halting the introduction of hybridization-prone exotics and restoring mature and diverse habitats that are resistant to hybrid establishment should be management priorities. PMID:27468307

  11. The role of local versus biogeographical processes in influencing diversity and body-size variation in mammal assemblages.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Luiz Carlos S; Figueiredo, Marcos S L; Fracasso, Maria Paula de Aguiar; Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Anjos, Ulisses Umbelino; Grelle, Carlos Eduardo Viveiros

    2016-03-01

    Our objective was to estimate and analyze the body-size distribution parameters of terrestrial mammal assemblages at different spatial scales, and to determine whether these parameters are controlled by local ecological processes or by larger-scale ones. Based on 93 local assemblages, plus the complete mammal assemblage from three continents (Africa, North, and South America), we estimated three key distribution parameters (diversity/size slope, skewness, and modal size) and compared the values to those expected if size distributions are mainly controlled by local interactions. Mammal diversity decreased much faster as body size increased than predicted by fractal niche theory, both at continental and at local scales, with continental distributions showing steeper slopes than the localities within them. South America showed a steeper slope (after controlling for species diversity), compared to Africa and North America, at local and continental scales. We also found that skewness and modal body size can show strikingly different correlations with predictor variables, such as species richness and median size, depending on the use of untransformed versus log-transformed data, due to changes in the distribution density generated by log-transformation. The main differences in slope, skewness, and modal size between local and continental scales appear to arise from the same biogeographical process, where small-sized species increase in diversity much faster (due to higher spatial turnover rates) than large-sized species. This process, which can operate even in the absence of competitive saturation at local scales, generates continental assemblages with steeper slopes, smaller modal sizes, and higher right skewness (toward small-sized species) compared to local communities. In addition, historical factors can also affect the size distribution slopes, which are significantly steeper, in South American mammal assemblages (probably due to stronger megafauna extinction events

  12. Biological Extinction in Earth History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raup, David M.

    1986-03-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  13. Biological extinction in earth history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    Virtually all plant and animal species that have ever lived on the earth are extinct. For this reason alone, extinction must play an important role in the evolution of life. The five largest mass extinctions of the past 600 million years are of greatest interest, but there is also a spectrum of smaller events, many of which indicate biological systems in profound stress. Extinction may be episodic at all scales, with relatively long periods of stability alternating with short-lived extinction events. Most extinction episodes are biologically selective, and further analysis of the victims and survivors offers the greatest chance of deducing the proximal causes of extinction. A drop in sea level and climatic change are most frequently invoked to explain mass extinctions, but new theories of collisions with extraterrestrial bodies are gaining favor. Extinction may be constructive in a Darwinian sense or it may only perturb the system by eliminating those organisms that happen to be susceptible to geologically rare stresses.

  14. Supernovae and mass extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandenbergh, S.

    1994-01-01

    Shklovsky and others have suggested that some of the major extinctions in the geological record might have been triggered by explosions of nearby supernovae. The frequency of such extinction events will depend on the galactic supernova frequency and on the distance up to which a supernova explosion will produce lethal effects upon terrestrial life. In the present note it will be assumed that a killer supernova has to occur so close to Earth that it will be embedded in a young, active, supernova remnant. Such young remnants typically have radii approximately less than 3 pc (1 x 10(exp 19) cm). Larger (more pessimistic?) killer radii have been adopted by Ruderman, Romig, and by Ellis and Schramm. From observations of historical supernovae, van den Bergh finds that core-collapse (types Ib and II) supernovae occur within 4 kpc of the Sun at a rate of 0.2 plus or minus 0.1 per century. Adopting a layer thickness of 0.3 kpc for the galacitc disk, this corresponds to a rate of approximately 1.3 x 10(exp -4) supernovae pc(exp -3) g.y.(exp -1). Including supernovae of type Ia will increase the total supernovae rate to approximately 1.5 x 10(exp -4) supernovae pc(exp -3) g.y.(exp -1). For a lethal radius of R pc the rate of killer events will therefore be 1.7 (R/3)(exp 3) x 10(exp -2) supernovae per g.y. However, a frequency of a few extinctions per g.y. is required to account for the extinctions observed during the phanerozoic. With R (extinction) approximately 3 pc, the galactic supernova frequency is therefore too low by 2 orders of magnitude to account for the major extinctions in the geological record.

  15. Extinction from a paleontological perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1993-01-01

    Extinction of widespread species is common in evolutionary time (millions of years) but rare in ecological time (hundreds or thousands of years). In the fossil record, there appears to be a smooth continuum between background and mass extinction; and the clustering of extinctions at mass extinctions cannot be explained by the chance coincidence of independent events. Although some extinction is selective, much is apparently random in that survivors have no recognizable superiority over victims. Extinction certainly plays an important role in evolution, but whether it is constructive or destructive has not yet been determined.

  16. Extinction from a paleontological perspective.

    PubMed

    Raup, D M

    1993-01-01

    Extinction of widespread species is common in evolutionary time (millions of years) but rare in ecological time (hundreds or thousands of years). In the fossil record, there appears to be a smooth continuum between background and mass extinction; and the clustering of extinctions at mass extinctions cannot be explained by the chance coincidence of independent events. Although some extinction is selective, much is apparently random in that survivors have no recognizable superiority over victims. Extinction certainly plays an important role in evolution, but whether it is constructive or destructive has not yet been determined. PMID:11539838

  17. Similar Associations of Tooth Microwear and Morphology Indicate Similar Diet across Marsupial and Placental Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Hilary B.

    2014-01-01

    Low-magnification microwear techniques have been used effectively to infer diets within many unrelated mammalian orders, but the extent to which patterns are comparable among such different groups, including long extinct mammal lineages, is unknown. Microwear patterns between ecologically equivalent placental and marsupial mammals are found to be statistically indistinguishable, indicating that microwear can be used to infer diet across the mammals. Microwear data were compared to body size and molar shearing crest length in order to develop a system to distinguish the diet of mammals. Insectivores and carnivores were difficult to distinguish from herbivores using microwear alone, but combining microwear data with body size estimates and tooth morphology provides robust dietary inferences. This approach is a powerful tool for dietary assessment of fossils from extinct lineages and from museum specimens of living species where field study would be difficult owing to the animal’s behavior, habitat, or conservation status. PMID:25099537

  18. First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pitman, Robert L; Taylor, Barbara L; Barlow, Jay; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Barrett, Leigh A; Zhao, Xiujiang; Reeves, Randall R; Stewart, Brent S; Wang, Kexiong; Wei, Zhuo; Zhang, Xianfeng; Pusser, L T; Richlen, Michael; Brandon, John R; Wang, Ding

    2007-10-22

    The Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), an obligate freshwater odontocete known only from the middle-lower Yangtze River system and neighbouring Qiantang River in eastern China, has long been recognized as one of the world's rarest and most threatened mammal species. The status of the baiji has not been investigated since the late 1990s, when the surviving population was estimated to be as low as 13 individuals. An intensive six-week multi-vessel visual and acoustic survey carried out in November-December 2006, covering the entire historical range of the baiji in the main Yangtze channel, failed to find any evidence that the species survives. We are forced to conclude that the baiji is now likely to be extinct, probably due to unsustainable by-catch in local fisheries. This represents the first global extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years, only the fourth disappearance of an entire mammal family since AD 1500, and the first cetacean species to be driven to extinction by human activity. Immediate and extreme measures may be necessary to prevent the extinction of other endangered cetaceans, including the sympatric Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis). PMID:17686754

  19. Ecotoxicology of Wild Mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2001-01-01

    An international group of 32 scientists has critically reviewed the scientific literature on exposure and effects of environmental contaminants in wild mammals. The underlying theme of this text is encompassed by the following four questions: What exactly do we know about environmental contaminants in mammals? What are the commonalities and differences between mammal orders/species in the effects that contaminants have? How and to what degree of accuracy can we predict the adverse effects of environmental contaminants on mammalian wildlife? How significant are contaminant insults compared with other density-independent and -dependent factors such as habitat loss, climatic factors and disease? The book is organized three topical sections including introductory chapters that provide a background on environmental contaminants and the mammalian orders, eight taxonomic chapters discussing all aspects of the exposure to and effects of contaminants in mammalian orders, and four thematic chapters that review and discuss generic issues including biomarkers, prediction and extrapolation of exposure and effects, hazard and risk assessment, and the relative significance of contaminants on mammals compared with other commonly encountered stressors. A final a summary chapter identifies phylogenetic trends, critical data gaps, and overarching research needs. Although the absolute number of toxicological studies in domesticated and wild mammals eclipses that wildlife species, a detailed examination of our knowledge base reveals that information for 'wild' birds is actually greater than that for 'wild' mammals. Of the various mammalian taxa, ecotoxicological data is most noticeably lacking for marsupials and monotremes. In contrast, rodents (comprising 43% of all mammal species) have been studied extensively, despite evidence of their tolerance to some organochlorine compounds, rodenticides, and even radionuclides. Mammalian species at greatest risk of exposure include those that

  20. A dating success story: genomes and fossils converge on placental mammal origins

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The timing of the placental mammal radiation has been a source of contention for decades. The fossil record of mammals extends over 200 million years, but no confirmed placental mammal fossils are known prior to 64 million years ago, which is approximately 1.5 million years after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction that saw the end of non-avian dinosaurs. Thus, it came as a great surprise when the first published molecular clock studies suggested that placental mammals originated instead far back in the Cretaceous, in some cases doubling divergence estimates based on fossils. In the last few decades, more than a hundred new genera of Mesozoic mammals have been discovered, and molecular divergence studies have grown from simple clock-like models applied to a few genes to sophisticated analyses of entire genomes. Yet, molecular and fossil-based divergence estimates for placental mammal origins have remained remote, with knock-on effects for macro-scale reconstructions of mammal evolution. A few recent molecular studies have begun to converge with fossil-based estimates, and a new phylogenomic study in particular shows that the palaeontological record was mostly correct; most placental mammal orders diversified after the K-Pg mass extinction. While a small gap still remains for Late Cretaceous supraordinal divergences, this study has significantly improved the congruence between molecular and palaeontological data and heralds a broader integration of these fields of evolutionary science. PMID:22883371

  1. Unexpectedly many extinct hominins.

    PubMed

    Bokma, Folmer; van den Brink, Valentijn; Stadler, Tanja

    2012-09-01

    Recent studies indicate that Neanderthal and Denisova hominins may have been separate species, while debate continues on the status of Homo floresiensis. The decade-long debate between "splitters," who recognize over 20 hominin species, and "lumpers," who maintain that all these fossils belong to just a few lineages, illustrates that we do not know how many extinct hominin species to expect. Here, we present probability distributions for the number of speciation events and the number of contemporary species along a branch of a phylogeny. With estimates of hominin speciation and extincton rates, we then show that the expected total number of extinct hominin species is 8, but may be as high as 27. We also show that it is highly unlikely that three very recent species disappeared due to natural, background extinction. This may indicate that human-like remains are too easily considered distinct species. Otherwise, the evidence suggesting that Neanderthal and the Denisova hominin represent distinct species implies a recent wave of extinctions, ostensibly driven by the only survivor, H. sapiens. PMID:22946817

  2. Context, Learning, and Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gershman, Samuel J.; Blei, David M.; Niv, Yael

    2010-01-01

    A. Redish et al. (2007) proposed a reinforcement learning model of context-dependent learning and extinction in conditioning experiments, using the idea of "state classification" to categorize new observations into states. In the current article, the authors propose an interpretation of this idea in terms of normative statistical inference. They…

  3. Cognitive Processes in Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovibond, Peter F.

    2004-01-01

    Human conditioning research shows that learning is closely related to consciously available contingency knowledge, requires attentional resources, and is influenced by language. This research suggests a cognitive model in which extinction consists of changes in contingency beliefs in long-term memory. Laboratory and clinical evidence on extinction…

  4. A Cretaceous eutriconodont and integument evolution in early mammals.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Vullo, Romain; Martín-Abad, Hugo; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Buscalioni, Angela D

    2015-10-15

    The Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago), known as the domain of dinosaurs, witnessed a remarkable ecomorphological diversity of early mammals. The key mammalian characteristics originated during this period and were prerequisite for their evolutionary success after extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Many ecomorphotypes familiar to modern mammal fauna evolved independently early in mammalian evolutionary history. Here we report a 125-million-year-old eutriconodontan mammal from Spain with extraordinary preservation of skin and pelage that extends the record of key mammalian integumentary features into the Mesozoic era. The new mammalian specimen exhibits such typical mammalian features as pelage, mane, pinna, and a variety of skin structures: keratinous dermal scutes, protospines composed of hair-like tubules, and compound follicles with primary and secondary hairs. The skin structures of this new Mesozoic mammal encompass the same combination of integumentary features as those evolved independently in other crown Mammalia, with similarly broad structural variations as in extant mammals. Soft tissues in the thorax and abdomen (alveolar lungs and liver) suggest the presence of a muscular diaphragm. The eutriconodont has molariform tooth replacement, ossified Meckel's cartilage of the middle ear, and specialized xenarthrous articulations of posterior dorsal vertebrae, convergent with extant xenarthran mammals, which strengthened the vertebral column for locomotion. PMID:26469049

  5. A Cretaceous eutriconodont and integument evolution in early mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Thomas; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Vullo, Romain; Martín-Abad, Hugo; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Buscalioni, Angela D.

    2015-10-01

    The Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago), known as the domain of dinosaurs, witnessed a remarkable ecomorphological diversity of early mammals. The key mammalian characteristics originated during this period and were prerequisite for their evolutionary success after extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Many ecomorphotypes familiar to modern mammal fauna evolved independently early in mammalian evolutionary history. Here we report a 125-million-year-old eutriconodontan mammal from Spain with extraordinary preservation of skin and pelage that extends the record of key mammalian integumentary features into the Mesozoic era. The new mammalian specimen exhibits such typical mammalian features as pelage, mane, pinna, and a variety of skin structures: keratinous dermal scutes, protospines composed of hair-like tubules, and compound follicles with primary and secondary hairs. The skin structures of this new Mesozoic mammal encompass the same combination of integumentary features as those evolved independently in other crown Mammalia, with similarly broad structural variations as in extant mammals. Soft tissues in the thorax and abdomen (alveolar lungs and liver) suggest the presence of a muscular diaphragm. The eutriconodont has molariform tooth replacement, ossified Meckel's cartilage of the middle ear, and specialized xenarthrous articulations of posterior dorsal vertebrae, convergent with extant xenarthran mammals, which strengthened the vertebral column for locomotion.

  6. Extinction Curves of Lensing Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elíasdóttir, Árdís

    2006-09-01

    Dust extinction causes light from distant sources to be dimmed on itsway to the observer. In cosmological studies, such as SN Ia studies,it is of great importance that the effects of dust extinction becorrectly accounted for. However, although dust properties, andhence extinction, are expected to vary with redshift, not very muchis known about the extinction properties of high redshift galaxies.This is because the methods traditionally used to study extinctioncurves are only applicable for the most nearby galaxies. Studyinggravitationally lensed quasars is an emerging method of studying thedust extinction of high redshift galaxies. I will present an ESO VLTstudy of 10 such lensing galaxies, with redshifts up to 1. The 10systems display varying amount and type of extinction, with thedoubly imaged quasar B1152+199 showing the greatest extinction with A(V)=2.4 and R_V=2.1 for a Galactic type extinction law.

  7. The threat of disease increases as species move toward extinction.

    PubMed

    Heard, Matthew J; Smith, Katherine F; Ripp, Kelsey J; Berger, Melanie; Chen, Jane; Dittmeier, Justin; Goter, Maggie; McGarvey, Stephen T; Ryan, Elizabeth

    2013-12-01

    At local scales, infectious disease is a common driver of population declines, but globally it is an infrequent contributor to species extinction and endangerment. For species at risk of extinction from disease important questions remain unanswered, including when does disease become a threat to species and does it co-occur, predictably, with other threats? Using newly compiled data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, we examined the relative role and co-occurrence of threats associated with amphibians, birds, and mammals at 6 levels of extinction risk (i.e., Red List status categories: least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, and extinct in the wild/extinct). We tested the null hypothesis that the proportion of species threatened by disease is the same in all 6 Red List status categories. Our approach revealed a new method for determining when disease most frequently threatens species at risk of extinction. The proportion of species threatened by disease varied significantly between IUCN status categories and linearly increased for amphibians, birds, and all species combined as these taxa move from move from least concern to critically endangered. Disease was infrequently the single contributing threat. However, when a species was negatively affected by a major threat other than disease (e.g., invasive species, land-use change) that species was more likely to be simultaneously threatened by disease than species that had no other threats. Potential drivers of these trends include ecological factors, clustering of phylogenetically related species in Red List status categories, discovery bias among species at greater risk of extinction, and availability of data. We echo earlier calls for baseline data on the presence of parasites and pathogens in species when they show the first signs of extinction risk and arguably before. La Amenaza de Enfermedades Incrementa a Medida que las Especies se

  8. Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Barnosky, Anthony D.; García, Andrés; Pringle, Robert M.; Palmer, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing. PMID:26601195

  9. Osmoregulation in marine mammals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ortiz, R. M.

    2001-01-01

    Osmoregulation in marine mammals has been investigated for over a century; however, a review of recent advances in our understanding of water and electrolyte balance and of renal function in marine mammals is warranted. The following topics are discussed: (i) kidney structure and urine concentrating ability, (ii) sources of water, (iii) the effects of feeding, fasting and diving, (iv) the renal responses to infusions of varying salinity and (v) hormonal regulation. The kidneys of pinnipeds and cetaceans are reniculate in structure, unlike those of terrestrial mammals (except bears), but this difference does not confer any greater concentrating ability. Pinnipeds, cetaceans, manatees and sea otters can concentrate their urine above the concentration of sea water, but only pinnipeds and otters have been shown to produce urine concentrations of Na+ and Cl- that are similar to those in sea water. This could afford them the capacity to drink sea water and not lose fresh water. However, with few exceptions, drinking is not a common behavior in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Water balance is maintained in these animals via metabolic and dietary water, while incidental ingestion and dietary salt may help maintain electrolyte homeostasis. Unlike most other aquatic mammals, sea otters commonly drink sea water and manatees frequently drink fresh water. Among the various taxonomic groups of marine mammals, the sensitivity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system appears to be influenced by the availability of Na+. The antidiuretic role of vasopressin remains inconclusive in marine mammals, while the natriuretic function of atrial natriuretic peptide has yet to be examined. Ideas on the direction of future studies are presented.

  10. Mass Extinctions Past and Present.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allmon, Warren Douglas

    1987-01-01

    Discusses some parallels that seem to exist between mass extinction recognizable in the geologic record and the impending extinction of a significant proportion of the earth's species due largely to tropical deforestation. Describes some recent theories of causal factors and periodicities in mass extinction. (Author/TW)

  11. Mountain uplift explains differences in Palaeogene patterns of mammalian evolution and extinction between North America and Europe

    PubMed Central

    Eronen, Jussi T.; Janis, Christine M.; Chamberlain, C. Page; Mulch, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of late Palaeogene mammalian evolution appear to be very different between Eurasia and North America. Around the Eocene–Oligocene (EO) transition global temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere plummet: following this, European mammal faunas undergo a profound extinction event (the Grande Coupure), while in North America they appear to pass through this temperature event unscathed. Here, we investigate the role of surface uplift to environmental change and mammalian evolution through the Palaeogene (66–23 Ma). Palaeogene regional surface uplift in North America caused large-scale reorganization of precipitation patterns, particularly in the continental interior, in accord with our combined stable isotope and ecometric data. Changes in mammalian faunas reflect that these were dry and high-elevation palaeoenvironments. The scenario of Middle to Late Eocene (50–37 Ma) surface uplift, together with decreasing precipitation in higher-altitude regions of western North America, explains the enigma of the apparent lack of the large-scale mammal faunal change around the EO transition that characterized western Europe. We suggest that North American mammalian faunas were already pre-adapted to cooler and drier conditions preceding the EO boundary, resulting from the effects of a protracted history of surface uplift. PMID:26041349

  12. Mammals With Hooves.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information about mammals that have hooves, including definitions and descriptions of their characteristics. Contains teaching activities such as "Build a Paper Pachyderm,""Do the Funky Trunk Dance,""A Horse of a Different Color," and "Horns and Antlers." A reproducible quiz is also provided. (TW)

  13. When Did Carcharocles megalodon Become Extinct? A New Analysis of the Fossil Record

    PubMed Central

    Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F.

    2014-01-01

    Carcharocles megalodon (“Megalodon”) is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9–2.6 Ma). Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE) model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems. PMID:25338197

  14. When did Carcharocles megalodon become extinct? A new analysis of the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F

    2014-01-01

    Carcharocles megalodon ("Megalodon") is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9-2.6 Ma). Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE) model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems. PMID:25338197

  15. Discreteness induced extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    dos Santos, Renato Vieira; da Silva, Linaena Méricy

    2015-11-01

    Two simple models based on ecological problems are discussed from the point of view of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. It is shown how discrepant may be the results of the models that include spatial distribution with discrete interactions when compared with the continuous analogous models. In the continuous case we have, under certain circumstances, the population explosion. When we take into account the finiteness of the population, we get the opposite result, extinction. We will analyze how these results depend on the dimension d of the space and describe the phenomenon of the "Discreteness Inducing Extinction" (DIE). The results are interpreted in the context of the "paradox of sex", an old problem of evolutionary biology.

  16. Influence of continental history on the ecological specialization and macroevolutionary processes in the mammalian assemblage of South America: Differences between small and large mammals

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background This paper tests Vrba's resource-use hypothesis, which predicts that generalist species have lower specialization and extinction rates than specialists, using the 879 species of South American mammals. We tested several predictions about this hypothesis using the biomic specialization index (BSI) for each species, which is based on its geographical range within different climate-zones. The four predictions tested are: (1) there is a high frequency of species restricted to a single biome, which henceforth are referred to as stenobiomic species, (2) certain clades are more stenobiomic than others, (3) there is a higher proportion of biomic specialists in biomes that underwent through major expansion-contraction alternation due to the glacial-interglacial cycles, (4) certain combinations of inhabited biomes occur more frequently among species than do others. Results Our results are consistent with these predictions. (1) We found that 42 % of the species inhabit only one biome. (2) There are more generalists among species of Carnivora than in clades of herbivores. However, Artiodactyla, shows a distribution along the specialization gradient different from the one expected. (3) Biomic specialists are predominant in tropical rainforest and desert biomes. Nevertheless, we found some differences between small and large mammals in relation to these results. Stenobiomic species of micromammalian clades are more abundant in most biomes than expected by chance, while in the case of macromammalian clades stenobiomic species are more frequent than expected in tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous woodland and desert biomes only. (4) The most frequent combinations of inhabited biomes among the South American mammals are those with few biomes, i.e., the ones that suffered a higher rate of vicariance due to climatic cycles. Conclusion Our results agree with the resource-use hypothesis and, therefore, with a major role of the past climatic changes as drivers of

  17. 77 FR 9627 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-17

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB005 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National Marine.../2\\ W. 4th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, has applied in due form for a permit to take marine mammals in... subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as...

  18. 77 FR 2512 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-18

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA905 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National Marine...; receipt of application. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that Dorian Houser, Ph.D., National Marine Mammal... under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et...

  19. Environmental synergisms and extinctions of tropical species.

    PubMed

    Laurance, William F; Useche, Diana C

    2009-12-01

    Environmental synergisms may pose the greatest threat to tropical biodiversity. Using recently updated data sets from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, we evaluated the incidence of perceived threats to all known mammal, bird, and amphibian species in tropical forests. Vulnerable, endangered, and extinct species were collectively far more likely to be imperiled by combinations of threats than expected by chance. Among 45 possible pairwise combinations of 10 different threats, 69%, 93%, and 71% were significantly more frequent than expected for threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians, respectively, even with a stringent Bonferroni-corrected probability value (p= 0.003). Based on this analysis, we identified five key environmental synergisms in the tropics and speculate on the existence of others. The most important involve interactions between habitat loss or alteration (from agriculture, urban sprawl, infrastructure, or logging) and other anthropogenic disturbances such as hunting, fire, exotic-species invasions, or pollution. Climatic change and emerging pathogens also can interact with other threats. We assert that environmental synergisms are more likely the norm than the exception for threatened species and ecosystems, can vary markedly in nature among geographic regions and taxa, and may be exceedingly difficult to predict in terms of their ultimate impacts. The perils posed by environmental synergisms highlight the need for a precautionary approach to tropical biodiversity conservation. PMID:20078643

  20. Dental microwear textures: reconstructing diets of fossil mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeSantis, Larisa R. G.

    2016-06-01

    Dietary information of fossil mammals can be revealed via the analysis of tooth morphology, tooth wear, tooth geochemistry, and the microscopic wear patterns on tooth surfaces resulting from food processing. Although dental microwear has long been used by anthropologists and paleontologists to clarify diets in a diversity of mammals, until recently these methods focused on the counting of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) from two-dimensional surfaces (typically via scanning electron microscopes or low-magnification light microscopes). The analysis of dental microwear textures can instead reveal dietary information in a broad range of herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous mammals by characterizing microscopic tooth surfaces in three-dimensions, without the counting of individual surface features. To date, dental microwear textures in ungulates, xenarthrans, marsupials, carnivorans, and primates (including humans and their ancestors) are correlated with known dietary behavior in extant taxa and reconstruct ancient diets in a diversity of prehistoric mammals. For example, tough versus hard object feeding can be characterized across disparate phylogenetic groups and can distinguish grazers, folivorous, and flesh consumers (tougher food consumers) from woody browsers, frugivores, and bone consumers (harder object feeders). This paper reviews how dental microwear textures can be useful to reconstructing diets in a broad array of living and extinct mammals, with commentary on areas of future research.

  1. A List of the Marine Mammals of the World. Third Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Dale W.

    This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publication lists 116 species of living and recently extinct marine mammals of the world. Included are 36 species of Order Carnivora (polar bear, sea otter, and 34 pinnipeds); 5 species of Order Sirenia; 10 of Order Mysticeti (baleen whales); and 65 species of Order Odontoceti (tooth whales).…

  2. Anthropogenic extinction of top carnivores and interspecific animal behaviour: implications of the rapid decoupling of a web involving wolves, bears, moose and ravens.

    PubMed

    Berger, J

    1999-11-22

    The recent extinction of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) by humans from 95-99% of the contiguous USA and Mexico in less than 100 years has resulted in dramatically altered and expanded prey communities. Such rampant ecological change and putative ecological instability has not occurred in North American northern boreal zones. This geographical variation in the loss of large carnivores as a consequence of anthropogenic disturbance offers opportunities for examining the potential consequences of extinction on subtle but important ecological patterns involving behaviour and interspecific ecological interactions. In Alaska, where scavengers and large carnivores are associated with carcasses, field experiments involving sound playback simulations have demonstrated that at least one prey species, moose (Alces alces), is sensitive to the vocalizations of ravens (Corvus corax) and may rely on their cues to avoid predation. However, a similar relationship is absent on a predator-free island in Alaska's Cook Inlet and at two sites in the Jackson Hole region of the Rocky Mountains (USA) where grizzly bears and wolves have been extinct for 50-70 years. While prior study of birds and mammals has demonstrated that prey may retain predator recognition capabilities for thousands of years even after predation as a selective force has been relaxed, the results presented here establish that a desensitization in interspecific responsiveness can also occur in less than ten generations. These results affirm (i) a rapid decoupling in behaviour involving prey and scavengers as a consequence of anthropogenic-caused predator-prey disequilibriums, and (ii) subtle, community-level modifications in terrestrial ecosystems where large carnivores no longer exist. If knowledge about ecological and behavioural processes in extant systems is to be enhanced, the potential effects of recently extinct carnivores must be incorporated into current programmes. PMID:10629976

  3. Anthropogenic extinction of top carnivores and interspecific animal behaviour: implications of the rapid decoupling of a web involving wolves, bears, moose and ravens.

    PubMed Central

    Berger, J

    1999-01-01

    The recent extinction of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) by humans from 95-99% of the contiguous USA and Mexico in less than 100 years has resulted in dramatically altered and expanded prey communities. Such rampant ecological change and putative ecological instability has not occurred in North American northern boreal zones. This geographical variation in the loss of large carnivores as a consequence of anthropogenic disturbance offers opportunities for examining the potential consequences of extinction on subtle but important ecological patterns involving behaviour and interspecific ecological interactions. In Alaska, where scavengers and large carnivores are associated with carcasses, field experiments involving sound playback simulations have demonstrated that at least one prey species, moose (Alces alces), is sensitive to the vocalizations of ravens (Corvus corax) and may rely on their cues to avoid predation. However, a similar relationship is absent on a predator-free island in Alaska's Cook Inlet and at two sites in the Jackson Hole region of the Rocky Mountains (USA) where grizzly bears and wolves have been extinct for 50-70 years. While prior study of birds and mammals has demonstrated that prey may retain predator recognition capabilities for thousands of years even after predation as a selective force has been relaxed, the results presented here establish that a desensitization in interspecific responsiveness can also occur in less than ten generations. These results affirm (i) a rapid decoupling in behaviour involving prey and scavengers as a consequence of anthropogenic-caused predator-prey disequilibriums, and (ii) subtle, community-level modifications in terrestrial ecosystems where large carnivores no longer exist. If knowledge about ecological and behavioural processes in extant systems is to be enhanced, the potential effects of recently extinct carnivores must be incorporated into current programmes. PMID:10629976

  4. Behavioral indicators for conserving mammal diversity.

    PubMed

    Morris, Douglas W; Kotler, Burt P; Brown, Joel S; Sundararaj, Vijayan; Ale, Som B

    2009-04-01

    Mammals are threatened with population decline and extinction. Numerous species require immediate conservation intervention. But our ability to identify species on the brink of decline, and to intervene successfully, depends on developing reliable leading indicators of population, community, and environmental change. Classic approaches, such as population and life history assessment, as well as indicator species, trail environmental change. Adaptive behaviors honed by natural selection to respond quickly to environmental changes represent true leading indicators that we can learn to apply to conservation and management. Excellent examples of useful behaviors for conservation include foraging behavior, patch use, and habitat selection. Comparisons among giving-up densities collected in artificial resource patches can effectively indicate the forager's predation costs, its habitat quality, mechanisms of coexistence, and environmental richness. Patterns of adaptive habitat use can similarly reveal the relative value of different types of habitat, the location, and amounts of source versus sink habitat in a landscape, the effects of human disturbance, and projections on future extinction risk. Each behavior is likely to change more quickly than population size. As useful as these and related indicators may be to managers and conservationists, similar behaviors can emerge from different causes, and immediate returns of behavior to fitness may cause rapid evolution of associated morphological and physiological traits. Conservation strategies will thereby often be most effective if they build on research programs targeting the processes influencing adaptive behaviors and that assess whether wild-type or novel behaviors are most likely to sustain populations into the future. PMID:19432655

  5. MEST- avoid next extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Dayong

    2012-11-01

    Asteroid 2011 AG5 will impact on Earth in 2040. (See Donald K. Yoemans, ``Asteroid 2011 AG5 - A Reality Check,'' NASA-JPL, 2012) In 2011, The author say: the dark hole will take the dark comet to impact our solar system in 20 years, and give a systemic model between the sun and its companion-dark hole to explain why were there periodicity mass extinction on earth. (see Dayong Cao, BAPS.2011.CAL.C1.7, BAPS.2011.DFD.LA.24, BAPS.2012.APR.K1.78 and BAPS.2011.APR.K1.17) The dark Asteroid 2011 AG5 (as a dark comet) is made of the dark matter which has a space-time (as frequence-amplitude square) center- a different systemic model from solar systemic model. It can asborb the space-time and wave. So it is ``dark.'' When many dark matters hit on our earth, they can break our atom structure and our genetic code to trigger the Mass Extinction. In our experiments, consciousness can change the systematic model and code by a life-informational technology. So it can change the output signals of the solar cell. (see Dayong Cao, BAPS.2011.MAR.C1.286 and BAPS.2012.MAR.P33.14) So we will develop the genetic code of lives to evolution and sublimation, will use the dark matter to change the systemic model between dark hole and sun and will avoid next extinction.

  6. Extinction Events Can Accelerate Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    Extinction events impact the trajectory of biological evolution significantly. They are often viewed as upheavals to the evolutionary process. In contrast, this paper supports the hypothesis that although they are unpredictably destructive, extinction events may in the long term accelerate evolution by increasing evolvability. In particular, if extinction events extinguish indiscriminately many ways of life, indirectly they may select for the ability to expand rapidly through vacated niches. Lineages with such an ability are more likely to persist through multiple extinctions. Lending computational support for this hypothesis, this paper shows how increased evolvability will result from simulated extinction events in two computational models of evolved behavior. The conclusion is that although they are destructive in the short term, extinction events may make evolution more prolific in the long term. PMID:26266804

  7. Rescuing Ecosystems from Extinction Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahasrabudhe, Sagar; Motter, Adilson

    2010-03-01

    Food web perturbations stemming from climate change, overexploitation, invasive species, and natural disasters often cause an initial loss of species that results in a cascade of secondary extinctions. Using a predictive modeling framework, here we will present a systematic network-based approach to reduce the number of secondary extinctions. We will show that the extinction of one species can often be compensated by the concurrent removal of a second specific species, which is a counter-intuitive effect not previously tested in complex food webs. These compensatory perturbations frequently involve long-range interactions that are not a priori evident from local predator-prey relationships. Strikingly, in numerous cases even the early removal of a species that would eventually be extinct by the cascade is found to significantly reduce the number of cascading extinctions. Other nondestructive interventions based on partial removals and growth suppression and/or mortality increase are shown to sometimes prevent all secondary extinctions.

  8. Periodicity in marine extinction events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. John, Jr.; Raup, David M.

    1986-01-01

    The periodicity of extinction events is examined in detail. In particular, the temporal distribution of specific, identifiable extinction events is analyzed. The nature and limitations of the data base on the global fossil record is discussed in order to establish limits of resolution in statistical analyses. Peaks in extinction intensity which appear to differ significantly from background levels are considered, and new analyses of the temporal distribution of these peaks are presented. Finally, some possible causes of periodicity and of interdependence among extinction events over the last quarter billion years of earth history are examined.

  9. The impact of mass extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flessa, Karl W.

    1988-01-01

    In the years since Snowbird an explosive growth of research on the patterns, causes, and consequences of extinction was seen. The fossil record of extinction is better known, stratigraphic sections were scrutinized in great detail, and additional markers of environmental change were discovered in the rock record. However flawed, the fossil record is the only record that exists of natural extinction. Compilations from the primary literature contain a faint periodic signal: the extinctions of the past 250 my may be regulary spaced. The reality of the periodicity remains a subject for debate. The implications of periodicity are so profound that the debate is sure to continue. The greater precision from stratigraphic sections spanning extinction events has yet to resolve controversies concerning the rates at which extinctions occurred. Some sections seem to record sudden terminations, while others suggest gradual or steplike environmental deterioration. Unfortunately, the manner in which the strata record extinctions and compile stratigraphic ranges makes a strictly literal reading of the fossil record inadvisable. Much progress was made in the study of mass extinctions. The issues are more sharply defined but they are not fully resolved. Scenarios should look back to the phenomena they purport to explain - not just an iridium-rich layer, but the complex fabric of a mass extinction.

  10. Carnitine biosynthesis in mammals.

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Frédéric M; Wanders, Ronald J A

    2002-01-01

    Carnitine is indispensable for energy metabolism, since it enables activated fatty acids to enter the mitochondria, where they are broken down via beta-oxidation. Carnitine is probably present in all animal species, and in numerous micro-organisms and plants. In mammals, carnitine homoeostasis is maintained by endogenous synthesis, absorption from dietary sources and efficient tubular reabsorption by the kidney. This review aims to cover the current knowledge of the enzymological, molecular, metabolic and regulatory aspects of mammalian carnitine biosynthesis, with an emphasis on the human and rat. PMID:11802770

  11. Scenarios of large mammal loss in Europe for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero

    2015-08-01

    Distributions and populations of large mammals are declining globally, leading to an increase in their extinction risk. We forecasted the distribution of extant European large mammals (17 carnivores and 10 ungulates) based on 2 Rio+20 scenarios of socioeconomic development: business as usual and reduced impact through changes in human consumption of natural resources. These scenarios are linked to scenarios of land-use change and climate change through the spatial allocation of land conversion up to 2050. We used a hierarchical framework to forecast the extent and distribution of mammal habitat based on species' habitat preferences (as described in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List database) within a suitable climatic space fitted to the species' current geographic range. We analyzed the geographic and taxonomic variation of habitat loss for large mammals and the potential effect of the reduced impact policy on loss mitigation. Averaging across scenarios, European large mammals were predicted to lose 10% of their habitat by 2050 (25% in the worst-case scenario). Predicted loss was much higher for species in northwestern Europe, where habitat is expected to be lost due to climate and land-use change. Change in human consumption patterns was predicted to substantially improve the conservation of habitat for European large mammals, but not enough to reduce extinction risk if species cannot adapt locally to climate change or disperse. PMID:25999066

  12. Pleistocene extinctions: haunting the survivors.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael

    2007-08-01

    For many years, the megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene have been assumed to have affected only those species that became extinct. However, recent analyses show that the surviving species may also have experienced losses in terms of genetic and ecological diversity. PMID:17686436

  13. Ecology: Dynamics of Indirect Extinction.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Jose M

    2015-12-01

    The experimental identification of the mechanism by which extinctions of predators trigger further predator extinctions emphasizes the role of indirect effects between species in disturbed ecosystems. It also has deep consequences for the hidden magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis. PMID:26654371

  14. Acoustic integrated extinction

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Andrew N.

    2015-01-01

    The integrated extinction (IE) is defined as the integral of the scattering cross section as a function of wavelength. Sohl et al. (2007 J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 122, 3206–3210. (doi:10.1121/1.2801546)) derived an IE expression for acoustic scattering that is causal, i.e. the scattered wavefront in the forward direction arrives later than the incident plane wave in the background medium. The IE formula was based on electromagnetic results, for which scattering is causal by default. Here, we derive a formula for the acoustic IE that is valid for causal and non-causal scattering. The general result is expressed as an integral of the time-dependent forward scattering function. The IE reduces to a finite integral for scatterers with zero long-wavelength monopole and dipole amplitudes. Implications for acoustic cloaking are discussed and a new metric is proposed for broadband acoustic transparency. PMID:27547100

  15. The formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Shujiang; Wang, Cong; Guo, Chengbing; Huang, Xu; Wang, Liecheng; Zhang, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Fear is an emotion that is well-studied due to its importance for animal survival. Experimental animals, such as rats and mice, have been widely used to model fear. However, higher animals such as nonhuman primates have rarely been used to study fear due to ethical issues and high costs. Tree shrews are small mammals that are closely related to primates; they have been used to model human-related psychosocial conditions such as stress and alcohol tolerance. Here, we describe an experimental paradigm to study the formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews. We designed an experimental apparatus of a light/dark box with a voltage foot shock. We found that tree shrews preferred staying in the dark box in the daytime without stimulation and showed avoidance to voltage shocks applied to the footplate in a voltage-dependent manner. Foot shocks applied to the dark box for 5 days (10 min per day) effectively reversed the light–dark preference of the tree shrews, and this memory lasted for more than 50 days without any sign of memory decay (extinction) in the absence of further stimulation. However, this fear memory was reversed with 4 days of reverse training by applying the same stimulus to the light box. When reducing the stimulus intensity during the training period, a memory extinction and subsequently reinstatement effects were observed. Thus, our results describe an efficient method of monitoring fear memory formation and extinction in tree shrews. PMID:26283941

  16. Measuring Extinction with ALE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Peter C.; McGraw, J. T.; Gimmestad, G. G.; Roberts, D.; Stewart, J.; Smith, J.; Fitch, J.

    2007-12-01

    ALE (Astronomical LIDAR for Extinction) is deployed at the University of New Mexico's (UNM) Campus Observatory in Albuquerque, NM. It has begun a year-long testing phase prior deployment at McDonald Observatory in support of the CCD/Transit Instrument II (CTI-II). ALE is designed to produce a high-precision measurement of atmospheric absorption and scattering above the observatory site every ten minutes of every moderately clear night. LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) is the VIS/UV/IR analog of radar, using a laser, telescope and time-gated photodetector instead of a radio transmitter, dish and receiver. In the case of ALE -- an elastic backscatter LIDAR -- 20ns-long, eye-safe laser pulses are launched 2500 times per second from a 0.32m transmitting telescope co-mounted with a 50mm short-range receiver on an alt-az mounted 0.67m long-range receiver. Photons from the laser pulse are scattered and absorbed as the pulse propagates through the atmosphere, a portion of which are scattered into the field of view of the short- and long-range receiver telescopes and detected by a photomultiplier. The properties of a given volume of atmosphere along the LIDAR path are inferred from both the altitude-resolved backscatter signal as well as the attenuation of backscatter signal from altitudes above it. We present ALE profiles from the commissioning phase and demonstrate some of the astronomically interesting atmospheric information that can be gleaned from these data, including, but not limited to, total line-of-sight extinction. This project is funded by NSF Grant 0421087.

  17. Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Finnegan, Seth; Heim, Noel A; Peters, Shanan E; Fischer, Woodward W

    2012-05-01

    Selectivity patterns provide insights into the causes of ancient extinction events. The Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to Gondwanan glaciation; however, it is still unclear whether elevated extinction rates were attributable to record failure, habitat loss, or climatic cooling. We examined Middle Ordovician-Early Silurian North American fossil occurrences within a spatiotemporally explicit stratigraphic framework that allowed us to quantify rock record effects on a per-taxon basis and assay the interplay of macrostratigraphic and macroecological variables in determining extinction risk. Genera that had large proportions of their observed geographic ranges affected by stratigraphic truncation or environmental shifts at the end of the Katian stage were particularly hard hit. The duration of the subsequent sampling gaps had little effect on extinction risk, suggesting that this extinction pulse cannot be entirely attributed to rock record failure; rather, it was caused, in part, by habitat loss. Extinction risk at this time was also strongly influenced by the maximum paleolatitude at which a genus had previously been sampled, a macroecological trait linked to thermal tolerance. A model trained on the relationship between 16 explanatory variables and extinction patterns during the early Katian interval substantially underestimates the extinction of exclusively tropical taxa during the late Katian interval. These results indicate that glacioeustatic sea-level fall and tropical ocean cooling played important roles in the first pulse of the Late Ordovician mass extinction in Laurentia. PMID:22511717

  18. Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Finnegan, Seth; Heim, Noel A.; Peters, Shanan E.; Fischer, Woodward W.

    2012-01-01

    Selectivity patterns provide insights into the causes of ancient extinction events. The Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to Gondwanan glaciation; however, it is still unclear whether elevated extinction rates were attributable to record failure, habitat loss, or climatic cooling. We examined Middle Ordovician-Early Silurian North American fossil occurrences within a spatiotemporally explicit stratigraphic framework that allowed us to quantify rock record effects on a per-taxon basis and assay the interplay of macrostratigraphic and macroecological variables in determining extinction risk. Genera that had large proportions of their observed geographic ranges affected by stratigraphic truncation or environmental shifts at the end of the Katian stage were particularly hard hit. The duration of the subsequent sampling gaps had little effect on extinction risk, suggesting that this extinction pulse cannot be entirely attributed to rock record failure; rather, it was caused, in part, by habitat loss. Extinction risk at this time was also strongly influenced by the maximum paleolatitude at which a genus had previously been sampled, a macroecological trait linked to thermal tolerance. A model trained on the relationship between 16 explanatory variables and extinction patterns during the early Katian interval substantially underestimates the extinction of exclusively tropical taxa during the late Katian interval. These results indicate that glacioeustatic sea-level fall and tropical ocean cooling played important roles in the first pulse of the Late Ordovician mass extinction in Laurentia. PMID:22511717

  19. Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finnegan, Seth; Heim, Noel A.; Peters, Shanan E.; Fischer, Woodward W.

    2012-05-01

    Selectivity patterns provide insights into the causes of ancient extinction events. The Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to Gondwanan glaciation; however, it is still unclear whether elevated extinction rates were attributable to record failure, habitat loss, or climatic cooling. We examined Middle Ordovician-Early Silurian North American fossil occurrences within a spatiotemporally explicit stratigraphic framework that allowed us to quantify rock record effects on a per-taxon basis and assay the interplay of macrostratigraphic and macroecological variables in determining extinction risk. Genera that had large proportions of their observed geographic ranges affected by stratigraphic truncation or environmental shifts at the end of the Katian stage were particularly hard hit. The duration of the subsequent sampling gaps had little effect on extinction risk, suggesting that this extinction pulse cannot be entirely attributed to rock record failure; rather, it was caused, in part, by habitat loss. Extinction risk at this time was also strongly influenced by the maximum paleolatitude at which a genus had previously been sampled, a macroecological trait linked to thermal tolerance. A model trained on the relationship between 16 explanatory variables and extinction patterns during the early Katian interval substantially underestimates the extinction of exclusively tropical taxa during the late Katian interval. These results indicate that glacioeustatic sea-level fall and tropical ocean cooling played important roles in the first pulse of the Late Ordovician mass extinction in Laurentia.

  20. Extinction of Harrington's Mountain Goat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mead, Jim I.; Martin, Paul S.; Euler, Robert C.; Long, Austin; Jull, A. J. T.; Toolin, Laurence J.; Donahue, Douglas J.; Linick, T. W.

    1986-02-01

    Keratinous horn sheaths of the extinct Harrington's mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni, were recovered at or near the surface of dry caves of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Twenty-three separate specimens from two caves were dated nondestructively by the tandem accelerator mass spectrometer (TAMS). Both the TAMS and the conventional dates indicate that Harrington's mountain goat occupied the Grand Canyon for at least 19,000 years prior to becoming extinct by 11,160 ± 125 radiocarbon years before present. The youngest average radiocarbon dates on Shasta ground sloths, Nothrotheriops shastensis, from the region are not significantly younger than those on extinct mountain goats. Rather than sequential extinction with Harrington's mountain goat disappearing from the Grand Canyon before the ground sloths, as one might predict in view of evidence of climatic warming at the time, the losses were concurrent. Both extinctions coincide with the regional arrival of Clovis hunters.

  1. Extinction of Harrington's mountain goat

    SciTech Connect

    Mead, J.I.; Martin, P.S.; Euler, R.C.; Long, A.; Jull, A.J.T.; Toolin, L.J.; Donahue, D.J.; Linick, T.W.

    1986-02-01

    Keratinous horn sheaths of the extinct Harrington's mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni, were recovered at or near the surface of dry caves of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Twenty-three separate specimens from two caves were dated nondestructively by the tandem accelerator mass spectrometer (TAMS). Both the TAMS and the conventional dates indicate that Harrington's mountain goat occupied the Grand Canyon for at least 19,000 years prior to becoming extinct by 11,160 +/- 125 radiocarbon years before present. The youngest average radiocarbon dates on Shasta ground sloths, Nothrotheriops shastensis, from the region are not significantly younger than those on extinct mountain goats. Rather than sequential extinction with Harrington's mountain goat disappearing from the Grand Canyon before the ground sloths, as one might predict in view of evidence of climatic warming at the time, the losses were concurrent. Both extinctions coincide with the regional arrival of Clovis hunters.

  2. Behavioral tagging of extinction learning.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane; Benetti, Fernando; Izquierdo, Iván

    2013-01-15

    Extinction of contextual fear in rats is enhanced by exposure to a novel environment at 1-2 h before or 1 h after extinction training. This effect is antagonized by administration of protein synthesis inhibitors anisomycin and rapamycin into the hippocampus, but not into the amygdala, immediately after either novelty or extinction training, as well as by the gene expression blocker 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole administered after novelty training, but not after extinction training. Thus, this effect can be attributed to a mechanism similar to synaptic tagging, through which long-term potentiation can be enhanced by other long-term potentiations or by exposure to a novel environment in a protein synthesis-dependent fashion. Extinction learning produces a tag at the appropriate synapses, whereas novelty learning causes the synthesis of plasticity-related proteins that are captured by the tag, strengthening the synapses that generated this tag. PMID:23277583

  3. Interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Interstellar extinction curves over the region 3600-1100 A for 17 stars are presented. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers onboard the OAO-2 with spectral resolutions of 10 A and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region 1800-1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20.

  4. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss.

    PubMed

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-09-27

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world. PMID:21844048

  5. Future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Piero; Pressey, Robert L.; Giorgini, Daniele; Maiorano, Luigi; Bakkenes, Michel; Boitani, Luigi; Alkemade, Rob; Falcucci, Alessandra; Chiozza, Federica; Rondinini, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Current levels of endangerment and historical trends of species and habitats are the main criteria used to direct conservation efforts globally. Estimates of future declines, which might indicate different priorities than past declines, have been limited by the lack of appropriate data and models. Given that much of conservation is about anticipating and responding to future threats, our inability to look forward at a global scale has been a major constraint on effective action. Here, we assess the geography and extent of projected future changes in suitable habitat for terrestrial mammals within their present ranges. We used a global earth-system model, IMAGE, coupled with fine-scale habitat suitability models and parametrized according to four global scenarios of human development. We identified the most affected countries by 2050 for each scenario, assuming that no additional conservation actions other than those described in the scenarios take place. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the countries with the largest predicted losses of suitable habitat for mammals are in Africa and the Americas. African and North American countries were also predicted to host the most species with large proportional global declines. Most of the countries we identified as future hotspots of terrestrial mammal loss have little or no overlap with the present global conservation priorities, thus confirming the need for forward-looking analyses in conservation priority setting. The expected growth in human populations and consumption in hotspots of future mammal loss mean that local conservation actions such as protected areas might not be sufficient to mitigate losses. Other policies, directed towards the root causes of biodiversity loss, are required, both in Africa and other parts of the world. PMID:21844048

  6. The end-Permian mass extinction: A complex, multicausal extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erwin, D. H.

    1994-01-01

    The end-Permian mass extinction was the most extensive in the history of life and remains one of the most complex. Understanding its causes is particularly important because it anchors the putative 26-m.y. pattern of periodic extinction. However, there is no good evidence for an impact and this extinction appears to be more complex than others, involving at least three phases. The first began with the onset of a marine regression during the Late Permian and resulting elimination of most marine basins, reduction in habitat area, and increased climatic instability; the first pulse of tetrapod extinctions occurred in South Africa at this time. The second phase involved increased regression in many areas (although apparently not in South China) and heightened climatic instability and environmental degradation. Release of gas hydrates, oxidation of marine carbon, and the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts occurred during this phase. The final phase of the extinction episode began with the earliest Triassic marine regression and destruction of nearshore continental habitats. Some evidence suggests oceanic anoxia may have developed during the final phase of the extinction, although it appears to have been insufficient to the sole cause of the extinction.

  7. Brain size is correlated with endangerment status in mammals.

    PubMed

    Abelson, Eric S

    2016-02-24

    Increases in relative encephalization (RE), brain size after controlling for body size, comes at a great metabolic cost and is correlated with a host of cognitive traits, from the ability to count objects to higher rates of innovation. Despite many studies examining the implications and trade-offs accompanying increased RE, the relationship between mammalian extinction risk and RE is unknown. I examine whether mammals with larger levels of RE are more or less likely to be at risk of endangerment than less-encephalized species. I find that extant species with large levels of encephalization are at greater risk of endangerment, with this effect being strongest in species with small body sizes. These results suggest that RE could be a valuable asset in estimating extinction vulnerability. Additionally, these findings suggest that the cost-benefit trade-off of RE is different in large-bodied species when compared with small-bodied species. PMID:26888034

  8. Detritus feeding as a buffer to extinction at the end of the Cretaceous

    SciTech Connect

    Sheehan, P.M.; Hansen, T.A.

    1986-10-01

    At the end of the Cretaceous the principal animals that became extinct, such as dinosaurs, marine animals that lived in the water column, and benthic filter feeders, were in food chains tied directly to living plant matter. Animal groups less affected by extinction, including marine benthic scavengers and deposit feeders, small insectivorous mammals, and members of stream communities, were in food chains dependent on dead plant material. The proposal that an asteroid or comet impact at the end of the Cretaceous produced a dust cloud that cut off photosynthesis for several months is consistent with this pattern of extinction. Food chains dependent on living plant matter crashed, while food chains based on detritus were buffered from extinction because there was a food supply adequate for the interval when photosynthesis was halted.

  9. Limits to captive breeding of mammals in zoos.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-06-01

    Captive breeding of mammals in zoos is the last hope for many of the best-known endangered species and has succeeded in saving some from certain extinction. However, the number of managed species selected is relatively small and focused on large-bodied, charismatic mammals that are not necessarily under strong threat and not always good candidates for reintroduction into the wild. Two interrelated and more fundamental questions go unanswered: have the major breeding programs succeeded at the basic level of maintaining and expanding populations, and is there room to expand them? I used published counts of births and deaths from 1970 to 2011 to quantify rates of growth of 118 captive-bred mammalian populations. These rates did not vary with body mass, contrary to strong predictions made in the ecological literature. Most of the larger managed mammalian populations expanded consistently and very few programs failed. However, growth rates have declined dramatically. The decline was predicted by changes in the ratio of the number of individuals within programs to the number of mammal populations held in major zoos. Rates decreased as the ratio of individuals in programs to populations increased. In other words, most of the programs that could exist already do exist. It therefore appears that debates over the general need for captive-breeding programs and the best selection of species are moot. Only a concerted effort could create room to manage a substantially larger number of endangered mammals. PMID:25736919

  10. Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions: Models, chronologies, and assumptions

    PubMed Central

    Brook, Barry W.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2002-01-01

    Understanding of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions has been advanced recently by the application of simulation models and new developments in geochronological dating. Together these have been used to posit a rapid demise of megafauna due to over-hunting by invading humans. However, we demonstrate that the results of these extinction models are highly sensitive to implicit assumptions concerning the degree of prey naivety to human hunters. In addition, we show that in Greater Australia, where the extinctions occurred well before the end of the last Ice Age (unlike the North American situation), estimates of the duration of coexistence between humans and megafauna remain imprecise. Contrary to recent claims, the existing data do not prove the “blitzkrieg” model of overkill. PMID:12417761

  11. Eutherians experienced elevated evolutionary rates in the immediate aftermath of the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Halliday, Thomas John Dixon; Upchurch, Paul; Goswami, Anjali

    2016-06-29

    The effect of the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) mass extinction on the evolution of many groups, including placental mammals, has been hotly debated. The fossil record suggests a sudden adaptive radiation of placentals immediately after the event, but several recent quantitative analyses have reconstructed no significant increase in either clade origination rates or rates of character evolution in the Palaeocene. Here we use stochastic methods to date a recent phylogenetic analysis of Cretaceous and Palaeocene mammals and show that Placentalia likely originated in the Late Cretaceous, but that most intraordinal diversification occurred during the earliest Palaeocene. This analysis reconstructs fewer than 10 placental mammal lineages crossing the K-Pg boundary. Moreover, we show that rates of morphological evolution in the 5 Myr interval immediately after the K-Pg mass extinction are three times higher than background rates during the Cretaceous. These results suggest that the K-Pg mass extinction had a marked impact on placental mammal diversification, supporting the view that an evolutionary radiation occurred as placental lineages invaded new ecological niches during the Early Palaeocene. PMID:27358361

  12. Eutherians experienced elevated evolutionary rates in the immediate aftermath of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Upchurch, Paul; Goswami, Anjali

    2016-01-01

    The effect of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene (K–Pg) mass extinction on the evolution of many groups, including placental mammals, has been hotly debated. The fossil record suggests a sudden adaptive radiation of placentals immediately after the event, but several recent quantitative analyses have reconstructed no significant increase in either clade origination rates or rates of character evolution in the Palaeocene. Here we use stochastic methods to date a recent phylogenetic analysis of Cretaceous and Palaeocene mammals and show that Placentalia likely originated in the Late Cretaceous, but that most intraordinal diversification occurred during the earliest Palaeocene. This analysis reconstructs fewer than 10 placental mammal lineages crossing the K–Pg boundary. Moreover, we show that rates of morphological evolution in the 5 Myr interval immediately after the K–Pg mass extinction are three times higher than background rates during the Cretaceous. These results suggest that the K–Pg mass extinction had a marked impact on placental mammal diversification, supporting the view that an evolutionary radiation occurred as placental lineages invaded new ecological niches during the Early Palaeocene. PMID:27358361

  13. Mass Extinctions in Earth's History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, P. D.

    2002-12-01

    Mass extinctions are short intervals of elevated species death. Possible causes of Earth's mass extinctions are both external (astronomical) and internal (tectonic and biotic changes from planetary mechanisms). Paleontologists have identified five "major" mass extinctions (>50 die-off in less than a million years) and more than 20 other minor events over the past 550 million years. Earlier major extinction events undoubtedly also occurred, but we have no fossil record; these were probably associated with, for example, the early heavy bombardment that cleared out the solar system, the advent of oxygen in the atmosphere, and various "snowball Earth" events. Mass extinctions are viewed as both destructive (species death ) and constructive, in that they allow evolutionary innovation in the wake of species disappearances. From an astrobiological perspective, mass extinctions must be considered as able both to reduce biodiversity and even potentially end life on any planet. Of the five major mass extinctions identified on Earth, only one (the Cretaceous/Tertiary event 65 million years ago that famously killed off the dinosaurs ) is unambiguously related to the impact of an asteroid or comet ( 10-km diameter). The Permian/Triassic (250 Myr ago) and Triassic/Jurassic (202 Myr ago) events are now the center of debate between those favoring impact and those suggesting large volume flooding by basaltic lavas. The final two events, Ordovician (440 Myr ago) and Devonian (370 Myr ago) have no accepted causal mechanisms.

  14. The learning of fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Furini, Cristiane; Myskiw, Jociane; Izquierdo, Ivan

    2014-11-01

    Recent work on the extinction of fear-motivated learning places emphasis on its putative circuitry and on its modulation. Extinction is the learned inhibition of retrieval of previously acquired responses. Fear extinction is used as a major component of exposure therapy in the treatment of fear memories such as those of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is initiated and maintained by interactions between the hippocampus, basolateral amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which involve feedback regulation of the latter by the other two areas. Fear extinction depends on NMDA receptor activation. It is positively modulated by d-serine acting on the glycine site of NMDA receptors and blocked by AP5 (2-amino-5-phosphono propionate) in the three structures. In addition, histamine acting on H2 receptors and endocannabinoids acting on CB1 receptors in the three brain areas mentioned, and muscarinic cholinergic fibers from the medial septum to hippocampal CA1 positively modulate fear extinction. Importantly, fear extinction can be made state-dependent on circulating epinephrine, which may play a role in situations of stress. Exposure to a novel experience can strongly enhance the consolidation of fear extinction through a synaptic tagging and capture mechanism; this may be useful in the therapy of states caused by fear memory like PTSD. PMID:25452113

  15. Extinction in young massive clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchi, Guido; Panagia, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Up to ages of ~100 Myr, massive clusters are still swamped in large amounts of gas and dust, causing considerable and uneven levels of extinction. At the same time, large grains (ices?) produced by type II supernovae profoundly alter the interstellar medium (ISM), thus resulting in extinction properties very different from those of the diffuse ISM. To obtain physically meaningful parameters of stars (luminosities, effective temperatures, masses, ages, etc.) we must understand and measure the local extinction law. We have developed a powerful method to unambiguously determine the extinction law everywhere across a cluster field, using multi-band photometry of red giant stars belonging to the red clump (RC) and are applying it to young massive clusters in the Local Group. In the Large Magellanic Cloud, with about 20 RC stars per arcmin2, for each field we can easily derive an accurate extinction curve over the entire wavelength range of the photometry. As an example, we present the extinction law of the Tarantula nebula (30 Dor) based on thousands of stars observed as part of the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project. We discuss how the incautious adoption of the Milky Way extinction law in the analysis of massive star forming regions may lead to serious underestimates of the fluxes and of the star formation rates by factors of 2 or more.

  16. Genomic Imprinting in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Denise P.

    2014-01-01

    Genomic imprinting affects a subset of genes in mammals and results in a monoallelic, parental-specific expression pattern. Most of these genes are located in clusters that are regulated through the use of insulators or long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). To distinguish the parental alleles, imprinted genes are epigenetically marked in gametes at imprinting control elements through the use of DNA methylation at the very least. Imprinted gene expression is subsequently conferred through lncRNAs, histone modifications, insulators, and higher-order chromatin structure. Such imprints are maintained after fertilization through these mechanisms despite extensive reprogramming of the mammalian genome. Genomic imprinting is an excellent model for understanding mammalian epigenetic regulation. PMID:24492710

  17. NORTHERN PUGET SOUND MARINE MAMMALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A baseline study of the marine mammals of northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca was undertaken from November 1977 to September 1979 emphasizing certain aspects of the biology of the harbor seal, which is the most abundant marine mammal in this area. The local abunda...

  18. 75 FR 77616 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-13

    ... endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226). Permit No. 14334, issued on August 17, 2009 (74 FR... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XP18 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National Marine... Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing...

  19. 76 FR 72680 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-25

    ... December 9, 2010, notice was published in the Federal Register (75 FR 76703) that a request for a permit... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA078 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National Marine.... Environmental Research and Services, Fairbanks, AK, to conduct research on marine mammals in Alaska....

  20. 76 FR 76949 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-09

    ... endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226). Permit No. 14534, issued on July 2, 2010 (75 FR 39665... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XR52 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National Marine... Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing...

  1. Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Dávalos, Liliana M; Russell, Amy L

    2012-01-01

    Ecological factors such as changing climate on land and interspecific competition have been debated as possible causes of postglacial Caribbean extinction. These hypotheses, however, have not been tested against a null model of climate-driven postglacial area loss. Here, we use a new Quaternary mammal database and deep-sea bathymetry to estimate species–area relationships (SARs) at present and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) for bats of the Caribbean, and to model species loss as a function of area loss from rising sea level. Island area was a significant predictor of species richness in the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and Lesser Antilles at all time periods, except for the Lesser Antilles during the LGM. Parameters of LGM and current SARs were similar in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles, but not the Lesser Antilles, which had fewer estimated species during the LGM than expected given their size. Estimated postglacial species losses in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles were largely explained by inferred area loss from rising sea level in the Holocene. However, there were more species in the Bahamas at present, and fewer species in the smaller Greater Antilles, than expected given island size and the end-Pleistocene/early Holocene SARs. Poor fossil sampling and ecological factors may explain these departures from the null. Our analyses illustrate the importance of changes in area in explaining patterns of species richness through time and emphasize the role of the SAR as a null hypothesis in explorations of the impact of novel ecological interactions on extinction. PMID:23301171

  2. Effects of corridors on home range sizes and interpatch movements of three small mammal species.

    SciTech Connect

    Mabry, Karen, E.; Barrett, Gary, W.

    2002-04-30

    Mabry, K.E., and G.W. Barrett. 2002. Effects of corridors on home range sizes and interpatch movements of three small mammal species. Landscape Ecol. 17:629-636. Corridors are predicted to benefit populations in patchy habitats by promoting movement, which should increase population densities, gene flow, and recolonization of extinct patch populations. However, few investigators have considered use of the total landscape, particularly the possibility of interpatch movement through matrix habitat, by small mammals. This study compares home range sizes of 3 species of small mammals, the cotton mouse, old field mouse and cotton rat between patches with and without corridors. Corridor presence did not have a statistically significant influence on average home range size. Habitat specialization and sex influenced the probability of an individual moving between 2 patches without corridors. The results of this study suggest that small mammals may be more capable of interpatch movement without corridors than is frequently assumed.

  3. New theories about ancient extinctions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spall, H.

    1986-01-01

    But all this may be changing. Mass extinctions have been very much in the news in the last few years, triggered in large part by the proposal that the extinction of the dinosaurs and marine animals was caused by a catastrophic collision between the Earth and an extra-terrestrial body (bolide). Recently an equally contentious suggestion has been made that mass extinctions have swept the Earth every 26 to 31 million years for at least the last 250 million years-caused by encounters with some kind of extra-terrestrial object such as one of the asteroids or the comets. 

  4. Breeding Young as a Survival Strategy during Earth’s Greatest Mass Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Codron, Daryl; Huttenlocker, Adam K.; Angielczyk, Kenneth D.; Ruta, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Studies of the effects of mass extinctions on ancient ecosystems have focused on changes in taxic diversity, morphological disparity, abundance, behaviour and resource availability as key determinants of group survival. Crucially, the contribution of life history traits to survival during terrestrial mass extinctions has not been investigated, despite the critical role of such traits for population viability. We use bone microstructure and body size data to investigate the palaeoecological implications of changes in life history strategies in the therapsid forerunners of mammals before and after the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction (PTME), the most catastrophic crisis in Phanerozoic history. Our results are consistent with truncated development, shortened life expectancies, elevated mortality rates and higher extinction risks amongst post-extinction species. Various simulations of ecological dynamics indicate that an earlier onset of reproduction leading to shortened generation times could explain the persistence of therapsids in the unpredictable, resource-limited Early Triassic environments, and help explain observed body size distributions of some disaster taxa (e.g., Lystrosaurus). Our study accounts for differential survival in mammal ancestors after the PTME and provides a methodological framework for quantifying survival strategies in other vertebrates during major biotic crises. PMID:27044713

  5. Breeding Young as a Survival Strategy during Earth's Greatest Mass Extinction.

    PubMed

    Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Codron, Daryl; Huttenlocker, Adam K; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Ruta, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Studies of the effects of mass extinctions on ancient ecosystems have focused on changes in taxic diversity, morphological disparity, abundance, behaviour and resource availability as key determinants of group survival. Crucially, the contribution of life history traits to survival during terrestrial mass extinctions has not been investigated, despite the critical role of such traits for population viability. We use bone microstructure and body size data to investigate the palaeoecological implications of changes in life history strategies in the therapsid forerunners of mammals before and after the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction (PTME), the most catastrophic crisis in Phanerozoic history. Our results are consistent with truncated development, shortened life expectancies, elevated mortality rates and higher extinction risks amongst post-extinction species. Various simulations of ecological dynamics indicate that an earlier onset of reproduction leading to shortened generation times could explain the persistence of therapsids in the unpredictable, resource-limited Early Triassic environments, and help explain observed body size distributions of some disaster taxa (e.g., Lystrosaurus). Our study accounts for differential survival in mammal ancestors after the PTME and provides a methodological framework for quantifying survival strategies in other vertebrates during major biotic crises. PMID:27044713

  6. Investigation of ultraviolet interstellar extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Payne, C.; Haramundanis, K. L.

    1973-01-01

    Results concerning interstellar extinction in the ultraviolet are reported. These results were initially obtained by using data from main-sequence stars and were extended to include supergiants and emission stars. The principal finding of the analysis of ultraviolet extinction is not only that it is wavelength dependent, but that if changes with galactic longitude in the U3 passband (lambda sub eff = 1621 A); it does not change significantly in the U2 passband (lambda sub eff = 2308 A). Where data are available in the U4 passband (lambda sub eff = 1537 A), they confirm the rapid rise of extinction in the ultraviolet found by other investigators. However, in all cases, emission stars must be used with great caution. It is important to realize that while extinction continues to rise toward shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet, including the shortest ultraviolet wavelengths measured (1100 A), it no longer plays an important role in the X-ray region (50 A).

  7. What Caused the Mass Extinction?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez, Walter; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Presented are the arguments of two different points of view on the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. Evidence of extraterrestrial impact theory and massive volcanic eruption theory are discussed. (CW)

  8. Small mammals as monitors of environmental contaminants.

    PubMed

    Talmage, S S; Walton, B T

    1991-01-01

    The merit of using small mammals as monitors of environmental contaminants was assessed using data from the published literature. Information was located on 35 species of small mammals from 7 families used to monitor heavy metals, radionuclides, and organic chemicals at mine sites, industrial areas, hazardous and radioactive waste disposal sites, and agricultural and forested land. To document foodchain transfer of chemicals, concentrations in soil, vegetation, and invertebrates, where available, were included. The most commonly trapped North American species were Peromyscus leucopus, Blarina brevicauda, and Microtus pennsylvanicus. In these species, exposure to chemicals was determined from tissue residue analyses, biochemical assays, and cytogenetic assays. Where enough information was available, suitable target tissues, or biological assays for specific chemicals were noted. In general, there was a relationship between concentrations of contaminants in the soil or food, and concentrations in target tissues of several species. This relationship was most obvious for the nonessential heavy metals, cadmium, lead, and mercury and for fluoride. Kidney was the single best tissue for residue analyses of inorganic contaminants. However, bone should be the tissue of choice for both lead and fluorine. Exposure to lead was also successfully documented using biochemical and histopathological endpoints. Bone was the tissue of choice for exposure to 90Sr, whereas muscle was an appropriate tissue for 137Cs. For organic contaminants, exposure endpoints depended on the chemical(s) of concern. Liver and whole-body residue analyses, as well as enzyme changes, organ histology, genotoxicity, and, in one case, population dynamics, were successfully used to document exposure to these contaminants. Based on information in these studies, each species' suitability as a monitor for a specific contaminant or type of contaminant was evaluated and subsequently ranked. A relationship between

  9. Ice-age megafauna in Arctic Alaska: extinction, invasion, survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mann, Daniel H.; Groves, Pamela; Kunz, Michael L.; Reanier, Richard E.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.

    2013-01-01

    Radical restructuring of the terrestrial, large mammal fauna living in arctic Alaska occurred between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Steppe bison, horse, and woolly mammoth became extinct, moose and humans invaded, while muskox and caribou persisted. The ice age megafauna was more diverse in species and possibly contained 6× more individual animals than live in the region today. Megafaunal biomass during the last ice age may have been 30× greater than present. Horse was the dominant species in terms of number of individuals. Lions, short-faced bears, wolves, and possibly grizzly bears comprised the predator/scavenger guild. The youngest mammoth so far discovered lived ca 13,800 years ago, while horses and bison persisted on the North Slope until at least 12,500 years ago during the Younger Dryas cold interval. The first people arrived on the North Slope ca 13,500 years ago. Bone-isotope measurements and foot-loading characteristics suggest megafaunal niches were segregated along a moisture gradient, with the surviving species (muskox and caribou) utilizing the warmer and moister portions of the vegetation mosaic. As the ice age ended, the moisture gradient shifted and eliminated habitats utilized by the dryland, grazing species (bison, horse, mammoth). The proximate cause for this change was regional paludification, the spread of organic soil horizons and peat. End-Pleistocene extinctions in arctic Alaska represent local, not global extinctions since the megafaunal species lost there persisted to later times elsewhere. Hunting seems unlikely as the cause of these extinctions, but it cannot be ruled out as the final blow to megafaunal populations that were already functionally extinct by the time humans arrived in the region.

  10. Ice-age megafauna in Arctic Alaska: extinction, invasion, survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Daniel H.; Groves, Pamela; Kunz, Michael L.; Reanier, Richard E.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.

    2013-06-01

    Radical restructuring of the terrestrial, large mammal fauna living in arctic Alaska occurred between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Steppe bison, horse, and woolly mammoth became extinct, moose and humans invaded, while muskox and caribou persisted. The ice age megafauna was more diverse in species and possibly contained 6× more individual animals than live in the region today. Megafaunal biomass during the last ice age may have been 30× greater than present. Horse was the dominant species in terms of number of individuals. Lions, short-faced bears, wolves, and possibly grizzly bears comprised the predator/scavenger guild. The youngest mammoth so far discovered lived ca 13,800 years ago, while horses and bison persisted on the North Slope until at least 12,500 years ago during the Younger Dryas cold interval. The first people arrived on the North Slope ca 13,500 years ago. Bone-isotope measurements and foot-loading characteristics suggest megafaunal niches were segregated along a moisture gradient, with the surviving species (muskox and caribou) utilizing the warmer and moister portions of the vegetation mosaic. As the ice age ended, the moisture gradient shifted and eliminated habitats utilized by the dryland, grazing species (bison, horse, mammoth). The proximate cause for this change was regional paludification, the spread of organic soil horizons and peat. End-Pleistocene extinctions in arctic Alaska represent local, not global extinctions since the megafaunal species lost there persisted to later times elsewhere. Hunting seems unlikely as the cause of these extinctions, but it cannot be ruled out as the final blow to megafaunal populations that were already functionally extinct by the time humans arrived in the region.

  11. The perils of picky eating: dietary breadth is related to extinction risk in insectivorous bats.

    PubMed

    Boyles, Justin G; Storm, Jonathan J

    2007-01-01

    Several recent papers evaluate the relationship between ecological characteristics and extinction risk in bats. These studies report that extinction risk is negatively related to geographic range size and positively related to habitat specialization. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that extinction risk is also related to dietary specialization in insectivorous vespertilionid bats using both traditional and phylogenetically-controlled analysis of variance. We collected dietary data and The World Conservation Union (IUCN) rankings for 44 Australian, European, and North American bat species. Our results indicate that species of conservation concern (IUCN ranking near threatened or above) are more likely to have a specialized diet than are species of least concern. Additional analyses show that dietary breadth is not correlated to geographic range size or wing morphology, characteristics previously found to correlate with extinction risk. Therefore, there is likely a direct relationship between dietary specialization and extinction risk; however, the large variation in dietary breadth within species of least concern suggests that diet alone cannot explain extinction risk. Our results may have important implications for the development of predictive models of extinction risk and for the assignment of extinction risk to insectivorous bat species. Similar analyses should be conducted on additional bat families to assess the generality of this relationship between niche breadth and extinction risk. PMID:17653286

  12. The Sixth Great Mass Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagler, Ron

    2012-01-01

    Five past great mass extinctions have occurred during Earth's history. Humanity is currently in the midst of a sixth, human-induced great mass extinction of plant and animal life (e.g., Alroy 2008; Jackson 2008; Lewis 2006; McDaniel and Borton 2002; Rockstrom et al. 2009; Rohr et al. 2008; Steffen, Crutzen, and McNeill 2007; Thomas et al. 2004;…

  13. Series cell light extinction monitor

    DOEpatents

    Novick, Vincent J.

    1990-01-01

    A method and apparatus for using the light extinction measurements from two or more light cells positioned along a gasflow chamber in which the gas volumetric rate is known to determine particle number concentration and mass concentration of an aerosol independent of extinction coefficient and to determine estimates for particle size and mass concentrations. The invention is independent of particle size. This invention has application to measurements made during a severe nuclear reactor fuel damage test.

  14. Magnetic reversals and mass extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1985-01-01

    The results of a study of reversals of the earth's magnetic field over the past 165 Myr are presented. A stationary periodicity of 30 Myr emerges which predicts pulses of increased reversal activity centered at 10, 40, 70, . . . Myr before the present. The correlation between the reversal intensity and biological extinctions is examined, and a nontrivial discrepancy is found between the magnetic and extinction periodicity.

  15. Extinction, Relapse, and Behavioral Momentum

    PubMed Central

    Podlesnik, Christopher A.; Shahan, Timothy A.

    2010-01-01

    Previous experiments on behavioral momentum have shown that relative resistance to extinction of operant behavior in the presence of a discriminative stimulus depends upon the baseline rate or magnitude of reinforcement associated with that stimulus (i.e., the Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relation). Recently, we have shown that relapse of operant behavior in reinstatement, resurgence, and context renewal preparations also is a function of baseline stimulus-reinforcer relations. In this paper we present new data examining the role of baseline stimulus-reinforcer relations on resistance to extinction and relapse using a variety of baseline training conditions and relapse operations. Furthermore, we evaluate the adequacy of a behavioral-momentum based model in accounting for the results. The model suggests that relapse occurs as a result of a decrease in the disruptive impact of extinction precipitated by a change in circumstances associated with extinction, and that the degree of relapse is a function of the pre-extinction baseline Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relation. Across experiments, relative resistance to extinction and relapse were greater in the presence of stimuli associated with more favorable conditions of reinforcement and were positively related to one another. In addition, the model did a good job in accounting for these effects. Thus, behavioral momentum theory may provide a useful quantitative approach for characterizing how differential reinforcement conditions contribute to relapse of operant behavior. PMID:20152889

  16. Extinction, relapse, and behavioral momentum.

    PubMed

    Podlesnik, Christopher A; Shahan, Timothy A

    2010-05-01

    Previous experiments on behavioral momentum have shown that relative resistance to extinction of operant behavior in the presence of a discriminative stimulus depends upon the baseline rate or magnitude of reinforcement associated with that stimulus (i.e., the Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relation). Recently, we have shown that relapse of operant behavior in reinstatement, resurgence, and context renewal preparations also is a function of baseline stimulus-reinforcer relations. In this paper we present new data examining the role of baseline stimulus-reinforcer relations on resistance to extinction and relapse using a variety of baseline training conditions and relapse operations. Furthermore, we evaluate the adequacy of a behavioral momentum based model in accounting for the results. The model suggests that relapse occurs as a result of a decrease in the disruptive impact of extinction precipitated by a change in circumstances associated with extinction, and that the degree of relapse is a function of the pre-extinction baseline Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relation. Across experiments, relative resistance to extinction and relapse were greater in the presence of stimuli associated with more favorable conditions of reinforcement and were positively related to one another. In addition, the model did a good job in accounting for these effects. Thus, behavioral momentum theory may provide a useful quantitative approach for characterizing how differential reinforcement conditions contribute to relapse of operant behavior. PMID:20152889

  17. Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations.

    PubMed

    McCreless, Erin E; Huff, David D; Croll, Donald A; Tershy, Bernie R; Spatz, Dena R; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Wilcox, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 41-75% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies. PMID:27535095

  18. Past and estimated future impact of invasive alien mammals on insular threatened vertebrate populations

    PubMed Central

    McCreless, Erin E.; Huff, David D.; Croll, Donald A.; Tershy, Bernie R.; Spatz, Dena R.; Holmes, Nick D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Wilcox, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals on islands pose severe, ongoing threats to global biodiversity. However, the severity of threats from different mammals, and the role of interacting biotic and abiotic factors in driving extinctions, remain poorly understood at a global scale. Here we model global extirpation patterns for island populations of threatened and extinct vertebrates. Extirpations are driven by interacting factors including invasive rats, cats, pigs, mustelids and mongooses, native species taxonomic class and volancy, island size, precipitation and human presence. We show that controlling or eradicating the relevant invasive mammals could prevent 41–75% of predicted future extirpations. The magnitude of benefits varies across species and environments; for example, managing invasive mammals on small, dry islands could halve the extirpation risk for highly threatened birds and mammals, while doing so on large, wet islands may have little benefit. Our results provide quantitative estimates of conservation benefits and, when combined with costs in a return-on-investment framework, can guide efficient conservation strategies. PMID:27535095

  19. C-values of seven marine mammal species determined by flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Du, Bo; Wang, Ding

    2006-11-01

    C-values, which estimate genome size, have puzzled geneticists for years because they bear no relationship to organismal complexity. Though C-values have been estimated for thousands of species, considerably more data are required in order to better understanding genome evolution. This is particularly true for mammals, in which C-values are known for less than 8% of the total number of mammalian species. Among marine mammals, a C-value has been estimated only for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Thus examination of additional species of marine mammals is necessary for comparative purposes. It will enable a better understanding of marine mammal genome evolution, and it is also relevant to conservation, because larger genome size has been linked to increased likelihood of extinction in some plant and animal groups. Our study presents C-values of seven marine mammal species, including five cetacean species that are endangered to varying degrees. Similarly to the results for other groups, our results suggest that larger genome size in cetaceans is related to an increased likelihood of extinction. PMID:17189914

  20. Where and How Are Roads Endangering Mammals in Southeast Asia's Forests?

    PubMed Central

    Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Lynam, Antony J.; Gaveau, David; Yap, Wei Lim; Lhota, Stanislav; Goosem, Miriam; Laurance, Susan; Laurance, William F.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and overhunting are two major drivers of mammal population declines and extinctions in tropical forests. The construction of roads can be a catalyst for these two threats. In Southeast Asia, the impacts of roads on mammals have not been well-documented at a regional scale. Before evidence-based conservation strategies can be developed to minimize the threat of roads to endangered mammals within this region, we first need to locate where and how roads are contributing to the conversion of their habitats and illegal hunting in each country. We interviewed 36 experts involved in mammal research from seven Southeast Asian countries to identify roads that are contributing the most, in their opinion, to habitat conversion and illegal hunting. Our experts highlighted 16 existing and eight planned roads - these potentially threaten 21% of the 117 endangered terrestrial mammals in those countries. Apart from gathering qualitative evidence from the literature to assess their claims, we demonstrate how species-distribution models, satellite imagery and animal-sign surveys can be used to provide quantitative evidence of roads causing impacts by (1) cutting through habitats where endangered mammals are likely to occur, (2) intensifying forest conversion, and (3) contributing to illegal hunting and wildlife trade. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to identify specific roads threatening endangered mammals in Southeast Asia. Further through highlighting the impacts of roads, we propose 10 measures to limit road impacts in the region. PMID:25521297

  1. A new symmetrodont mammal from China and its implications for mammalian evolution.

    PubMed

    Hu, Y; Wang, Y; Luo, Z; Li, C

    1997-11-13

    A new symmetrodont mammal has been discovered in the Mesozoic era (Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous period) of Liaoning Province, China. Archaic therian mammals, including symmetrodonts, are extinct relatives of the living marsupial and placental therians. However, these archaic therians have been mostly documented by fragmentary fossils. This newfossil taxon, represented by a nearly complete postcranial skeleton and a partial skull with dentition, is the best-preserved symmetrodont mammal yet discovered. It provides a new insight into the relationships of the major lineages of mammals and the evolution of the mammalian skeleton. Our analysis suggests that this new taxon represents a part of the early therian radiation before the divergence of living marsupials and placentals; that therians and multituberculates are more closely related to each other than either group is to other mammalian lineages; that archaic therians lacked the more parasagittal posture of the forelimb of most living therian mammals; and that archaic therians, such as symmetrodonts, retained the primitive feature of a finger-like promontorium (possibly with a straight cochlea) of the non-therian mammals. The fully coiled cochlea evolved later in more derived therian mammals, and is therefore convergent to the partially coiled cochlea of monotremes. PMID:9367151

  2. Where and how are roads endangering mammals in Southeast Asia's forests?

    PubMed

    Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Lynam, Antony J; Gaveau, David; Yap, Wei Lim; Lhota, Stanislav; Goosem, Miriam; Laurance, Susan; Laurance, William F

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and overhunting are two major drivers of mammal population declines and extinctions in tropical forests. The construction of roads can be a catalyst for these two threats. In Southeast Asia, the impacts of roads on mammals have not been well-documented at a regional scale. Before evidence-based conservation strategies can be developed to minimize the threat of roads to endangered mammals within this region, we first need to locate where and how roads are contributing to the conversion of their habitats and illegal hunting in each country. We interviewed 36 experts involved in mammal research from seven Southeast Asian countries to identify roads that are contributing the most, in their opinion, to habitat conversion and illegal hunting. Our experts highlighted 16 existing and eight planned roads - these potentially threaten 21% of the 117 endangered terrestrial mammals in those countries. Apart from gathering qualitative evidence from the literature to assess their claims, we demonstrate how species-distribution models, satellite imagery and animal-sign surveys can be used to provide quantitative evidence of roads causing impacts by (1) cutting through habitats where endangered mammals are likely to occur, (2) intensifying forest conversion, and (3) contributing to illegal hunting and wildlife trade. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to identify specific roads threatening endangered mammals in Southeast Asia. Further through highlighting the impacts of roads, we propose 10 measures to limit road impacts in the region. PMID:25521297

  3. The phylogenetic affinities of the extinct glyptodonts.

    PubMed

    Delsuc, Frédéric; Gibb, Gillian C; Kuch, Melanie; Billet, Guillaume; Hautier, Lionel; Southon, John; Rouillard, Jean-Marie; Fernicola, Juan Carlos; Vizcaíno, Sergio F; MacPhee, Ross D E; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-02-22

    Among the fossils of hitherto unknown mammals that Darwin collected in South America between 1832 and 1833 during the Beagle expedition were examples of the large, heavily armored herbivores later known as glyptodonts. Ever since, glyptodonts have fascinated evolutionary biologists because of their remarkable skeletal adaptations and seemingly isolated phylogenetic position even within their natural group, the cingulate xenarthrans (armadillos and their allies). In possessing a carapace comprised of fused osteoderms, the glyptodonts were clearly related to other cingulates, but their precise phylogenetic position as suggested by morphology remains unresolved. To provide a molecular perspective on this issue, we designed sequence-capture baits using in silico reconstructed ancestral sequences and successfully assembled the complete mitochondrial genome of Doedicurus sp., one of the largest glyptodonts. Our phylogenetic reconstructions establish that glyptodonts are in fact deeply nested within the armadillo crown-group, representing a distinct subfamily (Glyptodontinae) within family Chlamyphoridae. Molecular dating suggests that glyptodonts diverged no earlier than around 35 million years ago, in good agreement with their fossil record. Our results highlight the derived nature of the glyptodont morphotype, one aspect of which is a spectacular increase in body size until their extinction at the end of the last ice age. PMID:26906483

  4. Evolutionary and preservational constraints on origins of biologic groups: divergence times of eutherian mammals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foote, M.; Hunter, J. P.; Janis, C. M.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr

    1999-01-01

    Some molecular clock estimates of divergence times of taxonomic groups undergoing evolutionary radiation are much older than the groups' first observed fossil record. Mathematical models of branching evolution are used to estimate the maximal rate of fossil preservation consistent with a postulated missing history, given the sum of species durations implied by early origins under a range of species origination and extinction rates. The plausibility of postulated divergence times depends on origination, extinction, and preservation rates estimated from the fossil record. For eutherian mammals, this approach suggests that it is unlikely that many modern orders arose much earlier than their oldest fossil records.

  5. Thermal Transgressions and Phanerozoic Extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worsley, T. R.; Kidder, D. L.

    2007-12-01

    A number of significant Phanerozoic extinctions are associated with marine transgressions that were probably driven by rapid ocean warming. The conditions associated with what we call thermal transgressions are extremely stressful to life on Earth. The Earth system setting associated with end-Permian extinction exemplifies an end-member case of our model. The conditions favoring extreme warmth and sea-level increases driven by thermal expansion are also conducive to changes in ocean circulation that foster widespread anoxia and sulfidic subsurface ocean waters. Equable climates are characterized by reduced wind shear and weak surface ocean circulation. Late Permian and Early Triassic thermohaline circulation differs considerably from today's world, with minimal polar sinking and intensified mid-latitude sinking that delivers sulfate from shallow evaporative areas to deeper water where it is reduced to sulfide. Reduced nutrient input to oceans from land at many of the extinction intervals results from diminished silicate weathering and weakened delivery of iron via eolian dust. The falloff in iron-bearing dust leads to minimal nitrate production, weakening food webs and rendering faunas and floras more susceptible to extinction when stressed. Factors such as heat, anoxia, ocean acidification, hypercapnia, and hydrogen sulfide poisoning would significantly affect these biotas. Intervals of tectonic quiescence set up preconditions favoring extinctions. Reductions in chemical silicate weathering lead to carbon dioxide buildup, oxygen drawdown, nutrient depletion, wind and ocean current abatement, long-term global warming, and ocean acidification. The effects of extinction triggers such as large igneous provinces, bolide impacts, and episodes of sudden methane release are more potent against the backdrop of our proposed preconditions. Extinctions that have characteristics we call for in the thermal transgressions include the Early Cambrian Sinsk event, as well as

  6. Major Patterns in the History of Carnivorous Mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    The history of carnivorous mammals is characterized by a series of rise-and-fall patterns of diversification in which declining clades are replaced by phylogenetically distinct but functionally similar clades. Seven such examples from the last 46 million years are described for North America and Eurasia. In three of the seven turnover events, competition with replacement taxa may have driven the decline of formerly dominant taxa. In the remaining four this is less likely because inferred functional similarity was minimal during the interval of temporal overlap between clades. However, competition still may have been important in producing the rise-and-fall pattern through suppression of evolution within replacement taxa; as long as the large carnivore ecospace was filled, the radiation of new taxa into that ecospace was limited, only occurring after the extinction of the incumbents. The apparently inevitable decline of incumbent taxa may reflect the tendency for clades of large carnivorous mammals to produce more specialized species as they mature, leading to increased vulnerability to extinction when environments change.

  7. Millennial-scale faunal record reveals differential resilience of European large mammals to human impacts across the Holocene

    PubMed Central

    Crees, Jennifer J.; Carbone, Chris; Sommer, Robert S.; Benecke, Norbert; Turvey, Samuel T.

    2016-01-01

    The use of short-term indicators for understanding patterns and processes of biodiversity loss can mask longer-term faunal responses to human pressures. We use an extensive database of approximately 18 700 mammalian zooarchaeological records for the last 11 700 years across Europe to reconstruct spatio-temporal dynamics of Holocene range change for 15 large-bodied mammal species. European mammals experienced protracted, non-congruent range losses, with significant declines starting in some species approximately 3000 years ago and continuing to the present, and with the timing, duration and magnitude of declines varying individually between species. Some European mammals became globally extinct during the Holocene, whereas others experienced limited or no significant range change. These findings demonstrate the relatively early onset of prehistoric human impacts on postglacial biodiversity, and mirror species-specific patterns of mammalian extinction during the Late Pleistocene. Herbivores experienced significantly greater declines than carnivores, revealing an important historical extinction filter that informs our understanding of relative resilience and vulnerability to human pressures for different taxa. We highlight the importance of large-scale, long-term datasets for understanding complex protracted extinction processes, although the dynamic pattern of progressive faunal depletion of European mammal assemblages across the Holocene challenges easy identification of ‘static’ past baselines to inform current-day environmental management and restoration. PMID:27009229

  8. Millennial-scale faunal record reveals differential resilience of European large mammals to human impacts across the Holocene.

    PubMed

    Crees, Jennifer J; Carbone, Chris; Sommer, Robert S; Benecke, Norbert; Turvey, Samuel T

    2016-03-30

    The use of short-term indicators for understanding patterns and processes of biodiversity loss can mask longer-term faunal responses to human pressures. We use an extensive database of approximately 18 700 mammalian zooarchaeological records for the last 11 700 years across Europe to reconstruct spatio-temporal dynamics of Holocene range change for 15 large-bodied mammal species. European mammals experienced protracted, non-congruent range losses, with significant declines starting in some species approximately 3000 years ago and continuing to the present, and with the timing, duration and magnitude of declines varying individually between species. Some European mammals became globally extinct during the Holocene, whereas others experienced limited or no significant range change. These findings demonstrate the relatively early onset of prehistoric human impacts on postglacial biodiversity, and mirror species-specific patterns of mammalian extinction during the Late Pleistocene. Herbivores experienced significantly greater declines than carnivores, revealing an important historical extinction filter that informs our understanding of relative resilience and vulnerability to human pressures for different taxa. We highlight the importance of large-scale, long-term datasets for understanding complex protracted extinction processes, although the dynamic pattern of progressive faunal depletion of European mammal assemblages across the Holocene challenges easy identification of 'static' past baselines to inform current-day environmental management and restoration. PMID:27009229

  9. Late Quaternary Megafaunal Extinctions in Northern Eurasia: Latest Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, Anthony

    2010-05-01

    Anthony J. Stuart1 & Adrian M. Lister2 1 Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK. Email: tony.s@megafauna.org.uk 2 Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Email: a.lister@nhm.ac.uk. The global extinction of many spectacular species of megafauna (large terrestrial mammals, together with a few large reptiles and birds) within the last c. 50,000 years (Late Quaternary) has been attributed on the one hand to ‘overkill' by human hunters and on the other to environmental change. However, in spite of more than half a century of active interest and research the issue remains unresolved, largely because there are insufficient dated records of megafaunal species for most parts of the world. Northern Eurasia is an especially fruitful region in which to research megafaunal extinctions as it has a wealth of megafaunal material and crucially most extinctions occurred well within the range of radiocarbon dating. Our approach, in a series of projects over the last decade funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), involves amassing radiocarbon dates made directly on megafaunal material from across the entire region: a) by submitting a substantial number of samples (so far c. 500 dates) for AMS dating at Oxford (ORAU); b) obtaining AMS dates from colleagues working on aDNA projects; and c) carefully screening (‘auditing') dates from the literature. The dates (calibrated using OxCal) are plotted as time-sliced maps and as chronological/geographical charts. In our previous work we targeted a range of extinct species from Northern Eurasia: woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, giant deer, cave bear (in collaboration with Martina Pacher), cave lion, and spotted hyaena (which survives today only in Sub-Saharan Africa). By this means we have established a reliable chronology for these extinctions which we are able to compare with the climatic, vegetational and

  10. Multispectral observations of marine mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoonmaker, Jon; Dirbas, Joseph; Podobna, Yuliya; Wells, Tami; Boucher, Cynthia; Oakley, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    Multispectral visible and infrared observations of various species of whales were made in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Quebec, Canada and Papawai Point in Maui, Hawaii. The Multi-mission Adaptable Narrowband Imaging System (MANTIS) was deployed in two configurations: airborne looking down, and bluff mounted looking at low-grazing angles. An Infrared (IR) sensor was also deployed in the bluff mounted configuration. Detections of marine mammals were made with these systems of submerged mammals and surface mammals at ranges up to 8 miles. Automatic detection algorithms are being explored to detect, track and monitor the behavior of individuals and pods of whales. This effort is part of a United States Navy effort to insure that marine mammals are not injured during the testing of the US Navy's acoustic Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) systems.

  11. Contrasting coloration in terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Here I survey, collate and synthesize contrasting coloration in 5000 species of terrestrial mammals focusing on black and white pelage. After briefly reviewing alternative functional hypotheses for coloration in mammals, I examine nine colour patterns and combinations on different areas of the body and for each mammalian taxon to try to identify the most likely evolutionary drivers of contrasting coloration. Aposematism and perhaps conspecific signalling are the most consistent explanations for black and white pelage in mammals; background matching may explain white pelage. Evidence for contrasting coloration is being involved in crypsis through pattern blending, disruptive coloration or serving other functions, such as signalling dominance, lures, reducing eye glare or in temperature regulation has barely moved beyond anecdotal stages of investigation. Sexual dichromatism is limited in this taxon and its basis is unclear. Astonishingly, the functional significance of pelage coloration in most large charismatic black and white mammals that were new to science 150 years ago still remains a mystery. PMID:18990666

  12. Spatial and temporal extinction dynamics in a freshwater cetacean.

    PubMed

    Turvey, Samuel T; Barrett, Leigh A; Hart, Tom; Collen, Ben; Yujiang, Hao; Lei, Zhang; Xinqiao, Zhang; Xianyan, Wang; Yadong, Huang; Kaiya, Zhou; Ding, Wang

    2010-10-22

    Geographical range contraction is a fundamental ecological characteristic of species population decline, but relatively little investigation has been conducted into general trends in the dynamic properties of range collapse. The Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), probably the first large mammal species to have become extinct in over 50 years, was believed to have experienced major range collapse during its decline through progressive large-scale range contraction and fragmentation. This range-collapse model is challenged by a new dataset of 406 baiji last-sighting records collected from across the baiji's historical range during an interview survey of Yangtze fishing communities. Although baiji regional abundance may have varied across its range, analyses of the extensive new sighting series provide comprehensive evidence that baiji population decline was not associated with any major contraction in geographical range across the middle-lower Yangtze drainage, even in the decade immediately before probable global extinction of the species. Extinction risk in baiji was therefore seemingly not related to evidence of range collapse. Baiji apparently underwent large-scale periodic and seasonal movements across their range, and we propose that range contraction and fragmentation may not be general biogeographic characteristics for declining populations of mobile species in connected landscapes. PMID:20484234

  13. Interstellar Extinction Toward Young Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McJunkin, Matthew; France, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We present work on a molecular hydrogen (H2) fluorescence model to characterize the ultraviolet (UV) extinction curve along the line of sight towards young stars with circumstellar disks. Stellar UV radiation plays a strong role in heating the disk gas and driving chemical reactions, so it is important to measure the UV extinction curve in order to reconstruct the intrinsic stellar UV flux impacting the disk. To measure the extinction, we compare modeled H2 fluorescence spectra to observed H2 lines. Lyman-alpha radiation from the stars pumps electronic transitions of H2 in the disk, and we model the flux that is re-emitted through the subsequent fluorescent cascade. We then extract the extinction along the line-of-sight over the 1100-1700 Angstrom wavelength region from the difference between the modeled H2 fluorescence and the HST-COS data. The shape of the extinction curve allows us to characterize the dust grain distribution in the intervening material as well as to recover the intrinsic spectral energy distribution of the stars over a wide wavelength range.

  14. The extinction of the dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Barrett, Paul M; Carrano, Matthew T; Evans, David C; Lloyd, Graeme T; Mannion, Philip D; Norell, Mark A; Peppe, Daniel J; Upchurch, Paul; Williamson, Thomas E

    2015-05-01

    Non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, geologically coincident with the impact of a large bolide (comet or asteroid) during an interval of massive volcanic eruptions and changes in temperature and sea level. There has long been fervent debate about how these events affected dinosaurs. We review a wealth of new data accumulated over the past two decades, provide updated and novel analyses of long-term dinosaur diversity trends during the latest Cretaceous, and discuss an emerging consensus on the extinction's tempo and causes. Little support exists for a global, long-term decline across non-avian dinosaur diversity prior to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. However, restructuring of latest Cretaceous dinosaur faunas in North America led to reduced diversity of large-bodied herbivores, perhaps making communities more susceptible to cascading extinctions. The abruptness of the dinosaur extinction suggests a key role for the bolide impact, although the coarseness of the fossil record makes testing the effects of Deccan volcanism difficult. PMID:25065505

  15. Flood basalts and extinction events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    1993-01-01

    The largest known effusive eruptions during the Cenozoic and Mesozoic Eras, the voluminous flood basalts, have long been suspected as being associated with major extinctions of biotic species. Despite the possible errors attached to the dates in both time series of events, the significance level of the suspected correlation is found here to be 1 percent to 4 percent. Statistically, extinctions lag eruptions by a mean time interval that is indistinguishable from zero, being much less than the average residual derived from the correlation analysis. Oceanic flood basalts, however, must have had a different biological impact, which is still uncertain owing to the small number of known examples and differing physical factors. Although not all continental flood basalts can have produced major extinction events, the noncorrelating eruptions may have led to smaller marine extinction events that terminated at least some of the less catastrophically ending geologic stages. Consequently, the 26 Myr quasi-periodicity seen in major marine extinctions may be only a sampling effect, rather than a manifestation of underlying periodicity.

  16. Flood basalts and mass extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgan, W. Jason

    1988-01-01

    There appears to be a correlation between the times of flood basalts and mass-extinction events. There is a correlation of flood basalts and hotspot tracks--flood basalts appear to mark the beginning of a new hotspot. Perhaps there is an initial instability in the mantle that bursts forth as a flood basalt but then becomes a steady trickle that persists for many tens of millions of years. Suppose that flood basalts and not impacts cause the environmental changes that lead to mass-extinctions. This is a very testable hypothesis: it predicts that the ages of the flows should agree exactly with the times of extinctions. The Deccan and K-T ages agree with this hypothesis; An iridium anomaly at extinction boundaries apparently can be explained by a scaled-up eruption of the Hawaiian type; the occurrence of shocked-quartz is more of a problem. However if the flood basalts are all well dated and their ages indeed agree with extinction times, then surely some mechanism to appropriately produce shocked-quartz will be found.

  17. Conservation breeding as a tool for saving animal species from extinction.

    PubMed

    Ebenhard, T

    1995-11-01

    For nearly 3000 taxa of birds and mammals, conservation breeding may be the only possible way to avoid extinction. Today, less than 100 of these taxa have self-sustaining captive populations, and even fewer have been selected for reintroduction programmes. However, recent developments in our theoretical understanding of conservation breeding, as well as in its practical application, and global organization, raise hopes for the future. PMID:21237098

  18. Retrieval and Reconsolidation Accounts of Fear Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Zhuravka, Irina; Poulos, Andrew M.; Shobe, Justin; Merjanian, Michael; Huang, Jeannie; Wolvek, David; O’Neill, Pia-Kelsey; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction is the primary mode for the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, extinction memories are prone to relapse. For example, fear is likely to return when a prolonged time period intervenes between extinction and a subsequent encounter with the fear-provoking stimulus (spontaneous recovery). Therefore there is considerable interest in the development of procedures that strengthen extinction and to prevent such recovery of fear. We contrasted two procedures in rats that have been reported to cause such deepened extinction. One where extinction begins before the initial consolidation of fear memory begins (immediate extinction) and another where extinction begins after a brief exposure to the consolidated fear stimulus. The latter is thought to open a period of memory vulnerability similar to that which occurs during initial consolidation (reconsolidation update). We also included a standard extinction treatment and a control procedure that reversed the brief exposure and extinction phases. Spontaneous recovery was only found with the standard extinction treatment. In a separate experiment we tested fear shortly after extinction (i.e., within 6 h). All extinction procedures, except reconsolidation update reduced fear at this short-term test. The findings suggest that strengthened extinction can result from alteration in both retrieval and consolidation processes. PMID:27242459

  19. 50 CFR 18.25 - Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 18.25 Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products. (a) The provisions of the Act and these regulations shall not apply:...

  20. 50 CFR 18.25 - Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 18.25 Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products. (a) The provisions of the Act and these regulations shall not apply:...

  1. 50 CFR 216.25 - Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 216.25 Exempted marine mammals and marine...

  2. 50 CFR 216.25 - Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 216.25 Exempted marine mammals and marine...

  3. 50 CFR 216.25 - Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 216.25 Exempted marine mammals and marine...

  4. 50 CFR 18.25 - Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 18.25 Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products. (a) The provisions of the Act and these regulations shall not apply:...

  5. 50 CFR 216.25 - Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 216.25 Exempted marine mammals and marine...

  6. 50 CFR 216.25 - Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals and marine mammal... AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 216.25 Exempted marine mammals and marine...

  7. 50 CFR 18.25 - Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 18.25 Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products. (a) The provisions of the Act and these regulations shall not apply:...

  8. 50 CFR 18.25 - Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS General Exceptions § 18.25 Exempted marine mammals or marine mammal products. (a) The provisions of the Act and these regulations shall not apply:...

  9. Infectious disease, endangerment, and extinction.

    PubMed

    Macphee, Ross D E; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-01-01

    Infectious disease, especially virulent infectious disease, is commonly regarded as a cause of fluctuation or decline in biological populations. However, it is not generally considered as a primary factor in causing the actual endangerment or extinction of species. We review here the known historical examples in which disease has, or has been assumed to have had, a major deleterious impact on animal species, including extinction, and highlight some recent cases in which disease is the chief suspect in causing the outright endangerment of particular species. We conclude that the role of disease in historical extinctions at the population or species level may have been underestimated. Recent methodological breakthroughs may lead to a better understanding of the past and present roles of infectious disease in influencing population fitness and other parameters. PMID:23401844

  10. Speeding up spontaneous disease extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khasin, Michael

    2012-02-01

    The dynamics of epidemic in a susceptible population is affected both by the random character of interactions between the individuals and by environmental variations. As a consequence, the sizes of the population groups (infected, susceptible, etc.) fluctuate in the course of evolution of the epidemic. In a small community a rare large fluctuation in the number of infected can result in extinction of the disease. We suggest a novel paradigm of controlling the epidemic, where the control field, such as vaccination, is designed to maximize the rate of spontaneous disease extinction. We show that, for a limited-scope vaccination, the optimal vaccination protocol and its impact on the epidemics have universal features: (i) the vaccine must be applied in pulses, (ii) the spontaneous disease extinction is synchronized with the vaccination. We trace this universality to general properties of the response of large fluctuations to external perturbations.

  11. Infectious Disease, Endangerment, and Extinction

    PubMed Central

    MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Infectious disease, especially virulent infectious disease, is commonly regarded as a cause of fluctuation or decline in biological populations. However, it is not generally considered as a primary factor in causing the actual endangerment or extinction of species. We review here the known historical examples in which disease has, or has been assumed to have had, a major deleterious impact on animal species, including extinction, and highlight some recent cases in which disease is the chief suspect in causing the outright endangerment of particular species. We conclude that the role of disease in historical extinctions at the population or species level may have been underestimated. Recent methodological breakthroughs may lead to a better understanding of the past and present roles of infectious disease in influencing population fitness and other parameters. PMID:23401844

  12. The atmospheric extinction of light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Stephen W.; Cowley, Michael; Powell, Sean; Carroll, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    An experiment is described that enables students to understand the properties of atmospheric extinction due to Rayleigh scattering. The experiment requires the use of red, green and blue lasers attached to a travelling microscope or similar device. The laser beams are passed through an artificial atmosphere, made from milky water, at varying depths, before impinging on either a light meter or a photodiode integral to a Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC. A plot of measured spectral intensity verses depth reveals the contribution Rayleigh scattering has to the extinction coefficient. For the experiment with the light meter, the extinction coefficients for red, green and blue light in the milky sample of water were 0.27, 0.36 and 0.47 cm-1 respectively and 0.032, 0.037 and 0.092 cm-1 for the Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC.

  13. Geomolecular Dating and the Origin of Placental Mammals.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Matthew J

    2016-05-01

    In modern evolutionary divergence analysis the role of geological information extends beyond providing a timescale, to informing molecular rate variation across the tree. Here I consider the implications of this development. I use fossil calibrations to test the accuracy of models of molecular rate evolution for placental mammals, and reveal substantial misspecification associated with life history rate correlates. Adding further calibrations to reduce dating errors at specific nodes unfortunately tends to transfer underlying rate errors to adjacent branches. Thus, tight calibration across the tree is vital to buffer against rate model errors. I argue that this must include allowing maximum bounds to be tight when good fossil records permit, otherwise divergences deep in the tree will tend to be inflated by the interaction of rate errors and asymmetric confidence in minimum and maximum bounds. In the case of placental mammals I sought to reduce the potential for transferring calibration and rate model errors across the tree by focusing on well-supported calibrations with appropriately conservative maximum bounds. The resulting divergence estimates are younger than others published recently, and provide the long-anticipated molecular signature for the placental mammal radiation observed in the fossil record near the 66 Ma Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. PMID:26658702

  14. Limitations on K-T mass extinction theories based upon the vertebrate record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Archibald, J. David; Bryant, Laurie J.

    1988-01-01

    Theories of extinction are only as good as the patterns of extinction that they purport to explain. Often such patterns are ignored. For the terminal Cretaceous events, different groups of organisms in different environments show different patterns of extinction that to date cannot be explained by a single causal mechanism. Several patterns of extinction (and/or preservational bias) can be observed for the various groups of vertebrates from the uppermost Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation and lower Paleocene Tullock Formation in eastern Montana. The taxonomic level at which the percentage of survivals (or extinctions) is calculated will have an effect upon the perception of faunal turnover. In addition to the better known mammals and better publicized dinosaurs, there are almost 60 additional species of reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish in the HELL Creek Formation. Simple arithmetic suggests only 33 percent survival of these vertebrates from the Hell Creek Fm. into the Tullock Fm. A more critical examination of the data shows that almost all Hell Creek species not found in the Tullock are represented in one of the following categories; extremely rare forms, elasmobranch fish that underwent rapid speciation taxa that although not known or rare in the Tullock, are found elsewhere. Each of the categories is largely the result of the following biases: taphonomy, ecological differences, taxonomic artifact paleogeography. The two most important factors appear to be the possible taphonomic biases and the taxonomic artifacts. The extinction patterns among the vertebrates do not appear to be attributable to any single cause, catastrophic or otherwise.

  15. ALE: Astronomical LIDAR for Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Peter C.; McGraw, J. T.; Gimmestad, G.; Roberts, D.; Stewart, J.; Dawsey, M.; Fitch, J.; Smith, J.; Townsend, A.; Black, B.

    2006-12-01

    The primary impediment to precision all-sky photometry is the scattering or absorption of incoming starlight by the aerosols suspended in, and the molecules of, the Earth's atmosphere. The University of New Mexico (UNM) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are currently developing the Astronomical LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) for Extinction (ALE), which is undergoing final integration and initial calibration at UNM. ALE is based upon a 527nm laser operated at a pulse repetition rate of 1500 pps, and rendered eyesafe by expanding its beam through a 32cm diameter transmitter. The alt-az mounted ALE will operate in multiple modes, including mapping the sky to obtain a quantitative measurement of extinction sources, measuring a monochromatic extinction coefficient by producing Langely plots, and monitoring extinction in the direction in which a telescope is observing. A primary goal is to use the Rayleigh scattered LIDAR return from air above 20km as a quasi-constant illumination source. Air above this altitude is generally free from aerosols and the variations in density are relatively constant over intervals of a few minutes. When measured at several zenith angles, the integrated line-of-sight extinction can be obtained from a simple model fit of these returns. The 69 microjoule exit pulse power and 0.6m aperture receiver will allow ALE to collect approximately one million photons per minute from above 20km, enough to enable measurements of the monochromatic vertical extinction to better than 1% under photometric conditions. Along the way, ALE will also provide a plethora of additional information about the vertical and horizontal distributions of low-lying aerosols, dust or smoke in the free troposphere, and high cirrus, as well as detect the passage of boundary layer atmospheric gravity waves. This project is funded by NSF Grant 0421087.

  16. The galactic cycle of extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillman, Michael; Erenler, Hilary

    2008-01-01

    Global extinction and geological events have previously been linked with galactic events such as spiral arm crossings and galactic plane oscillation. The expectation that these are repeating predictable events has led to studies of periodicity in a wide set of biological, geological and climatic phenomena. Using data on carbon isotope excursions, large igneous provinces and impact craters, we identify three time zones of high geological activity which relate to the timings of the passage of the Solar System through the spiral arms. These zones are shown to include a significantly large proportion of high extinction periods. The mass extinction events at the ends of the Ordovician, Permian and Cretaceous occur in the first zone, which contains the predicted midpoints of the spiral arms. The start of the Cambrian, end of the Devonian and end of the Triassic occur in the second zone. The pattern of extinction timing in relation to spiral arm structure is supported by the positions of the superchrons and the predicted speed of the spiral arms. The passage times through an arm are simple multiples of published results on impact and fossil record periodicity and galactic plane half-periods. The total estimated passage time through four arms is 703.8 Myr. The repetition of extinction events at the same points in different spiral arm crossings suggests a common underlying galactic cause of mass extinctions, mediated through galactic effects on geological, solar and extra-solar processes. The two largest impact craters (Sudbury and Vredefort), predicted to have occurred during the early part of the first zone, extend the possible pattern to more than 2000 million years ago.

  17. Extinction risk of soil biota.

    PubMed

    Veresoglou, Stavros D; Halley, John M; Rillig, Matthias C

    2015-01-01

    No species lives on earth forever. Knowing when and why species go extinct is crucial for a complete understanding of the consequences of anthropogenic activity, and its impact on ecosystem functioning. Even though soil biota play a key role in maintaining the functioning of ecosystems, the vast majority of existing studies focus on aboveground organisms. Many questions about the fate of belowground organisms remain open, so the combined effort of theorists and applied ecologists is needed in the ongoing development of soil extinction ecology. PMID:26593272

  18. Extinction risk of soil biota

    PubMed Central

    Veresoglou, Stavros D.; Halley, John M.; Rillig, Matthias C.

    2015-01-01

    No species lives on earth forever. Knowing when and why species go extinct is crucial for a complete understanding of the consequences of anthropogenic activity, and its impact on ecosystem functioning. Even though soil biota play a key role in maintaining the functioning of ecosystems, the vast majority of existing studies focus on aboveground organisms. Many questions about the fate of belowground organisms remain open, so the combined effort of theorists and applied ecologists is needed in the ongoing development of soil extinction ecology. PMID:26593272

  19. Star formation and extinct radioactivities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, A. G. W.

    1984-01-01

    An assessment is made of the evidence for the existence of now-extinct radioactivities in primitive solar system material, giving attention to implications for the early stages of sun and solar system formation. The characteristics of possible disturbances in dense molecular clouds which can initiate the formation of cloud cores is discussed, with emphasis on these disturbances able to generate fresh radioactivities. A one-solar mass red giant star on the asymptotic giant branch appears to have been the best candidate to account for the short-lived extinct radioactivities in the early solar system.

  20. Endangered and Extinct Radioactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leising, M. D.

    1993-07-01

    Gamma ray spectroscopy holds great promise for probing nucleosynthesis in individual nucleosynthesis events, via observations of short-lived radioactivity, and for measuring global galactic nucleosynthesis today with detections of longer-lived radioactivity. Many of the astrophysical issues addressed by these observations are precisely those that must be understood in order to interpret observations of extinct radioactivity in meteorites. It was somewhat surprising that the former case was realized first for a Type II supernova, when both 56Co [1] and 57Co [2] were detected in SN 1987A. These provide unprecedented constraints on models of Type II explosions. Live 26Al in the galaxy might come from Type II supernovae and their progenitors, and if this is eventually shown to be the case, can constrain massive star evolution, supernova nucleosynthesis, the galactic Type II supernova rate, and even models of the chemical evolution of the galaxy [3]. Titanium-44 is produced primarily in the alpha-rich freezeout from nuclear statistical equilibrium, possibly in Type Ia [4] and almost certainly in Type II supernovae [5]. The galactic recurrence time of these events is comparable to the 44Ti lifetime, so we expect to be able to see at most a few otherwise unseen 44Ti remnants at any given time. No such remnants have been detected yet [6]. Very simple arguments lead to the expectation that about 4 x 10^-4 M(sub)solar mass of 44Ca are produced per century. The product of the supernova frequency times the 44Ti yield per event must equal this number. Even assuming that only the latest event would be seen, rates in excess of 2 century^-1 are ruled out at >=99% confidence by the gamma ray limits. Only rates less than 0.3 century^-1 are acceptable at >5% confidence, and this means that the yield per event must be >10^-3 M(sub)solar mass to produce the requisite 44Ca. Rates this low are incompatible with current estimates for Type II supernovae and yields this high are also very

  1. Marine mammal neoplasia: a review.

    PubMed

    Newman, S J; Smith, S A

    2006-11-01

    A review of the published literature indicates that marine mammal neoplasia includes the types and distributions of tumors seen in domestic species. A routine collection of samples from marine mammal species is hampered, and, hence, the literature is principally composed of reports from early whaling expeditions, captive zoo mammals, and epizootics that affect larger numbers of animals from a specific geographic location. The latter instances are most important, because many of these long-lived, free-ranging marine mammals may act as environmental sentinels for the health of the oceans. Examination of large numbers of mortalities reveals incidental proliferative and neoplastic conditions and, less commonly, identifies specific malignant cancers that can alter population dynamics. The best example of these is the presumptive herpesvirus-associated metastatic genital carcinomas found in California sea lions. Studies of tissues from St. Lawrence estuary beluga whales have demonstrated a high incidence of neoplasia and produced evidence that environmental contamination with high levels of polychlorinated biphenols and dichlorophenyl trichloroethane might be the cause. In addition, viruses are suspected to be the cause of gastric papillomas in belugas and cutaneous papillomas in Florida manatees and harbor porpoises. While experimental laboratory procedures can further elucidate mechanisms of neoplasia, continued pathologic examination of marine mammals will also be necessary to follow trends in wild populations. PMID:17099143

  2. Physiological and life history strategies of a fossil large mammal in a resource-limited environment

    PubMed Central

    Köhler, Meike; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2009-01-01

    Because of their physiological and life history characteristics, mammals exploit adaptive zones unavailable to ectothermic reptiles. Yet, they perform best in energy-rich environments because their high and constant growth rates and their sustained levels of resting metabolism require continuous resource supply. In resource-limited ecosystems such as islands, therefore, reptiles frequently displace mammals because their slow and flexible growth rates and low metabolic rates permit them to operate effectively with low energy flow. An apparent contradiction of this general principle is the long-term persistence of certain fossil large mammals on energy-poor Mediterranean islands. The purpose of the present study is to uncover the developmental and physiological strategies that allowed fossil large mammals to cope with the low levels of resource supply that characterize insular ecosystems. Long-bone histology of Myotragus, a Plio-Pleistocene bovid from the Balearic Islands, reveals lamellar-zonal tissue throughout the cortex, a trait exclusive to ectothermic reptiles. The bone microstructure indicates that Myotragus grew unlike any other mammal but similar to crocodiles at slow and flexible rates, ceased growth periodically, and attained somatic maturity extremely late by ≈12 years. This developmental pattern denotes that Myotragus, much like extant reptiles, synchronized its metabolic requirements with fluctuating resource levels. Our results suggest that developmental and physiological plasticity was crucial to the survival of this and, perhaps, other large mammals on resource-limited Mediterranean Islands, yet it eventually led to their extinction through a major predator, Homo sapiens. PMID:19918076

  3. Threat to the point: improving the value of comparative extinction risk analysis for conservation action.

    PubMed

    Murray, Kris A; Verde Arregoitia, Luis D; Davidson, Ana; Di Marco, Moreno; Di Fonzo, Martina M I

    2014-02-01

    Comparative extinction risk analysis is a common approach for assessing the relative plight of biodiversity and making conservation recommendations. However, the usefulness of such analyses for conservation practice has been questioned. One reason for underperformance may be that threats arising from global environmental changes (e.g., habitat loss, invasive species, climate change) are often overlooked, despite being widely regarded as proximal drivers of species' endangerment. We explore this problem by (i) reviewing the use of threats in this field and (ii) quantitatively investigating the effects of threat exclusion on the interpretation and potential application of extinction risk model results. We show that threat variables are routinely (59%) identified as significant predictors of extinction risk, yet while most studies (78%) include extrinsic factors of some kind (e.g., geographic or bioclimatic information), the majority (63%) do not include threats. Despite low overall usage, studies are increasingly employing threats to explain patterns of extinction risk. However, most continue to employ methods developed for the analysis of heritable traits (e.g., body size, fecundity), which may be poorly suited to the treatment of nonheritable predictors including threats. In our global mammal and continental amphibian extinction risk case studies, omitting threats reduced model predictive performance, but more importantly (i) reduced mechanistic information relevant to management; (ii) resulted in considerable disagreement in species classifications (12% and 5% for amphibians and mammals, respectively, translating to dozens and hundreds of species); and (iii) caused even greater disagreement (20-60%) in a downstream conservation application (species ranking). We conclude that the use of threats in comparative extinction risk analysis is important and increasing but currently in the early stages of development. Priorities for future studies include improving uptake

  4. Blocking NMDA-receptors in the pigeon’s “prefrontal” caudal nidopallium impairs appetitive extinction learning in a sign-tracking paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Lengersdorf, Daniel; Marks, David; Uengoer, Metin; Stüttgen, Maik C.; Güntürkün, Onur

    2015-01-01

    Extinction learning provides the ability to flexibly adapt to new contingencies by learning to inhibit previously acquired associations in a context-dependent manner. The neural networks underlying extinction learning were mostly studied in rodents using fear extinction paradigms. To uncover invariant properties of the neural basis of extinction learning, we employ pigeons as a model system. Since the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mammals is a key structure for extinction learning, we assessed the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), the avian functional equivalent of mammalian PFC. Since NMDARs in PFC have been shown to be relevant for extinction learning, we locally antagonized NMDARs through 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerianacid (APV) during extinction learning in a within-subject sign-tracking ABA-renewal paradigm. APV-injection slowed down extinction learning and in addition also caused a disinhibition of responding to a continuously reinforced control stimulus. In subsequent retrieval sessions, spontaneous recovery was increased while ABA renewal was unaffected. The effect of APV resembles that observed in studies of fear extinction with rodents, suggesting common neural substrates of extinction under both appetitive and aversive conditions and highlighting the similarity of mammalian PFC and the avian caudal nidopallium despite 300 million years of independent evolution. PMID:25918502

  5. Modelling anomalous extinction using nanodiamonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rai, Rakesh K.; Rastogi, Shantanu

    2012-07-01

    The modelling of extinction along anomalous/non-Cardelli, Clayton & Mathis sightlines, which are characterized by a broad 217.5-nm bump and steep far-ultraviolet (FUV) rise, is reported. The extinction along these sightlines, namely HD 210121, HD 204827, HD 29647 and HD 62542, is difficult to reproduce using standard silicate and graphite grains. A very good match with the observed extinction is obtained by considering a nanodiamond component as part of the carbonaceous matter. Most of these sightlines are rich in carbon and are invariably backed by a young hot stellar object. Nanodiamond is taken as a core within amorphous carbon and graphite. These core-mantle particles, taken as additional components along with graphite and silicates, lead to a reduction in the silicate requirement. The abundance of carbonaceous matter is not affected, as a very small fraction of nanodiamond is required. Extinction along sightlines that show steep FUV is also reported, demonstrating the importance of the nanodiamond component in all such regions.

  6. Modeling Population Growth and Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Sheldon P.

    2009-01-01

    The exponential growth model and the logistic model typically introduced in the mathematics curriculum presume that a population grows exclusively. In reality, species can also die out and more sophisticated models that take the possibility of extinction into account are needed. In this article, two extensions of the logistic model are considered,…

  7. Lagenidium giganteum Pathogenicity in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Vilela, Raquel; Taylor, John W.; Walker, Edward D.

    2015-01-01

    Infections of mammals by species in the phylum Oomycota taxonomically and molecularly similar to known Lagenidium giganteum strains have increased. During 2013–2014, we conducted a phylogenetic study of 21 mammalian Lagenidium isolates; we found that 11 cannot be differentiated from L. giganteum strains that the US Environmental Protection Agency approved for biological control of mosquitoes; these strains were later unregistered and are no longer available. L. giganteum strains pathogenic to mammals formed a strongly supported clade with the biological control isolates, and both types experimentally infected mosquito larvae. However, the strains from mammals grew well at 25°C and 37°C, whereas the biological control strains developed normally at 25°C but poorly at higher temperatures. The emergence of heat-tolerant strains of L. giganteum pathogenic to lower animals and humans is of environmental and public health concern. PMID:25625190

  8. The currency and tempo of extinction.

    PubMed

    Regan, H M; Lupia, R; Drinnan, A N; Burgman, M A

    2001-01-01

    This study examines estimates of extinction rates for the current purported biotic crisis and from the fossil record. Studies that compare current and geological extinctions sometimes use metrics that confound different sources of error and reflect different features of extinction processes. The per taxon extinction rate is a standard measure in paleontology that avoids some of the pitfalls of alternative approaches. Extinction rates reported in the conservation literature are rarely accompanied by measures of uncertainty, despite many elements of the calculations being subject to considerable error. We quantify some of the most important sources of uncertainty and carry them through the arithmetic of extinction rate calculations using fuzzy numbers. The results emphasize that estimates of current and future rates rely heavily on assumptions about the tempo of extinction and on extrapolations among taxa. Available data are unlikely to be useful in measuring magnitudes or trends in current extinction rates. PMID:18707231

  9. Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janis, Christine M.; Scott, Kathleen M.; Jacobs, Louis L.

    2005-03-01

    This book is a unique compendium and synthesis of the cumulative knowledge of more than 100 years of discovery and study of North American tertiary mammals. The potentially most valuable contribution of this book is the detailed information of the distribution in time and space of each species at fossil localities, recorded in a uniform scheme, so that each chapter provides the same level of information. Thirty six chapters are devoted to a particular family or order, written by leading North American authorities, including discussion of anatomical features, systematics, and paleobiology. Three introductory chapters summarize information on the geological time scale, Tertiary vegetation, and Pleistocene events, and four summary chapters integrate systematic and biogeographic information for higher taxa. This book will serve as a unique data base for continuing studies in faunal diversification and change, and for questions such as how changing biogeography and climates influenced the evolution of mammalian communities. It will be an invaluable addition to the libraries of paleontologists and zoologists.

  10. Mammal diversity during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Puzachenko, Andrei Yurievich; Markova, Anastasia Konstantinovna

    2013-10-21

    Fossil data on the mammal diversity and species richness during the Late Pleistocene - Holocene transition are of extreme importance for the reconstruction of the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems as well as for the understanding of the present-day species phylogeography. These data can provide useful information that is relevant for the debate on how to conserve mammal genetic resources under the present-day circumstances that are the result of modern climate change. In earlier papers the dramatic transformations of North Eurasian mammal assemblages during the Pleistocene - Holocene transition have already been documented; however, the focus of these papers was mainly on changes in the zonal distribution of local faunal assemblages of the "Mammoth Fauna" complex and the extinction of key species (Vereshchagin & Baryshnikov 1992; Markova et al. 1995, 2002 a, b; 2003, 2006; Markova & Puzachenko 2007; Puzachenko & Markova 2007; Markova & Kolfschoten 2008; Baryshnikov & Markova 2009; Puzachenko 2010;). PMID:24148279

  11. Extinction Risk and Diversification Are Linked in a Plant Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Davies, T. Jonathan; Smith, Gideon F.; Bellstedt, Dirk U.; Boatwright, James S.; Bytebier, Benny; Cowling, Richard M.; Forest, Félix; Harmon, Luke J.; Muasya, A. Muthama; Schrire, Brian D.; Steenkamp, Yolande; van der Bank, Michelle; Savolainen, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    It is widely recognized that we are entering an extinction event on a scale approaching the mass extinctions seen in the fossil record. Present-day rates of extinction are estimated to be several orders of magnitude greater than background rates and are projected to increase further if current trends continue. In vertebrates, species traits, such as body size, fecundity, and geographic range, are important predictors of vulnerability. Although plants are the basis for life on Earth, our knowledge of plant extinctions and vulnerabilities is lagging. Here, we disentangle the underlying drivers of extinction risk in plants, focusing on the Cape of South Africa, a global biodiversity hotspot. By comparing Red List data for the British and South African floras, we demonstrate that the taxonomic distribution of extinction risk differs significantly between regions, inconsistent with a simple, trait-based model of extinction. Using a comprehensive phylogenetic tree for the Cape, we reveal a phylogenetic signal in the distribution of plant extinction risks but show that the most threatened species cluster within short branches at the tips of the phylogeny—opposite to trends in mammals. From analyzing the distribution of threatened species across 11 exemplar clades, we suggest that mode of speciation best explains the unusual phylogenetic structure of extinction risks in plants of the Cape. Our results demonstrate that explanations for elevated extinction risk in plants of the Cape flora differ dramatically from those recognized for vertebrates. In the Cape, extinction risk is higher for young and fast-evolving plant lineages and cannot be explained by correlations with simple biological traits. Critically, we find that the most vulnerable plant species are nonetheless marching towards extinction at a more rapid pace but, surprisingly, independently from anthropogenic effects. Our results have important implications for conservation priorities and cast doubts on the

  12. Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna.

    PubMed

    Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale

    2008-06-01

    Late Pleistocene extinctions are of interest to paleontological and anthropological research. In North America and Australia, human occupation occurred during a short period of time and overexploitation may have led to the extinction of mammalian megafauna. In northern Eurasia megafaunal extinctions are believed to have occurred over a relatively longer period of time, perhaps as a result of changing environmental conditions, but the picture is much less clear. To consider megafaunal extinction in Eurasia, we compare differences in the geographical distribution and commonness of extinct and extant species between paleontological and archaeological localities from the late middle Pleistocene to Holocene. Purely paleontological localities, as well as most extinct species, were distributed north of archaeological sites and of the extant species, suggesting that apart from possible differences in adaptations between humans and other species, humans could also have a detrimental effect on large mammal distribution. However, evidence for human overexploitation applies only to the extinct steppe bison Bison priscus. Other human-preferred species survive into the Holocene, including Rangifer tarandus, Equus ferus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Equus hemionus, Saiga tatarica, and Sus scrofa. Mammuthus primigenius and Megaloceros giganteus were rare in archaeological sites. Carnivores appear little influenced by human presence, although they become rarer in Holocene archaeological sites. Overall, the data are consistent with the conclusion that humans acted as efficient hunters selecting for the most abundant species. Our study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical. PMID:18199470

  13. The late Quaternary extinction and future resurrection of birds on Pacific islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steadman, David W.; Martin, Paul S.

    2003-04-01

    People have lived on tropical Pacific islands over the past 30,000 years (Bismarcks, Solomons) or 3000 to 1000 years (the rest of Oceania). Their activities have led to the loss of many thousands of populations and as many as 2000 species of birds that probably otherwise would exist today. This extinction event is documented by avian fossils from archaeological (cultural) and paleontological (noncultural) sites from nearly 70 islands in 19 island groups. Extinction of birds in Oceania rivals the late Pleistocene loss of large mammals in North America as the best substantiated rapid extinction episode in the vertebrate fossil record. Some avian extinctions in Oceania occurred within a century or less after human arrival, while others required millennia or even tens of millennia. Any of these time frames is rapid in an evolutionary or geochronological sense. Inter-island differences in the speed and extent of extinction can be explained by variation in abiotic (A), biotic (B), and cultural (C) factors. Levels of extinction on large, near islands can be comparable to those on small, remote islands when C factors (such as high human population density and introduction of invasive plants and animals) override A factors (such as large land area or little isolation) or B factors (such as rich indigenous floras and faunas). An innovative, proactive conservation strategy is needed not only to prevent further extinctions of birds in Oceania, but also to restart evolution of some of the lineages that have suffered the most loss, such as flightless rails. This strategy should focus on islands with ABC traits that retard rather than enhance extinction.

  14. The Geochemistry of Mass Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kump, L. R.

    2003-12-01

    The course of biological evolution is inextricably linked to that of the environment through an intricate network of feedbacks that span all scales of space and time. Disruptions to the environment have biological consequences, and vice versa. Fossils provide the prima facie evidence for biotic disruptions: catastrophic losses of global biodiversity at various times in the Phanerozoic. However, the forensic evidence for the causes and environmental consequences of these mass extinctions resides primarily in the geochemical composition of sedimentary rocks deposited during the extinction intervals. Thus, advancement in our understanding of mass extinctions requires detailed knowledge obtained from both paleontological and geochemical records.This chapter reviews the state of knowledge concerning the geochemistry of the "big five" extinctions of the Phanerozoic (e.g., Sepkoski, 1993): the Late Ordovician (Hirnantian; 440 Ma), the Late Devonian (an extended or multiple event with its apex at the Frasnian-Famennian (F-F) boundary; 367 Ma), the Permian-Triassic (P-Tr; 251 Ma), the Triassic-Jurassic (Tr-J; 200 Ma), and the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T; 65 Ma). The focus on the big five is a matter of convenience, as there is a continuum in extinction rates from "background" to "mass extinction." Although much of the literature on extinctions centers on the causes and extents of biodiversity loss, in recent years paleontologists have begun to focus on recoveries (see, e.g., Hart, 1996; Kirchner and Weil, 2000; Erwin, 2001 and references therein).To the extent that the duration of the recovery interval may reflect a slow relaxation of the environment from perturbation, analysis of the geochemical record of recovery is an integral part of this effort. In interpreting the geochemical and biological records of recovery, we need to maintain a clear distinction among the characteristics of the global biota: their biodiversity (affected by differences in origination and extinction

  15. The Western North American Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary interval and its content of shock-metamorphosed minerals: Implications concerning the K-T boundary impact-extinction theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Izett, G. A.

    1988-01-01

    At 20 sites in the Raton Basin of Colorado and New Mexico, and at several other sites in Wyoming, Montana, and Canada, a pair of claystone units, an Ir abundance anomaly, and a concentration of shock-metamorphosed minerals mark the palynological K-T boundary. The K-T boundary claystone, which is composed of kaolinite and small amounts of illite/smectite mixed-layer clay, is similar in most respects to kaolinite tonstein layers in coal beds. At some, but not all, K-T boundary localities, the boundary claystone contains solid kaolinite and hollow and solid goyazite spherules, 0.05 to 1.2 mm in diameter. The upper unit, the K-T boundary impact layer, consists chiefly of kaolinite and various amounts of illite/smectite mixed-layer clay. The impact layer and boundary claystone are similar chemically, except that the former has slightly more Fe, K, Ba, Cr, Cu, Li, V, and Zn than the latter. The facts that the boundary claystone and impact layer contain anomalous amounts of Ir, comprise a stratigraphic couplet at Western North American sites, and form thin, discrete layers, similar to air-fall units (volcanic or impact), suggest that the claystone units are of impact origin. Significantly, the impact layer contains as much as 2 percent clastic mineral grains, about 30 percent of which contain multiple sets of shock lamellae. Only one such concentration of shocked minerals has been found near the K-T boundary. The type of K-T boundary shock-metamorphosed materials (quartzite and metaquartzite) in the impact layer and the lack of shock lamellae in quartz and feldspar of pumice lapilli and granitic xenoliths in air-fall pumice units of silicic tuffs, such as the Bishop Tuff, eliminate the possibility that the shock-metamorphosed minerals in the K-T impact layer are of volcanic origin. The global size distribution and abundance of shock-metamorphosed mineral grains suggest that the K-T impact occurred in North America.

  16. Further Evidence of Auditory Extinction in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Rebecca Shisler; Basilakos, Alexandra; Love-Myers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Preliminary research ( Shisler, 2005) suggests that auditory extinction in individuals with aphasia (IWA) may be connected to binding and attention. In this study, the authors expanded on previous findings on auditory extinction to determine the source of extinction deficits in IWA. Method: Seventeen IWA (M[subscript age] = 53.19 years)…

  17. Revisiting black medical school extinctions in the Flexner era.

    PubMed

    Miller, Lynn E; Weiss, Richard M

    2012-04-01

    Abraham Flexner's 1910 exposé on medical education recommended that only two of the seven extant medical schools for blacks be preserved and that they should train their students to "serve their people humbly" as "sanitarians." Addressing charges of racism, this article traces the roots of the recommendation that blacks serve a limited professional role to the schools themselves and presents evidence that, in endorsing the continuance of Howard's and Meharry's medical programs, Flexner exhibited greater leniency than he had toward comparable schools for white students. Whether his recommendations to eliminate the other five schools were key factors in their extinction is addressed here by examining 1901-30 enrollment patterns. Those patterns suggest that actions of the American Medical Association and state licensing boards, combined with the broader problem of limited premedical educational opportunities for blacks, were more consequential than was the Flexner report both for the extinction of the schools and for the curtailed production of black doctors. PMID:21296769

  18. Extinction in multiple contexts: Effects on the rate of extinction and the strength of response recovery.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Javier; Uengoer, Metin; Thorwart, Anna; Lachnit, Harald

    2016-09-01

    In two human predictive-learning experiments, we investigated the effects of extinction in multiple contexts on the rate of extinction and the strength of response recovery. In each experiment, participants initially received acquisition training with a target cue in one context, followed by extinction either in a different context (extinction in a single context) or in three different contexts (extinction in multiple contexts). The results of both experiments showed that conducting extinction in multiple contexts led to higher levels of responding during extinction than did extinction in a single context. Additionally, Experiment 2 showed that extinction in multiple contexts prevented ABC renewal but had no detectable impact on ABA renewal. Our results are discussed within the framework of contemporary learning theories of contextual control and extinction. PMID:26895976

  19. Blood Rheology in Marine Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Castellini, Michael A.; Baskurt, Oguz; Castellini, Judith M.; Meiselman, Herbert J.

    2010-01-01

    The field of blood oxygen transport and delivery to tissues has been studied by comparative physiologists for many decades. Within this general area, the particular differences in oxygen delivery between marine and terrestrial mammals has focused mainly on oxygen supply differences and delivery to the tissues under low blood flow diving conditions. Yet, the study of the inherent flow properties of the blood itself (hemorheology) is rarely discussed when addressing diving. However, hemorheology is important to the study of marine mammals because of the critical nature of the oxygen stores that are carried in the blood during diving periods. This review focuses on the essential elements of hemorheology, how they are defined and on fundamental rheological applications to marine mammals. While the comparative rationale used throughout the review is much broader than the particular problems associated with diving, the basic concepts focus on how changes in the flow properties of whole blood would be critical to oxygen delivery during diving. This review introduces the reader to most of the major rheological concepts that are relevant to the unique and unusual aspects of the diving physiology of marine mammals. PMID:21423386

  20. 76 FR 75524 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-02

    ... No. 14241, issued on July 15, 2009 (74 FR 3668), authorizes the permit holder to conduct research on...) issued on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 47779): (1) Included authorization for collection of a skin and blubber... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XO45 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National...

  1. 75 FR 76399 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-08

    ... (75 FR 68757), notice of receipt of an application to amend Permit No. 781-1824 was published... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XZ66 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National...

  2. 75 FR 76399 - Marine Mammals

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-08

    ... threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226). On May 20, 2010 (75 FR 28236), notice was published that an amendment to Permit No. 13602, issued on September 4, 2009 (74 FR 46569), had been requested by the permit... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XK54 Marine Mammals AGENCY: National...

  3. The relationship between species detection probability and local extinction probability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpizar-Jara, R.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Sauer, J.R.; Pollock, K.H.; Rosenberry, C.S.

    2004-01-01

    In community-level ecological studies, generally not all species present in sampled areas are detected. Many authors have proposed the use of estimation methods that allow detection probabilities that are <1 and that are heterogeneous among species. These methods can also be used to estimate community-dynamic parameters such as species local extinction probability and turnover rates (Nichols et al. Ecol Appl 8:1213-1225; Conserv Biol 12:1390-1398). Here, we present an ad hoc approach to estimating community-level vital rates in the presence of joint heterogeneity of detection probabilities and vital rates. The method consists of partitioning the number of species into two groups using the detection frequencies and then estimating vital rates (e.g., local extinction probabilities) for each group. Estimators from each group are combined in a weighted estimator of vital rates that accounts for the effect of heterogeneity. Using data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, we computed such estimates and tested the hypothesis that detection probabilities and local extinction probabilities were negatively related. Our analyses support the hypothesis that species detection probability covaries negatively with local probability of extinction and turnover rates. A simulation study was conducted to assess the performance of vital parameter estimators as well as other estimators relevant to questions about heterogeneity, such as coefficient of variation of detection probabilities and proportion of species in each group. Both the weighted estimator suggested in this paper and the original unweighted estimator for local extinction probability performed fairly well and provided no basis for preferring one to the other.

  4. Small mammals as monitors of environmental contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Talmage, S.S.; Walton, B.T. )

    1991-01-01

    The merit of using small mammals as monitors of environmental contaminants was assessed using data from the published literature. Information was located on 35 species of small mammals from 7 families used to monitor heavy metals, radionuclides, and organic chemicals at mine sites, industrial areas, hazardous and radioactive waste disposal sites, and agricultural and forested land. To document foodchain transfer of chemicals, concentrations in soil, vegetation, and invertebrates, where available, were included. The most commonly trapped North American species were Peromyscus leucopus, Blarina brevicauda, and Microtus pennsylvanicus. In these species, exposure to chemicals was determined from tissue residue analyses, biochemical assays, and cytogenetic assays. Where enough information was available, suitable target tissues, or biological assays for specific chemicals were noted. In general, there was a relationship between concentrations of contaminants in the soil or food, and concentrations in target tissues of several species. This relationship was most obvious for the nonessential heavy metals, cadmium, lead, and mercury and for fluoride. Kidney was the single best tissue for residue analyses of inorganic contaminants. However, bone should be the tissue of choice for both lead and fluorine. Exposure to lead was also successfully documented using biochemical and histopathological endpoints. Bone was the tissue of choice for exposure to 90Sr, whereas muscle was an appropriate tissue for 137Cs. For organic contaminants, exposure endpoints depended on the chemical(s) of concern. Liver and whole-body residue analyses, as well as enzyme changes, organ histology, genotoxicity, and, in one case, population dynamics, were successfully used to document exposure to these contaminants.

  5. Darwin and the uses of extinction.

    PubMed

    Beer, Gillian

    2009-01-01

    We currently view extinction with dismay and even horror, but Darwin saw extinction as ordinary and as necessary to evolutionary change. Still, the degree to which extinction is fundamental to his theory is rarely discussed. This essay examines Darwin's linking of the idea of "improvement" with that of natural selection and tracks a cluster of reasons for our changed valuation of extinction now. Those reasons demonstrate how scientific information and ideological preferences have reshaped the concept. The essay challenges the reader to assess some current assumptions about extinction and concludes by considering the shift in Darwin's own understanding from the "Origin" to the late "Autobiography". PMID:19824221

  6. The extinction differential induced virulence macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Feng; Xu, Liufang; Wang, Jin

    2014-04-01

    We apply the potential-flux landscape theory to deal with the large fluctuation induced extinction phenomena. We quantify the most probable extinction pathway on the landscape and measure the extinction risk by the landscape topography. In this Letter, we investigate the disease extinction through an epidemic model described by a set of chemical reaction. We found the virulence-differential-dependent symbioses between mother and daughter pathogen species: mutualism and parasitism. The symbioses, whether mutualism or parasitism, benefit the higher virulence species. This implies that speciation towards lower virulence is an effective strategy for a pathogen species to reduce its extinction risk.

  7. SMALL MAMMAL USE OF MICROHABITAT REVIEWED

    EPA Science Inventory

    Small mammal microhabitat research has greatly influenced vertebrate community ecologists. There exists a "microhabitat paradigm" that states that sympatry among small mammal species is enabled by differential use of microhabitat (i.e., microhabitat partitioning). However, seve...

  8. Neanderthal Extinction by Competitive Exclusion

    PubMed Central

    Banks, William E.; d'Errico, Francesco; Peterson, A. Townsend; Kageyama, Masa; Sima, Adriana; Sánchez-Goñi, Maria-Fernanda

    2008-01-01

    Background Despite a long history of investigation, considerable debate revolves around whether Neanderthals became extinct because of climate change or competition with anatomically modern humans (AMH). Methodology/Principal Findings We apply a new methodology integrating archaeological and chronological data with high-resolution paleoclimatic simulations to define eco-cultural niches associated with Neanderthal and AMH adaptive systems during alternating cold and mild phases of Marine Isotope Stage 3. Our results indicate that Neanderthals and AMH exploited similar niches, and may have continued to do so in the absence of contact. Conclusions/Significance The southerly contraction of Neanderthal range in southwestern Europe during Greenland Interstadial 8 was not due to climate change or a change in adaptation, but rather concurrent AMH geographic expansion appears to have produced competition that led to Neanderthal extinction. PMID:19107186

  9. Testing for periodicity of extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, David M.; Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The statistical techniques used by Raup and Sepkoski (1984 and 1986) to identify a 26-Myr periodicity in the biological extinction record for the past 250 Myr are reexamined, responding in detail to the criticisms of Stigler and Wagner (1987). It is argued that evaluation of a much larger set of extinction data using a time scale with 51 sampling intervals supports the finding of periodicity. In a reply by Sigler and Wagner, the preference for a 26-Myr period is attributed to a numerical quirk in the Harland et al. (1982) time scale, in which the subinterval boundaries are not linear interpolations between the stage boundaries but have 25-Myr periodicity. It is stressed that the results of the stringent statistical tests imposed do not disprove periodicity but rather indicate that the evidence and analyses presented so far are inadequate.

  10. Faster Speciation and Reduced Extinction in the Tropics Contribute to the Mammalian Latitudinal Diversity Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Rolland, Jonathan; Condamine, Fabien L.; Jiguet, Frederic; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals) peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas) reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha), high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha), or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the “out of the tropics” hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern. PMID:24492316

  11. Faster speciation and reduced extinction in the tropics contribute to the Mammalian latitudinal diversity gradient.

    PubMed

    Rolland, Jonathan; Condamine, Fabien L; Jiguet, Frederic; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals) peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas) reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha), high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha), or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the "out of the tropics" hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern. PMID:24492316

  12. Infralimbic D2 receptors are necessary for fear extinction and extinction-related tone responses

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Devin; Bravo-Rivera, Christian; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Fear extinction is dependent on plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL), an area heavily innervated by midbrain dopaminergic inputs. Dopamine D2 receptors are concentrated in infralimbic output neurons that are involved in the suppression of conditioned fear after extinction. Here we examined the specific role of the D2 receptor in mediating associative learning underlying fear extinction, using the selective D2 antagonist raclopride. Methods Raclopride was administered systemically or infused into IL prior to fear extinction, and extinction retention was tested the following day. Rats were also prepared for single unit recording in IL to assess the effect of raclopride on firing properties. Results We found that systemic injection of raclopride given prior to extinction impaired retrieval of extinction when tested drug free the next day, but also induced catalepsy during extinction training. To determine whether impaired extinction was due to impaired motor function or disruption of extinction consolidation, we infused raclopride directly into IL. Raclopride infused immediately before extinction training did not produce motor deficits, but impaired recall of extinction when tested drug free. Furthermore, in animals that underwent extinction training, systemic raclopride reduced the tone responsiveness of IL neurons in layers 5/6, with no changes in average firing rate. Conclusion We suggest that D2 receptors facilitate extinction by increasing the signal-to-noise of IL neurons that consolidate extinction. PMID:20926066

  13. Optimising Extinction of Conditioned Disgust

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Renske C.; Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Maladaptive disgust responses are tenacious and resistant to exposure-based interventions. In a similar vein, laboratory studies have shown that conditioned disgust is relatively insensitive to Conditioned Stimulus (CS)-only extinction procedures. The relatively strong resistance to extinction might be explained by disgust’s adaptive function to motivate avoidance from contamination threats (pathogens) that cannot be readily detected and are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, the mere visual presentation of unreinforced disgust eliciting stimuli might not be sufficient to correct a previously acquired threat value of the CS+. Following this, the current study tested whether the efficacy of CS-only exposure can be improved by providing additional safety information about the CS+. For the CSs we included two neutral items a pea soup and a sausage roll, whereas for the Unconditioned Stimulus (US) we used one video clip of a woman vomiting and a neutral one about glass blowing. The additional safety information was conveyed by allowing actual contact with the CS+ or by observing an actress eating the food items representing the CS+. When additional safety information was provided via allowing direct contact with the CS+, there was a relatively strong post-extinction increase in participants’ willingness-to-eat the CS+. This beneficial effect was still evident at one-week follow up. Also self-reported disgust was lower at one-week follow up when additional safety information was provided. The current findings help explain why disgust is relatively insensitive to CS-only extinction procedures, and provide helpful starting points to improve interventions that are aimed to reduce distress in disgust-related psychopathology. PMID:26849211

  14. Optimising Extinction of Conditioned Disgust.

    PubMed

    Bosman, Renske C; Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Maladaptive disgust responses are tenacious and resistant to exposure-based interventions. In a similar vein, laboratory studies have shown that conditioned disgust is relatively insensitive to Conditioned Stimulus (CS)-only extinction procedures. The relatively strong resistance to extinction might be explained by disgust's adaptive function to motivate avoidance from contamination threats (pathogens) that cannot be readily detected and are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, the mere visual presentation of unreinforced disgust eliciting stimuli might not be sufficient to correct a previously acquired threat value of the CS+. Following this, the current study tested whether the efficacy of CS-only exposure can be improved by providing additional safety information about the CS+. For the CSs we included two neutral items a pea soup and a sausage roll, whereas for the Unconditioned Stimulus (US) we used one video clip of a woman vomiting and a neutral one about glass blowing. The additional safety information was conveyed by allowing actual contact with the CS+ or by observing an actress eating the food items representing the CS+. When additional safety information was provided via allowing direct contact with the CS+, there was a relatively strong post-extinction increase in participants' willingness-to-eat the CS+. This beneficial effect was still evident at one-week follow up. Also self-reported disgust was lower at one-week follow up when additional safety information was provided. The current findings help explain why disgust is relatively insensitive to CS-only extinction procedures, and provide helpful starting points to improve interventions that are aimed to reduce distress in disgust-related psychopathology. PMID:26849211

  15. Extinction of metastable stochastic populations.

    PubMed

    Assaf, Michael; Meerson, Baruch

    2010-02-01

    We investigate the phenomenon of extinction of a long-lived self-regulating stochastic population, caused by intrinsic (demographic) noise. Extinction typically occurs via one of two scenarios depending on whether the absorbing state n=0 is a repelling (scenario A) or attracting (scenario B) point of the deterministic rate equation. In scenario A the metastable stochastic population resides in the vicinity of an attracting fixed point next to the repelling point n=0 . In scenario B there is an intermediate repelling point n=n1 between the attracting point n=0 and another attracting point n=n2 in the vicinity of which the metastable population resides. The crux of the theory is a dissipative variant of WKB (Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin) approximation which assumes that the typical population size in the metastable state is large. Starting from the master equation, we calculate the quasistationary probability distribution of the population sizes and the (exponentially long) mean time to extinction for each of the two scenarios. When necessary, the WKB approximation is complemented (i) by a recursive solution of the quasistationary master equation at small n and (ii) by the van Kampen system-size expansion, valid near the fixed points of the deterministic rate equation. The theory yields both entropic barriers to extinction and pre-exponential factors, and holds for a general set of multistep processes when detailed balance is broken. The results simplify considerably for single-step processes and near the characteristic bifurcations of scenarios A and B. PMID:20365539

  16. Were all extinction events caused by impacts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheehan, P. M.; Coorough, P. J.

    Extraterrestrial impacts are firmly implicated in several of the five major Phanerozoic extinction events. A critical issue now is whether extraterrestrial events have been the only mechanism that produced physical changes of sufficient magnitude to cause major extinction events. While we believe the evidence is overwhelming that the KT extinction event was caused by an impact, we also find that an event of similar or larger size near the end of the Ordovician is best explained by terrestrial causes. The Ordovician extinction event (End-O extinction event) occurred near the end of the Ordovician, but the interval of extinction was completed prior to the newly established Ordovician-Silurian boundary. In spite of extensive field studies, a convincing signature of an associated impact has not been found. However, a prominent glaciation does coincide with the End-O extinction event.

  17. Were all extinction events caused by impacts?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheehan, P. M.; Coorough, P. J.

    1994-01-01

    Extraterrestrial impacts are firmly implicated in several of the five major Phanerozoic extinction events. A critical issue now is whether extraterrestrial events have been the only mechanism that produced physical changes of sufficient magnitude to cause major extinction events. While we believe the evidence is overwhelming that the KT extinction event was caused by an impact, we also find that an event of similar or larger size near the end of the Ordovician is best explained by terrestrial causes. The Ordovician extinction event (End-O extinction event) occurred near the end of the Ordovician, but the interval of extinction was completed prior to the newly established Ordovician-Silurian boundary. In spite of extensive field studies, a convincing signature of an associated impact has not been found. However, a prominent glaciation does coincide with the End-O extinction event.

  18. The case for extraterrestrial causes of extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1989-01-01

    The dramatic increase in our knowledge of large-body impacts that have occurred in Earth's history has led to strong arguments for the plausibility of meteorite impact as a cause of extinction. Proof of causation is often hampered, however, by our inability to demonstrate the synchronism of specific impacts and extinctions. A central problem is range truncation: the last reported occurrences of fossil taxa generally underestimate the true times of extinction. Range truncation, because of gaps in sedimentation, lack of preservation, or lack of discovery, can make sudden extinctions appear gradual and gradual extinctions appear sudden. Also, stepwise extinction may appear as an artefact of range truncation. These effects are demonstrated by experiments performed on data from field collections of Cretaceous ammonities from Zumaya (Spain). The challenge for future research is to develop a new calculus for treating biostratigraphic data so that fossils can provide more accurate assessments of the timing of extinctions.

  19. Late Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction Consistent With YDB Impact Hypothesis at Younger Dryas Onset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennett, J. P.; Kennett, D. J.

    2008-12-01

    At least 35 mammal and 19 bird genera became extinct across North America near the end of the Pleistocene. Modern increases in stratigraphic and dating resolution suggest that this extinction occurred relatively rapidly near 12.9 ka (11 radiocarbon kyrs). Within the context of a long-standing debate about its cause, Firestone et al., (2007) proposed that this extinction resulted from an extraterrestrial (ET) impact over North America at 12.9 ka. This hypothesis predicts that the extinction of most of these animals should have occurred abruptly at 12.9 ka. To test this hypothesis, we have critically examined radiocarbon ages and the extinction stratigraphy of these taxa. From a large data pool, we selected only radiocarbon dates with low error margins with a preference for directly dated biological materials (e.g., bone, dung, etc.) and modern chemical purification techniques. A relatively small number of acceptable dates indicate that at least 16 animal genera and several other species became extinct close to 12.9 ka. These taxa include the most common animals of the late Pleistocene such as horses, camels, and mammoths. Also, the remains of extinct taxa are reportedly found up to, but not above, the base of a widely distributed carbon-rich layer called the black mat. This stratum forms an abrupt, major biostratigraphic boundary at the Younger Dryas onset (12.9 ka), which also contains multiple ET markers comprising the impact layer (the YDB). Surviving animal populations were abruptly reduced at the YDB (e.g., Bison), with major range restrictions and apparent evolutionary bottlenecks. The abruptness of this major extinction is inconsistent with the hypotheses of human overkill and climatic change. We argue that extinction ages older than 12.9 ka for many less common species result from the Signor-Lipps effect, but the impact hypothesis predicts that as new dates are acquired, they will approach ever closer to 12.9 ka. The megafaunal extinction is strongly

  20. Separating sensitivity from exposure in assessing extinction risk from climate change

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Maria G.; Orme, C. David L.; Suttle, K. Blake; Mace, Georgina M.

    2014-01-01

    Predictive frameworks of climate change extinction risk generally focus on the magnitude of climate change a species is expected to experience and the potential for that species to track suitable climate. A species' risk of extinction from climate change will depend, in part, on the magnitude of climate change the species experiences, its exposure. However, exposure is only one component of risk. A species' risk of extinction will also depend on its intrinsic ability to tolerate changing climate, its sensitivity. We examine exposure and sensitivity individually for two example taxa, terrestrial amphibians and mammals. We examine how these factors are related among species and across regions and how explicit consideration of each component of risk may affect predictions of climate change impacts. We find that species' sensitivities to climate change are not congruent with their exposures. Many highly sensitive species face low exposure to climate change and many highly exposed species are relatively insensitive. Separating sensitivity from exposure reveals patterns in the causes and drivers of species' extinction risk that may not be evident solely from predictions of climate change. Our findings emphasise the importance of explicitly including sensitivity and exposure to climate change in assessments of species' extinction risk. PMID:25367429

  1. Body Size Extinction and Origination Selectivity: A Case Study of Marine Gastropods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, E.; Seixas, G.; Faerber, M.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    Body size has received exceptional interest in evolutionary biology because of its correlation with many ecological and physiological traits. Because large size is typically associated with long generation time and small population size, it has been widely assumed that extinction risk is positively correlated with body size. Data from Pleistocene and Holocene terrestrial mammals and birds support this inference. However, there have been few studies on size bias of marine invertebrate animals, so the true extent of this pattern remains unknown. For this study, we compiled genus-level body size data for marine gastropods spanning the entire Phanerozoic. We use this dataset to examine the statistical evidence for size bias in both origination and extinction of marine gastropods. We perform logistic regression analyses on the data from each Phanerozoic stage to determine the association of body size with origination and extinction. Contrary to previous studies on terrestrial vertebrates, we observe no strong or persistent association between body size and the probability that a genus either originated or went extinct during that stage. Hence, our findings indicate that size bias in extinction risk may reflect particular aspects of mammalian biology or anthropogenic environmental change rather than a general pattern of animal evolution.

  2. 50 CFR 14.18 - Marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and implementing regulations (50 CFR parts 18 and 216... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Marine mammals. 14.18 Section 14.18....18 Marine mammals. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who has lawfully...

  3. 50 CFR 14.18 - Marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and implementing regulations (50 CFR parts 18 and 216... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Marine mammals. 14.18 Section 14.18....18 Marine mammals. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who has lawfully...

  4. 50 CFR 14.18 - Marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and implementing regulations (50 CFR parts 18 and 216... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Marine mammals. 14.18 Section 14.18....18 Marine mammals. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who has lawfully...

  5. 50 CFR 14.18 - Marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and implementing regulations (50 CFR parts 18 and 216... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Marine mammals. 14.18 Section 14.18....18 Marine mammals. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who has lawfully...

  6. 50 CFR 14.18 - Marine mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and implementing regulations (50 CFR parts 18 and 216... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Marine mammals. 14.18 Section 14.18....18 Marine mammals. Any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who has lawfully...

  7. Marine mammals of Hawaii: a bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.

    1981-08-01

    This bibliography is a product of a literature survey on marine mammals at proposed OTEC sites in the Hawaiian Islands. Emphasis is on publications about abundance and distribution, migration routes, and feeding ecology of the marine mammals known to inhabit the main and leeward Hawaiian Islands. Some works on the general biology of marine mammals are also included. 214 references.

  8. PATHOBIOLOGY OF SELECTED MARINE MAMMAL DISEASES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine mammals are the subset of true mammals that have evolved unique characteristics for survival in an aquatic environment. he five major groups of marine mammals, cetacea, pinnipeds, mustelids, sirenia, and ursids, did not descend from a common phylogenetic line, and therefor...

  9. Mean Annual Precipitation Explains Spatiotemporal Patterns of Cenozoic Mammal Beta Diversity and Latitudinal Diversity Gradients in North America

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Danielle; Hassall, Christopher; Gorelick, Root; Rybczynski, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    Spatial diversity patterns are thought to be driven by climate-mediated processes. However, temporal patterns of community composition remain poorly studied. We provide two complementary analyses of North American mammal diversity, using (i) a paleontological dataset (2077 localities with 2493 taxon occurrences) spanning 21 discrete subdivisions of the Cenozoic based on North American Land Mammal Ages (36 Ma – present), and (ii) climate space model predictions for 744 extant mammals under eight scenarios of future climate change. Spatial variation in fossil mammal community structure (β diversity) is highest at intermediate values of continental mean annual precipitation (MAP) estimated from paleosols (∼450 mm/year) and declines under both wetter and drier conditions, reflecting diversity patterns of modern mammals. Latitudinal gradients in community change (latitudinal turnover gradients, aka LTGs) increase in strength through the Cenozoic, but also show a cyclical pattern that is significantly explained by MAP. In general, LTGs are weakest when continental MAP is highest, similar to modern tropical ecosystems in which latitudinal diversity gradients are weak or undetectable. Projections under modeled climate change show no substantial change in β diversity or LTG strength for North American mammals. Our results suggest that similar climate-mediated mechanisms might drive spatial and temporal patterns of community composition in both fossil and extant mammals. We also provide empirical evidence that the ecological processes on which climate space models are based are insufficient for accurately forecasting long-term mammalian response to anthropogenic climate change and inclusion of historical parameters may be essential. PMID:25203658

  10. Negative Effects of an Exotic Grass Invasion on Small-Mammal Communities

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Eric D.; Sharp, Tiffanny R.; Larsen, Randy T.; Knight, Robert N.; Slater, Steven J.; McMillan, Brock R.

    2014-01-01

    Exotic invasive species can directly and indirectly influence natural ecological communities. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is non-native to the western United States and has invaded large areas of the Great Basin. Changes to the structure and composition of plant communities invaded by cheatgrass likely have effects at higher trophic levels. As a keystone guild in North American deserts, granivorous small mammals drive and maintain plant diversity. Our objective was to assess potential effects of invasion by cheatgrass on small-mammal communities. We sampled small-mammal and plant communities at 70 sites (Great Basin, Utah). We assessed abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community, diversity of the plant community, and the percentage of cheatgrass cover and shrub species. Abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community decreased with increasing abundance of cheatgrass. Similarly, cover of cheatgrass remained a significant predictor of small-mammal abundance even after accounting for the loss of the shrub layer and plant diversity, suggesting that there are direct and indirect effects of cheatgrass. The change in the small-mammal communities associated with invasion of cheatgrass likely has effects through higher and lower trophic levels and has the potential to cause major changes in ecosystem structure and function. PMID:25269073

  11. Negative effects of an exotic grass invasion on small-mammal communities.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Eric D; Sharp, Tiffanny R; Larsen, Randy T; Knight, Robert N; Slater, Steven J; McMillan, Brock R

    2014-01-01

    Exotic invasive species can directly and indirectly influence natural ecological communities. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is non-native to the western United States and has invaded large areas of the Great Basin. Changes to the structure and composition of plant communities invaded by cheatgrass likely have effects at higher trophic levels. As a keystone guild in North American deserts, granivorous small mammals drive and maintain plant diversity. Our objective was to assess potential effects of invasion by cheatgrass on small-mammal communities. We sampled small-mammal and plant communities at 70 sites (Great Basin, Utah). We assessed abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community, diversity of the plant community, and the percentage of cheatgrass cover and shrub species. Abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community decreased with increasing abundance of cheatgrass. Similarly, cover of cheatgrass remained a significant predictor of small-mammal abundance even after accounting for the loss of the shrub layer and plant diversity, suggesting that there are direct and indirect effects of cheatgrass. The change in the small-mammal communities associated with invasion of cheatgrass likely has effects through higher and lower trophic levels and has the potential to cause major changes in ecosystem structure and function. PMID:25269073

  12. Terminal Pleistocene change in mammal communities in southeastern Washington State, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, R. Lee

    2014-03-01

    Small mammal communities in western North America experienced declines in taxonomic richness across the late Pleistocene to Holocene transition (PHT), a recent natural global warming event. One community also experienced a decline in evenness and others replaced one species with a congener. Variability in response of small mammal communities to PHT warming is apparent. At the presently arid and xeric Marmes site in the Columbia Basin of southeastern Washington State, megafauna were absent by about 13,000 cal yr BP, evenness of small mammals declined about 11,700 cal yr BP and again about 11,400 cal yr BP whereas richness declined about 11,400 cal BP. Regional faunal turnover was, however, minimal among small-bodied taxa. Local mammal communities are depauperate as a result of megafaunal extinctions and subsequent decreases in small-mammal richness and evenness. The latter chronologically corresponds with a decrease in primary productivity driven by increasing warmth and aridity. More faunas must be studied in order to fully document the range of variability in the responses of mammalian communities to PHT warming. Documentation of patterns in those responses will facilitate understanding and enhance predictive accuracy with respect to responses of mammalian communities to modern global warming.

  13. Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear

    PubMed Central

    Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show that MPH, administered before or immediately following extinction of contextual fear, will enhance extinction retention in C57BL/6 mice. Animals that received MPH (2.5–10 mg/kg) before an extinction session showed decreased freezing response during extinction, and the effect of the 10 mg/kg dose on freezing persisted to the next day. When MPH (2.5–40 mg/kg) was administered immediately following an extinction session, mice that received MPH showed dose-dependent decreases in freezing during subsequent tests. MPH administered immediately after a 3-min extinction session or 4 h following the first extinction session did not cause significant differences in freezing. Together, these findings demonstrate that MPH can enhance extinction of fear and that this effect is sensitive to dose, time of injection, and duration of the extinction session. Because MPH is widely used in clinical treatments, these experiments suggest that the drug could be used in combination with behavioral therapies for patients with fear disorders. PMID:22251891

  14. Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Antony D; Cunningham, Christopher L; Lattal, K Matthew

    2012-02-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show that MPH, administered before or immediately following extinction of contextual fear, will enhance extinction retention in C57BL/6 mice. Animals that received MPH (2.5-10 mg/kg) before an extinction session showed decreased freezing response during extinction, and the effect of the 10 mg/kg dose on freezing persisted to the next day. When MPH (2.5-40 mg/kg) was administered immediately following an extinction session, mice that received MPH showed dose-dependent decreases in freezing during subsequent tests. MPH administered immediately after a 3-min extinction session or 4 h following the first extinction session did not cause significant differences in freezing. Together, these findings demonstrate that MPH can enhance extinction of fear and that this effect is sensitive to dose, time of injection, and duration of the extinction session. Because MPH is widely used in clinical treatments, these experiments suggest that the drug could be used in combination with behavioral therapies for patients with fear disorders. PMID:22251891

  15. The role of extinction in evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1994-01-01

    The extinction of species is not normally considered an important element of neodarwinian theory, in contrast to the opposite phenomenon, speciation. This is surprising in view of the special importance Darwin attached to extinction, and because the number of species extinctions in the history of life is almost the same as the number of originations; present-day biodiversity is the result of a trivial surplus of originations, cumulated over millions of years. For an evolutionary biologist to ignore extinction is probably as foolhardy as for a demographer to ignore mortality. The past decade has seen a resurgence of interest in extinction, yet research on the topic is still at a reconnaissance level, and our present understanding of its role in evolution is weak. Despite uncertainties, extinction probably contains three important elements. (i) For geographically widespread species, extinction is likely only if the killing stress is one so rare as to be beyond the experience of the species, and thus outside the reach of natural selection. (ii) The largest mass extinctions produce major restructuring of the biosphere wherein some successful groups are eliminated, allowing previously minor groups to expand and diversify. (iii) Except for a few cases, there is little evidence that extinction is selective in the positive sense argued by Darwin. It has generally been impossible to predict, before the fact, which species will be victims of an extinction event.

  16. The role of extinction in evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Raup, D M

    1994-01-01

    The extinction of species is not normally considered an important element of neodarwinian theory, in contrast to the opposite phenomenon, speciation. This is surprising in view of the special importance Darwin attached to extinction, and because the number of species extinctions in the history of life is almost the same as the number of originations; present-day biodiversity is the result of a trivial surplus of originations, cumulated over millions of years. For an evolutionary biologist to ignore extinction is probably as foolhardy as for a demographer to ignore mortality. The past decade has seen a resurgence of interest in extinction, yet research on the topic is still at a reconnaissance level, and our present understanding of its role in evolution is weak. Despite uncertainties, extinction probably contains three important elements. (i) For geographically widespread species, extinction is likely only if the killing stress is one so rare as to be beyond the experience of the species, and thus outside the reach of natural selection. (ii) The largest mass extinctions produce major restructuring of the biosphere wherein some successful groups are eliminated, allowing previously minor groups to expand and diversify. (iii) Except for a few cases, there is little evidence that extinction is selective in the positive sense argued by Darwin. It has generally been impossible to predict, before the fact, which species will be victims of an extinction event. PMID:8041694

  17. Social-ecological predictors of global invasions and extinctions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lotz, Aaron; Allen, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Most assessments of resilience have been focused on local conditions. Studies focused on the relationship between humanity and environmental degradation are rare, and are rarely comprehensive. We investigated multiple social-ecological factors for 100 countries around the globe in relation to the percentage of invasions and extinctions within each country. These 100 countries contain approximately 87% of the world’s population, produce 43% of the world’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP), and take up 74% of the earth’s total land area. We used an information theoretic approach to determine which models were most supported by our data, utilizing an a priori set of plausible models that included a combination of 15 social-ecological variables, each social-ecological factor by itself, and selected social-ecological factors grouped into three broad classes. These variables were per capita GDP, export-import ratio, tourism, undernourishment, energy efficiency, agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, wilderness protection, total biodiversity, life expectancy, adult literacy, pesticide regulation, political stability, and female participation in government. Our results indicate that as total biodiversity and total land area increase, the percentage of endangered birds also increases. As the independent variables (agricultural intensity, rainfall, water stress, and total biodiversity) in the ecological class model increase, the percentage of endangered mammals in a country increases. The percentage of invasive birds and mammals in a country increases as per capita GDP increases. As life expectancy increases, the percentage of invasive and endangered birds and mammals increases. Although our analysis does not determine mechanisms, the patterns observed in this study provide insight into the dynamics of a complex, global, social-ecological system.

  18. The ethics of reviving long extinct species.

    PubMed

    Sandler, Ronald

    2014-04-01

    There now appears to be a plausible pathway for reviving species that have been extinct for several decades, centuries, or even millennia. I conducted an ethical analysis of de-extinction of long extinct species. I assessed several possible ethical considerations in favor of pursuing de-extinction: that it is a matter of justice; that it would reestablish lost value; that it would create new value; and that society needs it as a conservation last resort. I also assessed several possible ethical arguments against pursuing de-extinction: that it is unnatural; that it could cause animal suffering; that it could be ecologically problematic or detrimental to human health; and that it is hubristic. There are reasons in favor of reviving long extinct species, and it can be ethically acceptable to do so. However, the reasons in favor of pursuing de-extinction do not have to do with its usefulness in species conservation; rather, they concern the status of revived species as scientific and technological achievements, and it would be ethically problematic to promote de-extinction as a significant conservation strategy, because it does not prevent species extinctions, does not address the causes of extinction, and could be detrimental to some species conservation efforts. Moreover, humanity does not have a responsibility or obligation to pursue de-extinction of long extinct species, and reviving them does not address any urgent problem. Therefore, legitimate ecological, political, animal welfare, legal, or human health concerns associated with a de-extinction (and reintroduction) must be thoroughly addressed for it to be ethically acceptable. PMID:24372907

  19. Fear-potentiated Startle During Extinction is Associated with White Matter Microstructure and Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Fani, Negar; King, Tricia Z.; Brewster, Ryan; Srivastava, Amita; Stevens, Jennifer S.; Glover, Ebony; Norrholm, Seth D.; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry J; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2015-01-01

    Background Extinction of conditioned fear is an associative learning process that involves communication among the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, and amygdala. Strength of connectivity between the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), may influence fear-potentiated startle (FPS) responses during extinction. Specific white matter tracts, the cingulum and uncinate fasciculus (UF), serve as primary routes of communication for these areas. Our objective was to investigate associations between FPS during extinction and cingulum and UF connectivity. Method Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and probabilistic tractography analyses were used to examine cingulum and UF structural connectivity in 40 female African-Americans with psychological trauma exposure. FPS responses during fear conditioning and extinction were assessed via EMG of the right orbicularis oculi muscle. Secondarily, functional connectivity analyses were performed with the seed ROIs used for tractography. Results A significant negative association between cingulum microstructure and FPS during early extinction (r=−.42, p=.01) and late extinction (r=−.36, p=.03) was observed after accounting for the effects of age, trauma exposure, and psychopathology (posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms); this pattern was similar for early extinction and functional connectivity between these regions (p<.05corrected). No significant correlations were observed between FPS and UF microstructure. Conclusions These data indicate that structural integrity of the cingulum is directly associated with extinction learning and appears to influence functional connectivity between these regions. Decrements in cingulum microstructure may interfere with extinction learning, thereby increasing risk for the development of pathological anxiety. PMID:25522360

  20. Large-scale marine ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Odell, D.K.

    2008-01-01

    Papers in this Special Feature stem from a symposium on large-scale ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals convened at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in June 2006. Major changes are occurring in multiple aspects of the marine environment at unprecedented rates, within the life spans of some individual marine mammals. Drivers of change include shifts in climate, acoustic pollution, disturbances to trophic structure, fisheries interactions, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants. This Special Feature provides an in-depth examination of 3 issues that are particularly troublesome. The 1st article notes the huge spatial and temporal scales of change to which marine mammals are showing ecological responses, and how these species can function as sentinels of such change. The 2nd paper describes the serious problems arising from conflicts with fisheries, and the 3rd contribution reviews the growing issues associated with underwater noise. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  1. Dietary characterization of terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Pineda-Munoz, Silvia; Alroy, John

    2014-08-22

    Understanding the feeding behaviour of the species that make up any ecosystem is essential for designing further research. Mammals have been studied intensively, but the criteria used for classifying their diets are far from being standardized. We built a database summarizing the dietary preferences of terrestrial mammals using published data regarding their stomach contents. We performed multivariate analyses in order to set up a standardized classification scheme. Ideally, food consumption percentages should be used instead of qualitative classifications. However, when highly detailed information is not available we propose classifying animals based on their main feeding resources. They should be classified as generalists when none of the feeding resources constitute over 50% of the diet. The term 'omnivore' should be avoided because it does not communicate all the complexity inherent to food choice. Moreover, the so-called omnivore diets actually involve several distinctive adaptations. Our dataset shows that terrestrial mammals are generally highly specialized and that some degree of food mixing may even be required for most species. PMID:25009067

  2. Nomenclature and placental mammal phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    An issue arising from recent progress in establishing the placental mammal Tree of Life concerns the nomenclature of high-level clades. Fortunately, there are now several well-supported clades among extant mammals that require unambiguous, stable names. Although the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature does not apply above the Linnean rank of family, and while consensus on the adoption of competing systems of nomenclature does not yet exist, there is a clear, historical basis upon which to arbitrate among competing names for high-level mammalian clades. Here, we recommend application of the principles of priority and stability, as laid down by G.G. Simpson in 1945, to discriminate among proposed names for high-level taxa. We apply these principles to specific cases among placental mammals with broad relevance for taxonomy, and close with particular emphasis on the Afrotherian family Tenrecidae. We conclude that no matter how reconstructions of the Tree of Life change in years to come, systematists should apply new names reluctantly, deferring to those already published and maximizing consistency with existing nomenclature. PMID:20406454

  3. Dietary characterization of terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Pineda-Munoz, Silvia; Alroy, John

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the feeding behaviour of the species that make up any ecosystem is essential for designing further research. Mammals have been studied intensively, but the criteria used for classifying their diets are far from being standardized. We built a database summarizing the dietary preferences of terrestrial mammals using published data regarding their stomach contents. We performed multivariate analyses in order to set up a standardized classification scheme. Ideally, food consumption percentages should be used instead of qualitative classifications. However, when highly detailed information is not available we propose classifying animals based on their main feeding resources. They should be classified as generalists when none of the feeding resources constitute over 50% of the diet. The term ‘omnivore’ should be avoided because it does not communicate all the complexity inherent to food choice. Moreover, the so-called omnivore diets actually involve several distinctive adaptations. Our dataset shows that terrestrial mammals are generally highly specialized and that some degree of food mixing may even be required for most species. PMID:25009067

  4. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Thomas E; Brusatte, Stephen L; Wilson, Gregory P

    2014-01-01

    Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary. PMID:25589872

  5. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Thomas E.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Wilson, Gregory P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary. PMID:25589872

  6. Cumulative frequency distribution of past species extinctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1991-01-01

    Analysis of Sepkoski's compendium of the time ranges of 30,000+ taxa yields a mean duration of 28.4 ma for genera of fossil invertebrates. This converts to an average extinction rate of 3.5 percent per million years or about one percent every 286,000 years. Using survivorship techniques, these estimates can be converted to the species level, yielding a Phanerozoic average of one percent species extinction every 40,000 years. Variation in extinction rates through time is far greater than the null expectation of a homogeneous birth-death model and this reflects the well-known episodicity of extinction ranging from a few large mass extinctions to so-called background extinction. The observed variation in rates can be used to construct a cumulative frequency distribution of extinction intensity, and this distribution, in the form of a kill curve for species, shows the expected waiting times between extinction events of a given intensity. The kill curve is an average description of the extinction events of a given intensity. The kill curve is an average description of the extinction record and does not imply any cause or causes of extinction. The kill curve shows, among other things, that only about five percent of total species extinctions in the Phanerozoic were involved in the five largest mass extinctions. The other 95 percent were distributed among large and small events not normally called mass extinctions. As an exploration of the possibly absurd proposition that most past extinctions were produced by the effects of large-body impact, the kill curve for species was mapped on the comparable distribution for comet and asteroid impacts. The result is a curve predicting the species kill for a given size of impacting object (expressed as crater size). The results are reasonable in that impacts producing craters less than 30 km (diameter) cause negligible extinction but those producing craters 100-150 km (diameter) cause extinction of species in the range of 45

  7. Sexual selection protects against extinction.

    PubMed

    Lumley, Alyson J; Michalczyk, Łukasz; Kitson, James J N; Spurgin, Lewis G; Morrison, Catriona A; Godwin, Joanne L; Dickinson, Matthew E; Martin, Oliver Y; Emerson, Brent C; Chapman, Tracey; Gage, Matthew J G

    2015-06-25

    Reproduction through sex carries substantial costs, mainly because only half of sexual adults produce offspring. It has been theorized that these costs could be countered if sex allows sexual selection to clear the universal fitness constraint of mutation load. Under sexual selection, competition between (usually) males and mate choice by (usually) females create important intraspecific filters for reproductive success, so that only a subset of males gains paternity. If reproductive success under sexual selection is dependent on individual condition, which is contingent to mutation load, then sexually selected filtering through 'genic capture' could offset the costs of sex because it provides genetic benefits to populations. Here we test this theory experimentally by comparing whether populations with histories of strong versus weak sexual selection purge mutation load and resist extinction differently. After evolving replicate populations of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum for 6 to 7 years under conditions that differed solely in the strengths of sexual selection, we revealed mutation load using inbreeding. Lineages from populations that had previously experienced strong sexual selection were resilient to extinction and maintained fitness under inbreeding, with some families continuing to survive after 20 generations of sib × sib mating. By contrast, lineages derived from populations that experienced weak or non-existent sexual selection showed rapid fitness declines under inbreeding, and all were extinct after generation 10. Multiple mutations across the genome with individually small effects can be difficult to clear, yet sum to a significant fitness load; our findings reveal that sexual selection reduces this load, improving population viability in the face of genetic stress. PMID:25985178

  8. Light extinction in the atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Laulainen, N.

    1992-06-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles originating from natural sources, such as volcanos and sulfur-bearing gas emissions from the oceans, and from human sources, such as sulfur emissions from fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning, strongly affect visual air quality and are suspected to significantly affect radiative climate forcing of the planet. During the daytime, aerosols obscure scenic vistas, while at night they diminish our ability to observe stellar objects. Scattering of light is the main means by which aerosols attenuate and redistribute light in the atmosphere and by which aerosols can alter and reduce visibility and potentially modify the energy balance of the planet. Trends and seasonal variability of atmospheric aerosol loading, such as column-integrated light extinction or optical depth, and how they may affect potential climate change have been difficult to quantify because there have been few observations made of important aerosol optical parameters, such as optical depth, over the globe and over time and often these are of uneven quality. To address questions related to possible climate change, there is a pressing need to acquire more high-quality aerosol optical depth data. Extensive deployment of improved solar radiometers over the next few years will provide higher-quality extinction data over a wider variety of locations worldwide. An often overlooked source of turbidity data, however, is available from astronomical observations, particularly stellar photoelectric photometry observations. With the exception of the Project ASTRA articles published almost 20 years ago, few of these data ever appear in the published literature. This paper will review the current status of atmospheric extinction observations, as highlighted by the ASTRA work and augmented by more recent solar radiometry measurements.

  9. Comment on the extinct paradox

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, D. M.

    1983-01-01

    The extinction paradox is a contradiction between geometrical optics results which predict that at high frequencies the scattering cross section of an object should equal its geometrical cross section and rigorous scattering theory which shows that at high frequencies the scattering cross section approaches twice the geometrical cross section of the object. Confusion about the reason for this paradox persists today even though the nature of the paradox was correctly identified many years ago by Brillouin. The resolution of the paradox is restated and illustrated with an example, and then the implications to the interpretation of scattering cross sections are identified.

  10. Mass extinctions and missing matter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, R. B.

    1984-01-01

    The possible influence of 'invisible matter' on the solar system's comet halo, and therefore on quasi-periodic cometary bombardment of the earth and consequent mass extinctions, is briefly addressed. Invisible matter consisting of small or cold interstellar molecular clouds could significantly modulate the comet background flux, while invisible matter consisting of a large population of old, dead stars with a relatively small galactic concentration probably could not. It is also shown that the downward force exerted by the Galaxy will perturb the halo, but will not produce any periodicity.

  11. Microwave extinction characteristics of nanoparticle aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Y. P.; Cheng, J. X.; Liu, X. X.; Wang, H. X.; Zhao, F. T.; Wen, W. W.

    2016-07-01

    Structure of nanoparticle aggregates plays an important role in microwave extinction capacity. The diffusion-limited aggregation model (DLA) for fractal growth is utilized to explore the possible structures of nanoparticle aggregates by computer simulation. Based on the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) method, the microwave extinction performance by different nano-carborundum aggregates is numerically analyzed. The effects of the particle quantity, original diameter, fractal structure, as well as orientation on microwave extinction are investigated, and also the extinction characteristics of aggregates are compared with the spherical nanoparticle in the same volume. Numerical results give out that proper aggregation of nanoparticle is beneficial to microwave extinction capacity, and the microwave extinction cross section by aggregated granules is better than that of the spherical solid one in the same volume.

  12. Collaborating to conserve large mammals in Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Robert; Chutipong, Wanlop; Seuaturien, Naret

    2006-10-01

    Depressed mammal densities characterize the interior of many Southeast Asian protected areas, and are the result of commercial and subsistence hunting. Local people are part of this problem but can participate in solutions through improved partnerships that incorporate local knowledge into problem diagnosis. The process of involving local people helps build a constituency that is more aware of its role (positive and negative) in a protected area and generates site-specific conservation assessments for management planning. We illustrate the practical details of initiating such a partnership through our work in a Thai wildlife sanctuary. Many protected areas in Southeast Asia present similar opportunities. In local workshops, village woodsmen were led through ranking exercises to develop a spatially explicit picture of 20-year trends in the abundance of 31 mammal species and to compare species-specific causes for declines. Within five taxonomic groups, leaf monkeys (primates), porcupines (rodents), tigers (large carnivores), civets (small carnivores), and elephants (ungulates) had declined most severely (37-74%). Commercial hunting contributed heavily to extensive population declines for most species, and subsistence hunting was locally significant for some small carnivores, leaf monkeys, and deer. Workshops thus clarified which species were at highest risk of local extinction, where the most threatened populations were, and causes for these patterns. Most important, they advanced a shared problem definition, thereby unlocking opportunities for collaboration. As a result, local people and sanctuary managers have increased communication, initiated joint monitoring and patrolling, and established wildlife recovery zones. Using local knowledge has limitations, but the process of engaging local people promotes collaborative action that large mammals in Southeast Asia need. PMID:17002757

  13. Evolutionary origins of hepatitis A virus in small mammals.

    PubMed

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor M; Lukashev, Alexander N; van den Brand, Judith M A; Gmyl, Anatoly P; Brünink, Sebastian; Rasche, Andrea; Seggewiβ, Nicole; Feng, Hui; Leijten, Lonneke M; Vallo, Peter; Kuiken, Thijs; Dotzauer, Andreas; Ulrich, Rainer G; Lemon, Stanley M; Drosten, Christian

    2015-12-01

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an ancient and ubiquitous human pathogen recovered previously only from primates. The sole species of the genus Hepatovirus, existing in both enveloped and nonenveloped forms, and with a capsid structure intermediate between that of insect viruses and mammalian picornaviruses, HAV is enigmatic in its origins. We conducted a targeted search for hepatoviruses in 15,987 specimens collected from 209 small mammal species globally and discovered highly diversified viruses in bats, rodents, hedgehogs, and shrews, which by pairwise sequence distance comprise 13 novel Hepatovirus species. Near-complete genomes from nine of these species show conservation of unique hepatovirus features, including predicted internal ribosome entry site structure, a truncated VP4 capsid protein lacking N-terminal myristoylation, a carboxyl-terminal pX extension of VP1, VP2 late domains involved in membrane envelopment, and a cis-acting replication element within the 3D(pol) sequence. Antibodies in some bat sera immunoprecipitated and neutralized human HAV, suggesting conservation of critical antigenic determinants. Limited phylogenetic cosegregation among hepatoviruses and their hosts and recombination patterns are indicative of major hepatovirus host shifts in the past. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest a Hepatovirus origin in small insectivorous mammals and a rodent origin of human HAV. Patterns of infection in small mammals mimicked those of human HAV in hepatotropism, fecal shedding, acute nature, and extinction of the virus in a closed host population. The evolutionary conservation of hepatovirus structure and pathogenesis provide novel insight into the origins of HAV and highlight the utility of analyzing animal reservoirs for risk assessment of emerging viruses. PMID:26575627

  14. Evolutionary origins of hepatitis A virus in small mammals

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor M.; Lukashev, Alexander N.; van den Brand, Judith M. A.; Gmyl, Anatoly P.; Brünink, Sebastian; Rasche, Andrea; Seggewiβ, Nicole; Feng, Hui; Leijten, Lonneke M.; Vallo, Peter; Kuiken, Thijs; Dotzauer, Andreas; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Lemon, Stanley M.; Drosten, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an ancient and ubiquitous human pathogen recovered previously only from primates. The sole species of the genus Hepatovirus, existing in both enveloped and nonenveloped forms, and with a capsid structure intermediate between that of insect viruses and mammalian picornaviruses, HAV is enigmatic in its origins. We conducted a targeted search for hepatoviruses in 15,987 specimens collected from 209 small mammal species globally and discovered highly diversified viruses in bats, rodents, hedgehogs, and shrews, which by pairwise sequence distance comprise 13 novel Hepatovirus species. Near-complete genomes from nine of these species show conservation of unique hepatovirus features, including predicted internal ribosome entry site structure, a truncated VP4 capsid protein lacking N-terminal myristoylation, a carboxyl-terminal pX extension of VP1, VP2 late domains involved in membrane envelopment, and a cis-acting replication element within the 3Dpol sequence. Antibodies in some bat sera immunoprecipitated and neutralized human HAV, suggesting conservation of critical antigenic determinants. Limited phylogenetic cosegregation among hepatoviruses and their hosts and recombination patterns are indicative of major hepatovirus host shifts in the past. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest a Hepatovirus origin in small insectivorous mammals and a rodent origin of human HAV. Patterns of infection in small mammals mimicked those of human HAV in hepatotropism, fecal shedding, acute nature, and extinction of the virus in a closed host population. The evolutionary conservation of hepatovirus structure and pathogenesis provide novel insight into the origins of HAV and highlight the utility of analyzing animal reservoirs for risk assessment of emerging viruses. PMID:26575627

  15. Temporal contamination trends in Arctic marine mammals

    SciTech Connect

    Kurtz, D.A.

    1995-12-31

    In the late 1970s interest developed for investigating the contamination of humans, wildlife, and other animal species for lipophilic organochlorine compounds such as DDTs, PCBs and other polychlorinated hydrocarbons. Soon many of these compounds were banned (in the US) and people turned their thoughts to other topics. Next the presence of heavy metals as lead, mercury, cadmium and selenium were of interest. At the time there was little thought that any of these environmental contaminants would be transported any distance, let alone to such far off places as the Arctic. In recent times, however, researchers have learned that these compounds have a volatility sufficient to become available in the atmospheric portion of the hemisphere and to be drawn towards the cold Arctic regions. Contamination of good food sources in these regions, particularly for the native Americans and other Arctic peoples, has raised important issues. This study discusses the contamination trends of various marine mammals as indicators of general contamination. Assessments can be made as to future trends from this information. Mathematical expression of these trends will be investigated.

  16. Aerosol extinction measurements with CO2-lidar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hagard, Arne; Persson, Rolf

    1992-01-01

    With the aim to develop a model for infrared extinction due to aerosols in slant paths in the lower atmosphere we perform measurements with a CO2-lidar. Earlier measurements with a transmissometer along horizontal paths have been used to develop relations between aerosol extinction and meteorological parameters. With the lidar measurements we hope to develop corresponding relations for altitude profiles of the aerosol extinction in the infrared. An important application is prediction of detection range for infrared imaging systems.

  17. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-25

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales. PMID:26261300

  18. [Diversity, natural history and conservation of mammals from San Vito de Coto Brus, Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Suzán, Gerardo; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Marcé, Erika

    2006-03-01

    Although Costa Rica has been biologically well studied, few areas have complete mammal inventories, which are essential for ecological studies and conservation. The San Vito region is considered among the most important for scientific research in the country because of the presence of the Wilson Botanical Garden and Las Cruces. However, the knowledge of its mammalian fauna is incomplete. We extensively studied the mammals of San Vito, compiled a checklist, and evaluated its composition, relative abundance, habitat distribution, and conservation status. We recorded 105 species, representing 85 genera, 29 families, and 10 orders. Non-volant mammals represented 62 species, 59 genera, 23 families, and 9 orders. Bats belonged to 6 families, 26 genera and 43 species. The extensive deforestation and hunting have caused the extinction of seven species, but the region still supports, surprisingly, a relatively high number of species, most of which are rare. Few species are common and abundant. Species richness was higher in forest, and forest fragments; fewer species were found in coffee plantations, induced grasslands, and secondary vegetation. Around 21% (13 species) are included in the IUCN red book. Three species are considered endangered (Saimiri oerstedii, Tapirus bairdii, and Sylvilagus dicei), and two threatened (Myrmecophaga trydactila and Caluromys derbianus), of which two (T. bairdii and M. trydactila) are locally extinct. The other species in IUCN are either of low risk (i.e. Chironectes minimus) or data deficient (Lontra longicaudis). Additionally, 24 species (39%) are included in CITES. PMID:18457190

  19. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales.

  20. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0–1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales. PMID:26261300

  1. Extinction by Single and Multiple Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, Matthew; Sorensen, Christopher; Chakrabarti, Amit

    2008-03-01

    The combined effect of scattering and absorption is referred to as extinction and is responsible for the redistribution of radiant energy by a particle. This presentation will show that extinction is due to wave interference. Simulations of the energy flow caused by the interference graphically demonstrate how extinction redistributes the energy of incident light. Both single and multi-particle systems are considered. A conceptual, phase-based explanation is given that builds on previous work and illustrates the physical meaning of the optical theorem. Implications regarding the measurement of extinction are discussed.

  2. Mass extinctions vs. uniformitarianism in biological evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Bak, P.; Paczuski, M.

    1995-12-31

    It is usually believed that Darwin`s theory leads to a smooth gradual evolution, so that mass extinctions must be caused by external shocks. However, it has recently been argued that mass extinctions arise from the intrinsic dynamics of Darwinian evolution. Species become extinct when swept by intermittent avalanches propagating through the global ecology. These ideas are made concrete through studies of simple mathematical models of co-evolving species. The models exhibit self-organized criticality and describe some general features of the extinction pattern in the fossil record.

  3. Secondary extinction in Pavlovian fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Vurbic, Drina; Bouton, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlov (1927/1960) reported that following the conditioning of several stimuli, extinction of one conditioned stimulus (CS) attenuated responding to others that had not undergone direct extinction. However, this secondary extinction effect has not been widely replicated in the contemporary literature. In three conditioned suppression experiments with rats, we further explored the phenomenon. In Experiment 1, we asked whether secondary extinction is more likely to occur with target CSs that have themselves undergone some prior extinction. A robust secondary extinction effect was obtained with a nonextinguished target CS. Experiment 2 showed that extinction of one CS was sufficient to reduce renewal of a second CS when it was tested in a neutral (nonextinction) context. In Experiment 3, secondary extinction was observed in groups that initially received intermixed conditioning trials with the target and nontarget CSs, but not in groups that received conditioning of the two CSs in separate sessions. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that CSs must be associated with a common temporal context during conditioning for secondary extinction to occur. PMID:21286897

  4. Lumbar lordosis of extinct hominins.

    PubMed

    Been, Ella; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Kramer, Patricia A

    2012-01-01

    The lordotic curvature of the lumbar spine (lumbar lordosis) in humans is a critical component in the ability to achieve upright posture and bipedal gait. Only general estimates of the lordotic angle (LA) of extinct hominins are currently available, most of which are based on the wedging of the vertebral bodies. Recently, a new method for calculating the LA in skeletal material has become available. This method is based on the relationship between the lordotic curvature and the orientation of the inferior articular processes relative to vertebral bodies in the lumbar spines of living primates. Using this relationship, we developed new regression models in order to calculate the LAs in hominins. The new models are based on primate group-means and were used to calculate the LAs in the spines of eight extinct hominins. The results were also compared with the LAs of modern humans and modern nonhuman apes. The lordotic angles of australopithecines (41° ± 4), H. erectus (45°) and fossil H. sapiens (54° ± 14) are similar to those of modern humans (51° ± 11). This analysis confirms the assumption that human-like lordotic curvature was a morphological change that took place during the acquisition of erect posture and bipedalism as the habitual form of locomotion. Neandertals have smaller lordotic angles (LA = 29° ± 4) than modern humans, but higher angles than nonhuman apes (22° ± 3). This suggests possible subtle differences in Neandertal posture and locomotion from that of modern humans. PMID:22052243

  5. Implications of invasion by Juniperus virginiana on small mammals in the southern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horncastle, V.J.; Hellgren, E.C.; Mayer, P.M.; Ganguli, A.C.; Engle, David M.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in landscape cover in the Great Plains are resulting from the range expansion and invasion of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). By altering the landscape and local vegetation, red cedar is changing the structure and function of habitat for small mammals. We examined effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on small mammals in 3 plant communities (tallgrass prairie, old field, and cross-timbers forest) in the cross-timbers ecoregion in Oklahoma. We sampled small mammals seasonally from May 2001 to August 2002 by using Sherman live traps and mark-recapture techniques on 3.24-ha, 450-trap grids in each plant community. We sampled vegetation in two hundred twenty-five 12 x 12-m cells within each grid. The structure of the small-mammal community differed among the 3 habitat types, with higher species diversity and richness in the tallgrass-prairie and old-field sites. Overall, the small-mammal community shifted along a gradient of increasing eastern red cedar. In the old-field and tallgrass-prairie plots, occurrence of grassland mammals decreased with increasing red cedar, whereas only 1 woodland mammal species increased. In the cross-timbers forest site, percent woody cover (<1 m in height), rather than cover of red cedar, was the most important factor affecting woodland mammal species. Examination of our data suggests that an increase in overstory cover from 0% to 30% red cedar can change a species-rich prairie community to a depauperate community dominated by 1 species, Peromyscus leucopus. Losses in species diversity and changes in mammal distribution paralleled those seen in avian communities invaded by eastern red cedar. Our results highlight ecological effects of invasion by eastern red cedar on diversity and function at multiple trophic levels. ?? 2005 American Society of Mammalogists.

  6. Phylogenetic Clustering of Origination and Extinction across the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Andrew Z.; Patzkowsky, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Mass extinctions can have dramatic effects on the trajectory of life, but in some cases the effects can be relatively small even when extinction rates are high. For example, the Late Ordovician mass extinction is the second most severe in terms of the proportion of genera eliminated, yet is noted for the lack of ecological consequences and shifts in clade dominance. By comparison, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was less severe but eliminated several major clades while some rare surviving clades diversified in the Paleogene. This disconnect may be better understood by incorporating the phylogenetic relatedness of taxa into studies of mass extinctions, as the factors driving extinction and recovery are thought to be phylogenetically conserved and should therefore promote both origination and extinction of closely related taxa. Here, we test whether there was phylogenetic selectivity in extinction and origination using brachiopod genera from the Middle Ordovician through the Devonian. Using an index of taxonomic clustering (RCL) as a proxy for phylogenetic clustering, we find that A) both extinctions and originations shift from taxonomically random or weakly clustered within families in the Ordovician to strongly clustered in the Silurian and Devonian, beginning with the recovery following the Late Ordovician mass extinction, and B) the Late Ordovician mass extinction was itself only weakly clustered. Both results stand in stark contrast to Cretaceous-Cenozoic bivalves, which showed significant levels of taxonomic clustering of extinctions in the Cretaceous, including strong clustering in the mass extinction, but taxonomically random extinctions in the Cenozoic. The contrasting patterns between the Late Ordovician and end-Cretaceous events suggest a complex relationship between the phylogenetic selectivity of mass extinctions and the long-term phylogenetic signal in origination and extinction patterns. PMID:26658946

  7. Phylogenetic Clustering of Origination and Extinction across the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction.

    PubMed

    Krug, Andrew Z; Patzkowsky, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Mass extinctions can have dramatic effects on the trajectory of life, but in some cases the effects can be relatively small even when extinction rates are high. For example, the Late Ordovician mass extinction is the second most severe in terms of the proportion of genera eliminated, yet is noted for the lack of ecological consequences and shifts in clade dominance. By comparison, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was less severe but eliminated several major clades while some rare surviving clades diversified in the Paleogene. This disconnect may be better understood by incorporating the phylogenetic relatedness of taxa into studies of mass extinctions, as the factors driving extinction and recovery are thought to be phylogenetically conserved and should therefore promote both origination and extinction of closely related taxa. Here, we test whether there was phylogenetic selectivity in extinction and origination using brachiopod genera from the Middle Ordovician through the Devonian. Using an index of taxonomic clustering (RCL) as a proxy for phylogenetic clustering, we find that A) both extinctions and originations shift from taxonomically random or weakly clustered within families in the Ordovician to strongly clustered in the Silurian and Devonian, beginning with the recovery following the Late Ordovician mass extinction, and B) the Late Ordovician mass extinction was itself only weakly clustered. Both results stand in stark contrast to Cretaceous-Cenozoic bivalves, which showed significant levels of taxonomic clustering of extinctions in the Cretaceous, including strong clustering in the mass extinction, but taxonomically random extinctions in the Cenozoic. The contrasting patterns between the Late Ordovician and end-Cretaceous events suggest a complex relationship between the phylogenetic selectivity of mass extinctions and the long-term phylogenetic signal in origination and extinction patterns. PMID:26658946

  8. Climate change and mammals: evolutionary versus plastic responses

    PubMed Central

    Boutin, Stan; Lane, Jeffrey E

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and microevolution are the two primary means by which organisms respond adaptively to local conditions. While these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, their relative magnitudes will influence both the rate of, and ability to sustain, phenotypic responses to climate change. We review accounts of recent phenotypic changes in wild mammal populations with the purpose of critically evaluating the following: (i) whether climate change has been identified as the causal mechanism producing the observed change; (ii) whether the change is adaptive; and (iii) the relative influences of evolution and/or phenotypic plasticity underlying the change. The available data for mammals are scant. We found twelve studies that report changes in phenology, body weight or litter size. In all cases, the observed response was primarily due to plasticity. Only one study (of advancing parturition dates in American red squirrels) provided convincing evidence of contemporary evolution. Subsequently, however, climate change has been shown to not be the causal mechanism underlying this shift. We also summarize studies that have shown evolutionary potential (i.e. the trait is heritable and/or under selection) in traits with putative associations with climate change and discuss future directions that need to be undertaken before a conclusive demonstration of plastic or evolutionary responses to climate change in wild mammals can be made. PMID:24454546

  9. Climate change and mammals: evolutionary versus plastic responses.

    PubMed

    Boutin, Stan; Lane, Jeffrey E

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and microevolution are the two primary means by which organisms respond adaptively to local conditions. While these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, their relative magnitudes will influence both the rate of, and ability to sustain, phenotypic responses to climate change. We review accounts of recent phenotypic changes in wild mammal populations with the purpose of critically evaluating the following: (i) whether climate change has been identified as the causal mechanism producing the observed change; (ii) whether the change is adaptive; and (iii) the relative influences of evolution and/or phenotypic plasticity underlying the change. The available data for mammals are scant. We found twelve studies that report changes in phenology, body weight or litter size. In all cases, the observed response was primarily due to plasticity. Only one study (of advancing parturition dates in American red squirrels) provided convincing evidence of contemporary evolution. Subsequently, however, climate change has been shown to not be the causal mechanism underlying this shift. We also summarize studies that have shown evolutionary potential (i.e. the trait is heritable and/or under selection) in traits with putative associations with climate change and discuss future directions that need to be undertaken before a conclusive demonstration of plastic or evolutionary responses to climate change in wild mammals can be made. PMID:24454546

  10. Constraints on Enhanced Extinction Resulting from Extinction Treatment in the Presence of an Added Excitor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Urcelay, Gonzalo P.; Lipatova, Olga; Miller, Ralph R.

    2009-01-01

    Three Pavlovian fear conditioning experiments with rats as subjects explored the effect of extinction in the presence of a concurrent excitor. Our aim was to explore this particular treatment, documented in previous studies to deepen extinction, with novel control groups to shed light on the processes involved in extinction. Relative to subjects…

  11. Dental eruption in afrotherian mammals

    PubMed Central

    Asher, Robert J; Lehmann, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Background Afrotheria comprises a newly recognized clade of mammals with strong molecular evidence for its monophyly. In contrast, morphological data uniting its diverse constituents, including elephants, sea cows, hyraxes, aardvarks, sengis, tenrecs and golden moles, have been difficult to identify. Here, we suggest relatively late eruption of the permanent dentition as a shared characteristic of afrotherian mammals. This characteristic and other features (such as vertebral anomalies and testicondy) recall the phenotype of a human genetic pathology (cleidocranial dysplasia), correlations with which have not been explored previously in the context of character evolution within the recently established phylogeny of living mammalian clades. Results Although data on the absolute timing of eruption in sengis, golden moles and tenrecs are still unknown, craniometric comparisons for ontogenetic series of these taxa show that considerable skull growth takes place prior to the complete eruption of the permanent cheek teeth. Specimens showing less than half (sengis, golden moles) or two-thirds (tenrecs, hyraxes) of their permanent cheek teeth reach or exceed the median jaw length of conspecifics with a complete dentition. With few exceptions, afrotherians are closer to median adult jaw length with fewer erupted, permanent cheek teeth than comparable stages of non-afrotherians. Manatees (but not dugongs), elephants and hyraxes with known age data show eruption of permanent teeth late in ontogeny relative to other mammals. While the occurrence of delayed eruption, vertebral anomalies and other potential afrotherian synapomorphies resemble some symptoms of a human genetic pathology, these characteristics do not appear to covary significantly among mammalian clades. Conclusion Morphological characteristics shared by such physically disparate animals such as elephants and golden moles are not easy to recognize, but are now known to include late eruption of permanent teeth, in

  12. Endogenized viral sequences in mammals.

    PubMed

    Parrish, Nicholas F; Tomonaga, Keizo

    2016-06-01

    Reverse-transcribed RNA molecules compose a significant portion of the human genome. Many of these RNA molecules were retrovirus genomes either infecting germline cells or having done so in a previous generation but retaining transcriptional activity. This mechanism itself accounts for a quarter of the genomic sequence information of mammals for which there is data. We understand relatively little about the causes and consequences of retroviral endogenization. This review highlights functions ascribed to sequences of viral origin endogenized into mammalian genomes and suggests some of the most pressing questions raised by these observations. PMID:27128186

  13. Extinction and the spatial dynamics of biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Jablonski, David

    2008-01-01

    The fossil record amply shows that the spatial fabric of extinction has profoundly shaped the biosphere; this spatial dimension provides a powerful context for integration of paleontological and neontological approaches. Mass extinctions evidently alter extinction selectivity, with many factors losing effectiveness except for a positive relation between survivorship and geographic range at the clade level (confirmed in reanalyses of end-Cretaceous extinction data). This relation probably also holds during “normal” times, but changes both slope and intercept with increasing extinction. The strong geographical component to clade dynamics can obscure causation in the extinction of a feature or a clade, owing to hitchhiking effects on geographic range, so that multifactorial analyses are needed. Some extinctions are spatially complex, and regional extinctions might either reset a diversity ceiling or create a diversification debt open to further diversification or invasion. Evolutionary recoveries also exhibit spatial dynamics, including regional differences in invasibilty, and expansion of clades from the tropics fuels at least some recoveries, as well as biodiversity dynamics during normal times. Incumbency effects apparently correlate more closely with extinction intensities than with standing diversities, so that regions with higher local and global extinctions are more subject to invasion; the latest Cenozoic temperate zones evidently received more invaders than the tropics or poles, but this dynamic could shift dramatically if tropical diversity is strongly depleted. The fossil record can provide valuable insights, and their application to present-day issues will be enhanced by partitioning past and present-day extinctions by driving mechanism rather than emphasizing intensity. PMID:18695229

  14. Modulation of the extinction of fear learning.

    PubMed

    Myskiw, Jociane C; Izquierdo, Ivan; Furini, Cristiane R G

    2014-06-01

    We review recent work on extinction learning with emphasis on its modulation. Extinction is the learned inhibition of responding to previously acquired tasks. Like other forms of learning, it can be modulated by a variety of neurotransmitter systems and behavioral procedures. This bears on its use in the treatment of fear memories, particularly in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which it is the treatment of choice, often under the name of exposure therapy. There have not been many laboratories interested in the modulation of extinction, but the available data, although not very abundant, are quite conclusive. Most studies on the nature of extinction and on its modulation have been carried out on fear motivated behaviors, possibly because of their applicability to the therapy of PTSD. A role for d-serine and the glycine site of NMDA receptors has been ascertained in two forms of extinction in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala and dorsal hippocampus. The serine analog, d-cycloserine, has received clinical trials as an enhancer of extinction. The brain histaminergic system acting via H2 receptors, and the endocannabinoid system using CB1 receptors in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and basolateral amygdala enhance extinction. Dopaminergic D1 and ß-noradrenergic receptors also modulate extinction by actions on these three structures. Isolated findings suggest roles for on serotonin-1A, dopaminergic-D2 and a- and ß-noradrenergic receptors in extinction modulation. Importantly, behavioral tagging and capture mechanisms in the hippocampus have been shown to play a major modulatory role in extinction. In addition, extinction of at least one aversive task (inhibitory avoidance) can be made state dependent on peripheral epinephrine. PMID:24742526

  15. Marine mammals of Puerto Rico: a bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.

    1981-08-01

    This bibliography is the product of a literature survey on marine mammals at a proposed OTEC site near Punta Tuna, Puerto Rico. Included are reports of mammal sightings and strandings from Puerto Rico and adjacent Caribbean islands, reports containing information on distribution and abundance migration routes, and feeding ecology of those species known from the area. A few works on the general biology of marine mammals are also included. 96 references.

  16. Global Assessment of Extinction Risk to Populations of Sockeye Salmon Oncorhynchus nerka

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Peter S.; Goslin, Matthew; Gross, Mart R.; Irvine, James R.; Augerot, Xanthippe; McHugh, Peter A.; Bugaev, Victor F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Concern about the decline of wild salmon has attracted the attention of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN applies quantitative criteria to assess risk of extinction and publishes its results on the Red List of Threatened Species. However, the focus is on the species level and thus may fail to show the risk to populations. The IUCN has adapted their criteria to apply to populations but there exist few examples of this type of assessment. We assessed the status of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka as a model for application of the IUCN population-level assessments and to provide the first global assessment of the status of an anadromous Pacific salmon. Methods/Principal Findings We found from demographic data that the sockeye salmon species is not presently at risk of extinction. We identified 98 independent populations with varying levels of risk within the species' range. Of these, 5 (5%) are already extinct. We analyzed the risk for 62 out of 93 extant populations (67%) and found that 17 of these (27%) are at risk of extinction. The greatest number and concentration of extinct and threatened populations is in the southern part of the North American range, primarily due to overfishing, freshwater habitat loss, dams, hatcheries, and changing ocean conditions. Conclusions/Significance Although sockeye salmon are not at risk at the species-level, about one-third of the populations that we analyzed are at risk or already extinct. Without an understanding of risk to biodiversity at the level of populations, the biodiversity loss in salmon would be greatly underrepresented on the Red List. We urge government, conservation organizations, scientists and the public to recognize this limitation of the Red List. We also urge recognition that about one-third of sockeye salmon global population diversity is at risk of extinction or already extinct. PMID:22511930

  17. Ecosystem Collapse in Pleistocene Australia and a Human Role in Megafaunal Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Gifford H.; Fogel, Marilyn L.; Magee, John W.; Gagan, Michael K.; Clarke, Simon J.; Johnson, Beverly J.

    2005-07-01

    Most of Australia's largest mammals became extinct 50,000 to 45,000 years ago, shortly after humans colonized the continent. Without exceptional climate change at that time, a human cause is inferred, but a mechanism remains elusive. A 140,000-year record of dietary δ13C documents a permanent reduction in food sources available to the Australian emu, beginning about the time of human colonization; a change replicated at three widely separated sites and in the marsupial wombat. We speculate that human firing of landscapes rapidly converted a drought-adapted mosaic of trees, shrubs, and nutritious grasslands to the modern fire-adapted desert scrub. Animals that could adapt survived; those that could not, became extinct.

  18. The Younger Dryas ET Impact Theory and Terminal Pleistocene Mammalian Extinctions in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erlandson, J. M.; Kennett, D. J.; Kennett, J.; Braje, T.; Culleton, B.

    2007-05-01

    Despite decades of intensive study and debate, no consensus has been reached on what caused the extinction of North America's mammalian megafauna at the end of the Pleistocene. In a scholarly standoff, prominent scientists have shown that neither "human overkill" or "climate change" models adequately account for the patterns found in the paleontological and archaeological records of North America. The Younger Dryas ET Impact theory may dramatically alter this debate, adding a catastrophic trigger to help explain the rapid extinction of many large mammals about 12,900 years ago. New data suggest that an extraterrestrial impact focused in northern and eastern North America may have devastated the megafauna through: (1) direct mortality caused by the impacts shock wave, debris, and massive wildfires; (2) dramatic reduction of terrestrial food supplies, rapid climatic change, and ecological reorganization; and (3) coup-de-grace effects of surviving human populations rapidly expanding after the impact.

  19. Mass extinctions: Ecological selectivity and primary production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodes, Melissa Clark; Thayer, Charles W.

    1991-09-01

    If mass extinctions were caused by reduced primary productivity, then extinctions should be concentrated among animals with starvation-susceptible feeding modes, active lifestyles, and high-energy budgets. The stratigraphic ranges (by stage) of 424 genera of bivalves and 309 genera of articulate brachiopods suggest that there was an unusual reduction of primary productivity at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary extinction. For bivalves at the K/T, there were (1) selective extinction of suspension feeders and other susceptible trophic categories relative to deposit feeders and other resistant categories, and (2) among suspension feed-ers, selective extinction of bivalves with active locomotion. During the Permian-Triassic (P/Tr) extinction and Jurassic background time, extinction rates among suspension feeders were greater for articulate brachiopods than for bivalves. But during the K/T event, extinction rates of articulates and suspension-feeding bivalves equalized, possibly because the low-energy budgets of articulates gave them an advantage when food was scarce.

  20. Context and Behavioral Processes in Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bouton, Mark E.

    2004-01-01

    This article provides a selective review and integration of the behavioral literature on Pavlovian extinction. The first part reviews evidence that extinction does not destroy the original learning, but instead generates new learning that is especially context-dependent. The second part examines insights provided by research on several related…

  1. Extinction-Induced Variability in Human Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinloch, Jennifer M.; Foster, T. Mary; McEwan, James S. A.

    2009-01-01

    Participants earned points by pressing a computer space bar (Experiment 1) or forming rectangles on the screen with the mouse (Experiment 2) under differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedules, followed by extinction. Variability in interresponse time (the contingent dimension) increased during extinction, as for Morgan and Lee (1996);…

  2. Immediate extinction promotes the return of fear.

    PubMed

    Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that immediate extinction is less effective than delayed extinction in attenuating the return of fear. This line of fear conditioning research impacts the proposed onset of psychological interventions after threatening situations. In the present study, forty healthy men were investigated in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with fear acquisition in context A, extinction in context B, followed by retrieval testing in both contexts 24h later to test fear renewal. Differently coloured lights served as conditioned stimuli (CS): two CS (CS+) were paired with an electrical stimulation that served as unconditioned stimulus, the third CS was never paired (CS-). Extinction took place immediately after fear acquisition or 24h later. One CS+ was extinguished whereas the second CS+ remained unextinguished to control for different time intervals between fear acquisition and retrieval testing. Immediate extinction led to larger skin conductance responses during fear retrieval to both the extinguished and unextinguished CS relative to the CS-, indicating a stronger return of fear compared to delayed extinction. Taken together, immediate extinction is less potent than delayed extinction and is associated with a stronger renewal effect. Thus, the time-point of psychological interventions relative to the offset of threatening situations needs to be carefully considered to prevent relapses. PMID:26995309

  3. Survival without recovery after mass extinctions

    PubMed Central

    Jablonski, David

    2002-01-01

    Because many survivors of mass extinctions do not participate in postrecovery diversifications, and therefore fall into a pattern that can be termed “Dead Clade Walking” (DCW), the effects of mass extinctions extend beyond the losses observed during the event itself. Analyses at two taxonomic levels provide a first-order test of the prevalence of DCWs by using simple and very conservative operational criteria. For four of the Big Five mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic, the marine genera that survived the extinction suffered ≈10–20% attrition in the immediately following geologic stage that was significantly greater than the losses sustained in preextinction stages. The stages immediately following the three Paleozoic mass extinctions also account for 17% of all order-level losses in marine invertebrates over that interval, which is, again, significantly greater than that seen for the other stratigraphic stages (no orders are lost immediately after the end-Triassic or end-Cretaceous mass extinctions). DCWs are not evenly distributed among four regional molluscan time-series following the end-Cretaceous extinction, demonstrating the importance of spatial patterns in recovery dynamics. Although biotic interactions have been invoked to explain the differential postextinction success of clades, such hypotheses must be tested against alternatives that include stochastic processes in low-diversity lineages—which is evidently not a general explanation for the ordinal DCW patterns, because postextinction fates are not related to the size of extinction bottlenecks in Paleozoic orders—and ongoing physical environmental changes. PMID:12060760

  4. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  5. TROPICAL MASS EXTINCTIONS AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kangas (1992), Undiscovered species and the falsifiability of the tropical mass extinction hypotheses, ESA Bulletin 73:124-125, 1992, argues that there is a paradox concerning the mass extinctions projected from current rates of tropical deforestation. he parameters; for a given ...

  6. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  7. Extinction memory is impaired in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Daphne. J.; Lebron-Milad, Kelimer; Milad, Mohammed R.; Rauch, Scott L.; Pitman, Roger K.; Orr, Scott P.; Cassidy, Brittany S.; Walsh, Jared P.; Goff, Donald C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Schizophrenia is associated with abnormalities in emotional processing and social cognition, which may result from disruption of the underlying neural mechanism(s) governing emotional learning and memory. To investigate this possibility, we measured the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear responses and delayed recall of extinction in schizophrenia and control subjects. Methods 28 schizophrenia and 18 demographically-matched control subjects underwent a two-day fear conditioning, extinction learning and extinction recall procedure, in which skin conductance response (SCR) magnitude was used as the index of conditioned responses. Results During fear acquisition, 83% of the controls and 57% of the patients showed autonomic responsivity (‘responders’), and the patients showed larger SCRs to the stimulus that was not paired with the unconditioned stimulus (CS−) than the controls. Within the responder group, there was no difference between the patients and controls in levels of extinction learning; however, the schizophrenia patients showed significant impairment, relative to the controls, in context-dependent recall of the extinction memory. In addition, delusion severity in the patients correlated with baseline skin conductance levels. Conclusions These data are consistent with prior evidence for a heightened neural response to innocuous stimuli in schizophrenia and elevated arousal levels in psychosis. The finding of deficient extinction recall in schizophrenia patients who showed intact extinction learning suggests that schizophrenia is associated with a disturbance in the neural processes supporting emotional memory. PMID:18986648

  8. Periodicity of extinction: A 1988 update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkowski, J. John, Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The hypothesis that events of mass extinction recur periodically at approximately 26 my intervals is an empirical claim based on analysis of data from the fossil record. The hypothesis has become closely linked with catastrophism because several events in the periodic series are associated with evidence of extraterrestrial impacts, and terrestrial forcing mechanisms with long, periodic recurrences are not easily conceived. Astronomical mechanisms that have been hypothesized include undetected solar companions and solar oscillation about the galactic plane, which induce comet showers and result in impacts on Earth at regular intervals. Because these mechanisms are speculative, they have been the subject of considerable controversy, as has the hypothesis of periodicity of extinction. In response to criticisms and uncertainties, a data base was developed on times of extinction of marine animal genera. A time series is given and analyzed with 49 sample points for the per-genus extinction rate from the Late Permian to the Recent. An unexpected pattern in the data is the uniformity of magnitude of many of the periodic extinction events. Observations suggest that the sequence of extinction events might be the result of two sets of mechanisms: a periodic forcing that normally induces only moderate amounts of extinction, and independent incidents or catastrophes that, when coincident with the periodic forcing, amplify its signal and produce major-mass extinctions.

  9. Long-Term Maintenance of Immediate or Delayed Extinction Is Determined by the Extinction-Test Interval

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Justin S.; Escobar, Martha; Kimble, Whitney L.

    2010-01-01

    Short acquisition-extinction intervals (immediate extinction) can lead to either more or less spontaneous recovery than long acquisition-extinction intervals (delayed extinction). Using rat subjects, we observed less spontaneous recovery following immediate than delayed extinction (Experiment 1). However, this was the case only if a relatively…

  10. New Early Jurassic Tetrapod Assemblages Constrain Triassic-Jurassic Tetrapod Extinction Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, P. E.; Shubin, N. H.; Anders, M. H.

    1987-08-01

    The discovery of the first definitively correlated earliest Jurassic (200 million years before present) tetrapod assemblage (Fundy basin, Newark Supergroup, Nova Scotia) allows reevaluation of the duration of the Triassic-Jurassic tetrapod extinction event. Present are tritheledont and mammal-like reptiles, prosauropod, theropod, and ornithischian dinosaurs, protosuchian and sphenosuchian crocodylomorphs, sphenodontids, and hybodont, semionotid, and palaeonisciform fishes. All of the families are known from Late Triassic and Jurassic strata from elsewhere; however, pollen and spore, radiometric, and geochemical correlation indicate an early Hettangian age for these assemblages. Because all ``typical Triassic'' forms are absent from these assemblages, most Triassic-Jurassic tetrapod extinctions occurred before this time and without the introduction of new families. As was previously suggested by studies of marine invertebrates, this pattern is consistent with a global extinction event at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. The Manicouagan impact structure of Quebec provides dates broadly compatible with the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and, following the impact theory of mass extinctions, may be implicated in the cause.

  11. 78 FR 28411 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-14

    ... Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Seismic... Marine Seismic Survey in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... occur in the seismic survey area include nine cetacean species, beluga whale (Delphinapterus...

  12. Frozen gene pools - A future for species otherwise destined for extinction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.

    1986-01-01

    Conclusion: Semen banks and ova and embryo banks can be practical methods to maintain gene pools. Gene pool preservation is desperately needed today due to the rapid decline in number of species and their habitat, a matter that is of concern to.biologists, economists, and politicians worldwide. Techniques are available for the cryopreservation of semen from many animals (and embryos from a few mammals) and adaptations of these techniques to other animals should be possible. A frozen gene pool in conjunction with existing programs makes it possible to preserve gene pools at less cost or in.some cases where no other alternative to extinction existed.

  13. Gradual dinosaur extinction and simultaneous ungulate radiation in the hell creek formation.

    PubMed

    Sloan, R E; Rigby, J K; VAN Valen, L M; Gabriel, D

    1986-05-01

    Dinosaur extinction in Montana, Alberta, and Wyoming was a gradual process that began 7 million years before the end of the Cretaceous and accelerated rapidly in the final 0.3 million years of the Cretaceous, during the interval of apparent competition from rapidly evolving immigrating ungulates. This interval involves rapid reduction in both diversity and population density of dinosaurs. The last dinosaurs known are from a channel that contains teeth of Mantuan mammals, seven species of dinosaurs, and Paleocene pollen. The top of this channel is 1.3 meters above the likely position of the iridium anomaly, the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. PMID:17781415

  14. Gradual Dinosaur Extinction and Simultaneous Ungulate Radiation in the Hell Creek Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sloan, Robert E.; Rigby, J. Keith; van Valen, Leigh M.; Gabriel, Diane

    1986-05-01

    Dinosaur extinction in Montana, Alberta, and Wyoming was a gradual process that began 7 million years before the end of the Cretaceous and accelerated rapidly in the final 0.3 million years of the Cretaceous, during the interval of apparent competition from rapidly evolving immigrating ungulates. This interval involves rapid reduction in both diversity and population density of dinosaurs. The last dinosaurs known are from a channel that contains teeth of Mantuan mammals, seven species of dinosaurs, and Paleocene pollen. The top of this channel is 1.3 meters above the likely position of the iridium anomaly, the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary.

  15. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastovsky, David E.; Weishampel, David B.

    2005-02-01

    Written for non-specialists, this detailed survey of dinosaur origins, diversity, and extinction is designed as a series of successive essays covering important and timely topics in dinosaur paleobiology, such as "warm-bloodedness," birds as living dinosaurs, the new, non-flying feathered dinosaurs, dinosaur functional morphology, and cladistic methods in systematics. Its explicitly phylogenetic approach to the group is that taken by dinosaur specialists. The book is not an edited compilation of the works of many individuals, but a unique, cohesive perspective on Dinosauria. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of new, specially commissioned illustrations by John Sibbick, world-famous illustrator of dinosaurs, the volume includes multi-page drawings as well as sketches and diagrams. First edition Hb (1996): 0-521-44496-9 David E. Fastovsky is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Rhode Island. Fastovsky, the author of numerous scientific publications dealing with Mesozoic vertebrate faunas and their ancient environments, is also scientific co-Editor of Geology. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork studying dinosaurs and their environments in Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Mexico, and Mongolia. David B. Weishampel is a professor at the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Weishampel is best known for discovering, researching, and naming several rare European dinosaur species. During the 1980s Weishampel gained fame for his work with American paleontologist Jack Horner and later named the famous plant-eating, egg-laying Orodromeus, Horner. Now, a decade after his pioneering studies with Horner, Weishampel is most widely known for his current work on the Romanian dinosaur fauna. He is the author and co-author of many titles, including The Dinosaur Papers, 1676-1906 (Norton, 2003); The Dinosauria, (University of California, 1990); and Dinosaurs of the East Coast, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

  16. Preventing the Next Mass Extinction: Ethical Obligations

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, Bruce Edward

    2009-11-01

    This paper presents a framework to judge whether we are meeting our ethical responsibilities for preventing massive species extinction. The framework is a generalization from another framework, one that addresses ethical responsibilities related to preventing premature, involuntary human deaths from environmental risks and the extinction of the human race. The resulting ethical risk standards are quite stringent and it is argued that we are nowhere close to meeting any standards, except in the cases of human extinction and extinction of all life on earth, which are met by chance, not by design. Much work is needed to build the 'technology' needed to estimate probabilities associated with massive losses of human life and species extinction over the suggested 1000 year planning horizon.

  17. Mass extinction in poorly known taxa

    PubMed Central

    Régnier, Claire; Achaz, Guillaume; Lambert, Amaury; Cowie, Robert H.; Bouchet, Philippe; Fontaine, Benoît

    2015-01-01

    Since the 1980s, many have suggested we are in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, yet only 799 (0.04%) of the 1.9 million known recent species are recorded as extinct, questioning the reality of the crisis. This low figure is due to the fact that the status of very few invertebrates, which represent the bulk of biodiversity, have been evaluated. Here we show, based on extrapolation from a random sample of land snail species via two independent approaches, that we may already have lost 7% (130,000 extinctions) of the species on Earth. However, this loss is masked by the emphasis on terrestrial vertebrates, the target of most conservation actions. Projections of species extinction rates are controversial because invertebrates are essentially excluded from these scenarios. Invertebrates can and must be assessed if we are to obtain a more realistic picture of the sixth extinction crisis. PMID:26056308

  18. Extinctions in ancient and modern seas.

    PubMed

    Harnik, Paul G; Lotze, Heike K; Anderson, Sean C; Finkel, Zoe V; Finnegan, Seth; Lindberg, David R; Liow, Lee Hsiang; Lockwood, Rowan; McClain, Craig R; McGuire, Jenny L; O'Dea, Aaron; Pandolfi, John M; Simpson, Carl; Tittensor, Derek P

    2012-11-01

    In the coming century, life in the ocean will be confronted with a suite of environmental conditions that have no analog in human history. Thus, there is an urgent need to determine which marine species will adapt and which will go extinct. Here, we review the growing literature on marine extinctions and extinction risk in the fossil, historical, and modern records to compare the patterns, drivers, and biological correlates of marine extinctions at different times in the past. Characterized by markedly different environmental states, some past periods share common features with predicted future scenarios. We highlight how the different records can be integrated to better understand and predict the impact of current and projected future environmental changes on extinction risk in the ocean. PMID:22889500

  19. Rarity of a top predator triggers continent-wide collapse of mammal prey: dingoes and marsupials in Australia.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Christopher N; Isaac, Joanne L; Fisher, Diana O

    2007-02-01

    Top predators in terrestrial ecosystems may limit populations of smaller predators that could otherwise become over abundant and cause declines and extinctions of some prey. It is therefore possible that top predators indirectly protect many species of prey from excessive predation. This effect has been demonstrated in some small-scale studies, but it is not known how general or important it is in maintaining prey biodiversity. During the last 150 years, Australia has suffered the world's highest rate of mammal decline and extinction, and most evidence points to introduced mid-sized predators (the red fox and the feral cat) as the cause. Here, we test the idea that the decline of Australia's largest native predator, the dingo, played a role in these extinctions. Dingoes were persecuted from the beginning of European settlement in Australia and have been eliminated or made rare over large parts of the continent. We show a strong positive relationship between the survival of marsupials and the geographical overlap with high-density dingo populations. Our results suggest that the rarity of dingoes was a critical factor which allowed smaller predators to overwhelm marsupial prey, triggering extinction over much of the continent. This is evidence of a crucial role of top predators in maintaining prey biodiversity at large scales in terrestrial ecosystems and suggests that many remaining Australian mammals would benefit from the positive management of dingoes. PMID:17164197

  20. Early Cretaceous mammal from North America and the evolution of marsupial dental characters.

    PubMed Central

    Cifelli, R L

    1993-01-01

    A mammal from the Early Cretaceous of the western United States, represented by a lower jaw exceptional in its completeness, presents unambiguous evidence of postcanine dental formula in an Early Cretaceous marsupial-like mammal, and prompts a reconsideration of the early evolution of marsupial dental characters. A marsupial postcanine dental formula (three premolars and four molars) and several marsupial-like features of the lower molars are present in the new taxon, but a hallmark specialization of marsupials (twinning of the hypoconulid and entoconid on lower molars) is lacking. This, coupled with recent evidence from the Late Cretaceous of the western United States, suggests that the distinctive marsupial dental formula evolved prior to the most characteristic specialization of lower molars and that apomorphies presumed to be diagnostic of the upper molars (such as auxiliary stylar cusps) were relatively more recent developments in marsupial history. Dental evidence supports the monophyly of higher (tribosphenic) mammals and suggests that the predominantly Old World Deltatheroida, recently proposed as a sister taxon to marsupials, represents a primitive and unrelated group of higher mammals; by this interpretation, early marsupials and their presumed close relatives are restricted to North America. This, together with the hypothesized relationships of South American/Australian marsupials (in the context of the North American Cretaceous radiation) and evidence from the fossil record of South America, in turn supports a North American origin for the group. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8415715

  1. A sphingolipid mechanism for behavioral extinction.

    PubMed

    Huston, Joseph P; Kornhuber, Johannes; Mühle, Christiane; Japtok, Lukasz; Komorowski, Mara; Mattern, Claudia; Reichel, Martin; Gulbins, Erich; Kleuser, Burkhard; Topic, Bianca; De Souza Silva, Maria A; Müller, Christian P

    2016-05-01

    Reward-dependent instrumental behavior must continuously be re-adjusted according to environmental conditions. Failure to adapt to changes in reward contingencies may incur psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. When an expected reward is omitted, behavior undergoes extinction. While extinction involves active re-learning, it is also accompanied by emotional behaviors indicative of frustration, anxiety, and despair (extinction-induced depression). Here, we report evidence for a sphingolipid mechanism in the extinction of behavior. Rapid extinction, indicating efficient re-learning, coincided with a decrease in the activity of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), which catalyzes turnover of sphingomyelin to ceramide, in the dorsal hippocampus of rats. The stronger the decline in ASM activity, the more rapid was the extinction. Sphingolipid-focused lipidomic analysis showed that this results in a decline of local ceramide species in the dorsal hippocampus. Ceramides shape the fluidity of lipid rafts in synaptic membranes and by that way can control neural plasticity. We also found that aging modifies activity of enzymes and ceramide levels in selective brain regions. Aging also changed how the chronic treatment with corticosterone (stress) or intranasal dopamine modified regional enzyme activity and ceramide levels, coinciding with rate of extinction. These data provide first evidence for a functional ASM-ceramide pathway in the brain involved in the extinction of learned behavior. This finding extends the known cellular mechanisms underlying behavioral plasticity to a new class of membrane-located molecules, the sphingolipids, and their regulatory enzymes, and may offer new treatment targets for extinction- and learning-related psychopathological conditions. Sphingolipids are common lipids in the brain which form lipid domains at pre- and postsynaptic membrane compartments. Here we show a decline in dorsal hippocampus ceramide species together with a

  2. Predicting extinction debt from community patterns.

    PubMed

    Kitzes, Justin; Harte, John

    2015-08-01

    A significant challenge in both measuring and predicting species extinction rates at global and local scales is the possibility of extinction debt, time-delayed extinctions that occur gradually following an initial impact. Here we examine how relative abundance distributions and spatial aggregation combine to influence the likely magnitude of future extinction debt following habitat loss or climate-driven range contraction. Our analysis is based on several fundamental premises regarding abundance distributions, most importantly that species abundances immediately following habitat loss are a sample from an initial relative abundance distribution and that the long-term, steady-state form of the species abundance distribution is a property of the biology of a community and not of area. Under these two hypotheses, the results show that communities following canonical lognormal and broken-stick abundance distributions are prone to exhibit extinction debt, especially when species exhibit low spatial aggregation. Conversely, communities following a logseries distribution with a constant Fisher's α parameter never demonstrate extinction debt and often show an "immigration credit," in which species richness rises in the long term following an initial decrease. An illustration of these findings in 25 biodiversity hotspots suggests a negligible immediate extinction rate for bird communities and eventual extinction debts of 30-50% of initial species richness, whereas plant communities are predicted to immediately lose 5-15% of species without subsequent extinction debt. These results shed light on the basic determinants of extinction debt and provide initial indications of the magnitude of likely debts in landscapes where few empirical data are available. PMID:26405738

  3. The Impact of 850,000 Years of Climate Changes on the Structure and Dynamics of Mammal Food Webs

    PubMed Central

    Nenzén, Hedvig K.; Montoya, Daniel; Varela, Sara

    2014-01-01

    Most evidence of climate change impacts on food webs comes from modern studies and little is known about how ancient food webs have responded to climate changes in the past. Here, we integrate fossil evidence from 71 fossil sites, body-size relationships and actualism to reconstruct food webs for six large mammal communities that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula at different times during the Quaternary. We quantify the long-term dynamics of these food webs and study how their structure changed across the Quaternary, a period for which fossil data and climate changes are well known. Extinction, immigration and turnover rates were correlated with climate changes in the last 850 kyr. Yet, we find differences in the dynamics and structural properties of Pleistocene versus Holocene mammal communities that are not associated with glacial-interglacial cycles. Although all Quaternary mammal food webs were highly nested and robust to secondary extinctions, general food web properties changed in the Holocene. These results highlight the ability of communities to re-organize with the arrival of phylogenetically similar species without major structural changes, and the impact of climate change and super-generalist species (humans) on Iberian Holocene mammal communities. PMID:25207754

  4. 77 FR 49921 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-17

    ... from ION Geophysical (ION) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by... comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to ION to take, by harassment, nine species of marine mammals... March 1, 2012, from ION for the taking, by harassment, of marine mammals incidental to a marine...

  5. A continent-wide assessment of the form and intensity of large mammal herbivory in Africa.

    PubMed

    Hempson, Gareth P; Archibald, Sally; Bond, William J

    2015-11-27

    Megafaunal extinctions and a lack of suitable remote sensing technology impede our understanding of both the ecological legacy and current impacts of large mammal herbivores in the Earth system. To address this, we reconstructed the form and intensity of herbivory pressure across sub-Saharan Africa ~1000 years ago. Specifically, we modeled and mapped species-level biomass for 92 large mammal herbivores using census data, species distributions, and environmental covariates. Trait-based classifications of these species into herbivore functional types, and analyses of their biomass surfaces, reveal four ecologically distinct continental-scale herbivory regimes, characterized by internally similar forms and intensities of herbivory pressure. Associations between herbivory regimes, fire prevalence, soil nutrient status, and rainfall provide important insights into African ecology and pave the way for integrating herbivores into global-scale studies. PMID:26612946

  6. 50 CFR 216.37 - Marine mammal parts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Marine mammal parts. 216.37 Section 216... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 216.37 Marine mammal parts. With respect to marine mammal parts acquired...

  7. 50 CFR 216.37 - Marine mammal parts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Marine mammal parts. 216.37 Section 216... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 216.37 Marine mammal parts. With respect to marine mammal parts acquired...

  8. 50 CFR 216.37 - Marine mammal parts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Marine mammal parts. 216.37 Section 216... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 216.37 Marine mammal parts. With respect to marine mammal parts acquired...

  9. 50 CFR 216.83 - Importation of birds or mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of birds or mammals. 216.83... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.83 Importation of birds or mammals. No mammals or...

  10. 50 CFR 216.37 - Marine mammal parts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Marine mammal parts. 216.37 Section 216.37..., DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 216.37 Marine mammal parts. With respect to marine mammal parts acquired by take...

  11. 50 CFR 216.83 - Importation of birds or mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of birds or mammals. 216.83... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.83 Importation of birds or mammals. No mammals or...

  12. 50 CFR 216.37 - Marine mammal parts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Marine mammal parts. 216.37 Section 216.37..., DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 216.37 Marine mammal parts. With respect to marine mammal parts acquired by take...

  13. 50 CFR 216.83 - Importation of birds or mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Importation of birds or mammals. 216.83... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.83 Importation of birds or mammals. No mammals or...

  14. 50 CFR 216.83 - Importation of birds or mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of birds or mammals. 216.83... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.83 Importation of birds or mammals. No mammals or...

  15. 50 CFR 216.83 - Importation of birds or mammals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of birds or mammals. 216.83... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.83 Importation of birds or mammals. No mammals or...

  16. Evolution of marine mammals: back to the sea after 300 million years.

    PubMed

    Uhen, Mark D

    2007-06-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that mammals re-entered the marine realm on at least seven separate occasions. Five of these clades are still extant, whereas two are extinct. This review presents a brief introduction to the phylogeny of each group of marine mammals, based on the latest studies using both morphological and molecular data. Evolutionary highlights are presented, focusing on changes affecting the sensory systems, locomotion, breathing, feeding, and reproduction in Cetacea, Sirenia, Desmostylia, and Pinnipedia. Aquatic adaptations are specifically cited, supported by data from morphological and geochemical studies. For example, analysis of oxygen isotopes incorporated into fossil tooth enamel indicates whether these mammals foraged in (and, therefore, ingested) fresh water or sea water. Comparisons between groups are made to see if there are any common patterns, particularly relating to adaptations to aquatic life. Results show that aquatic characteristics evolved in mosaic patterns and that different morphological solutions to aquatic conditions were achieved separately in each of these groups. Changes in the axial and appendicular skeleton assist with locomotion for aquatic foraging. Nostril and eye placement modifications accommodate wading versus underwater foraging needs. All groups exhibit aquatic adaptations directly related to feeding, particularly changes in the dentition and rostrum. The earliest representatives of these clades all show morphological features that indicate they were feeding while in the water, suggesting that feeding ecology is a key factor in the evolution of marine mammals. PMID:17516441

  17. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis. PMID:22949523

  18. Report on marine mammal stranding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    2006-06-01

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report on 27 April indicating that U.S. Navy sonar transmissions may have played a role in the stranding of more than 150 melon-headed whales on 3 July 2004 off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. At the time of the stranding, which resulted in one whale death, the Navy was preparing to conduct sonar activities as part of a military exercise. The report notes that six naval surface vessels transiting to the area on the previous night intermittenly transmitted mid-frequency active sonar. That activity is ``a plausible, if not likely, contributing factor'' to the stranding event. There was no significant weather, natural oceanographic event, or known biological factors that would explain the animals' movement into the bay nor the group's continued presence in the bay, according to report lead author Teri Rowles, NOAA marine mammal veterinarian.

  19. MARINE MAMMAL DISEASES: PATHOGENS AND PROCESSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a concise overview of the pathogens and processes that alter the health of marine mammals. Viral disease is the most common etiology of significant mortality events in marine mammals. Discussion of viral disease focuses on effects in the ...

  20. Retention of perceptual generalization of fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Pappens, Meike; Schroijen, Mathias; Van den Bergh, Omer; Van Diest, Ilse

    2015-12-01

    Fear reduction obtained during a fear extinction procedure can generalize from the extinction stimulus to other perceptually similar stimuli. Perceptual generalization of fear extinction typically follows a perceptual gradient, with increasing levels of fear reduction the more a stimulus resembles the extinction stimulus. The current study aimed to investigate whether perceptual generalization of fear extinction can be observed also after a retention interval of 24h. Fear was acquired to three geometrical figures of different sizes (CS(+), CS1(+) and CS2(+)) by consistently pairing them with a short-lasting suffocation experience (US). Three other geometrical figures that were never followed by the US served as control stimuli (CS(-), CS1(-), CS2(-)). Next, only the CS(+) was extinguished by presenting it in the absence of the US. One day later, fear responses to all stimuli were assessed without any US-presentation. Outcome measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance, US expectancy, respiratory rate and tidal volume. On day 2 spontaneous recovery of fear was observed in US expectancy and tidal volume, but not in the other outcomes. Evidence for the retention of fear extinction generalization was present in US expectancy and skin conductance, but a perceptual gradient in the retention of generalized fear extinction could not be observed. PMID:25623628

  1. The first multituberculate mammal from India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parmar, Varun; Prasad, Guntupalli V. R.; Kumar, Deepak

    2013-06-01

    Mesozoic deposits of the former Gondwanaland are depauperate in early mammals, in general, and multituberculate mammals, in particular. Until now, the oldest multituberculate mammals known from the Gondwanan continents come from the Early Cretaceous of Morocco, NW Africa. Here, we report the presence of a new multituberculate mammal, Indobaatar zofiae gen. et sp. nov., from the Lower/Middle Jurassic Kota Formation, Pranhita-Godavari valley in peninsular India. This is the first record of a multituberculate from the Mesozoic rocks of India and possibly predates the oldest known multituberculates from Gondwanan continents. The new specimen, representing an upper premolar (P4), compares well with the upper premolar morphology of Eobaatariinae multituberculates known from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia, China, England, and Spain. Together with the recent findings of cimolodontan multituberculates from the Early Cretaceous of Australia and Late Cretaceous of South America, the new discovery indicates a wide temporal and spatial distribution for multituberculate mammals in the former Gondwanaland.

  2. The effect of geographic range on extinction risk during background and mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Jonathan L.; Finnegan, Seth

    2007-01-01

    Wide geographic range is generally thought to buffer taxa against extinction, but the strength of this effect has not been investigated for the great majority of the fossil record. Although the majority of genus extinctions have occurred between major mass extinctions, little is known about extinction selectivity regimes during these “background” intervals. Consequently, the question of whether selectivity regimes differ between background and mass extinctions is largely unresolved. Using logistic regression, we evaluated the selectivity of genus survivorship with respect to geographic range by using a global database of fossil benthic marine invertebrates spanning the Cambrian through the Neogene periods, an interval of ≈500 My. Our results show that wide geographic range has been significantly and positively associated with survivorship for the great majority of Phanerozoic time. Moreover, the significant association between geographic range and survivorship remains after controlling for differences in species richness and abundance among genera. However, mass extinctions and several second-order extinction events exhibit less geographic range selectivity than predicted by range alone. Widespread environmental disturbance can explain the reduced association between geographic range and extinction risk by simultaneously affecting genera with similar ecological and physiological characteristics on global scales. Although factors other than geographic range have certainly affected extinction risk during many intervals, geographic range is likely the most consistently significant predictor of extinction risk in the marine fossil record. PMID:17563357

  3. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  4. The circumstellar extinction of RY Sagittarii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holm, A. V.; Wu, C.-C.; Doherty, L. R.

    1982-01-01

    In 1979-80, ultraviolet spectrophotometry of RY Sgr was obtained by the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) during the star's recovery from its 1977-78 minimum. The wavelength dependence of the extinction of this R Coronae Borealis-type variable was determined by comparison of spectra obtained at different times but with nearly the same pulsational phase. The measured wavelength dependence is compatible with theoretical predictions of extinction by spherical graphite particles having a radius of 0.043 micron and with the extinction observed for amorphorus carbon smoke.

  5. Large igneous provinces and mass extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wignall, P. B.

    2001-03-01

    Comparing the timing of mass extinctions with the formation age of large igneous provinces reveals a close correspondence in five cases, but previous claims that all such provinces coincide with extinction events are unduly optimistic. The best correlation occurs for four consecutive mid-Phanerozoic examples, namely the end-Guadalupian extinction/Emeishan flood basalts, the end-Permian extinction/Siberian Traps, the end-Triassic extinction/central Atlantic volcanism and the early Toarcian extinction/Karoo Traps. Curiously, the onset of eruptions slightly post-dates the main phase of extinctions in these examples. Of the seven post-Karoo provinces, only the Deccan Traps coincide with a mass extinction, but in this case, the nature of the biotic crisis is best reconciled with the effects of a major bolide impact. Intraoceanic volcanism may also be implicated in a relatively minor end-Cenomanian extinction crisis, although once again the main phase of volcanism occurs after the crisis. The link between large igneous province formation and extinctions remains enigmatic; volume of extrusives and extinction intensity are unrelated and neither is there any apparent relationship with the rapidity of province formation. Violence of eruptions (proportions of pyroclastics) also appears unimportant. Six out of 11 provinces coincide with episodes of global warming and marine anoxia/dysoxia, a relationship that suggests that volcanic CO 2 emissions may have an important effect on global climate. Conversely, there is little, if any, geological evidence for cooling associated with continental flood basalt eruptions suggesting little long-term impact of SO 2 emissions. Large carbon isotope excursions are associated with some extinction events and intervals of flood basalt eruption but these are too great to be accounted for by the release of volcanic CO 2 alone. Thus, voluminous volcanism may in some circumstances trigger calamitous global environmental changes (runaway greenhouses

  6. Extinction from a Rationalist Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Gallistel, C. R.

    2012-01-01

    The merging of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary thinking leads to a kind of rationalism, in which enduring truths about the world have become implicit in the computations that enable the brain to cope with the experienced world. The dead reckoning computation, for example, is implemented within the brains of animals as one of the mechanisms that enables them to learn where they are (Gallistel, 1990, 1995). It integrates a velocity signal with respect to a time signal. Thus, the manner in which position and velocity relate to one another in the world is reflected in the manner in which signals representing those variables are processed in the brain. I use principles of information theory and Bayesian inference to derive from other simple principles explanations for: 1) the failure of partial reinforcement to increase reinforcements to acquisition; 2) the partial reinforcement extinction effect; 3) spontaneous recovery; 4) renewal; 5) reinstatement; 6) resurgence (aka facilitated reacquisition). Like the principle underlying dead-reckoning, these principles are grounded in analytic considerations. They are the kind of enduring truths about the world that are likely to have shaped the brain's computations. PMID:22391153

  7. Extinction from a rationalist perspective.

    PubMed

    Gallistel, C R

    2012-05-01

    The merging of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary thinking leads to a kind of rationalism, in which enduring truths about the world have become implicit in the computations that enable the brain to cope with the experienced world. The dead reckoning computation, for example, is implemented within the brains of animals as one of the mechanisms that enables them to learn where they are (Gallistel, 1990, 1995). It integrates a velocity signal with respect to a time signal. Thus, the manner in which position and velocity relate to one another in the world is reflected in the manner in which signals representing those variables are processed in the brain. I use principles of information theory and Bayesian inference to derive from other simple principles explanations for: (1) the failure of partial reinforcement to increase reinforcements to acquisition; (2) the partial reinforcement extinction effect; (3) spontaneous recovery; (4) renewal; (5) reinstatement; (6) resurgence (aka facilitated reacquisition). Like the principle underlying dead-reckoning, these principles are grounded in analytic considerations. They are the kind of enduring truths about the world that are likely to have shaped the brain's computations. PMID:22391153

  8. Hospital autopsy: Endangered or extinct?

    PubMed Central

    Turnbull, Angus; Osborn, Michael; Nicholas, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Aim To determine the hospital autopsy rate for the UK in 2013. Methods A study of data from a ‘Freedom of Information’ request to all (n=186) acute NHS Trusts within England (n=160), NHS Boards in Scotland (n=14) and Wales (n=7) and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland (n=5). Hospital autopsy rates were calculated from the number of hospital autopsies performed in 2013 as a percentage of total inpatient deaths in the Trust that year. Results The UK response rate was 99% (n=184), yielding a mean autopsy rate of 0.69%. The mean rates were 0.51% (England), 2.13% (Scotland), 0.65% (Wales) and 0.46% (Northern Ireland). 23% (n=38) of all included respondents had a rate of 0% and 86% (n=143) a rate less than 1%. Conclusions The decline in hospital autopsy has continued relentlessly and, for better or for worse, the practice is on the verge of extinction in the UK. The study highlights to health professionals and policy makers the magnitude of this decline. Further research should investigate the impact of this on patient safety, clinical audit, public health and medical education. PMID:26076965

  9. Assessing the impact of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brault, Marc-Olivier; Mysak, Lawrence; Damon Matthews, H.; Simmons, Christopher

    2013-04-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked a turning point for the Earth system as the climate gradually emerged from millennia of severe glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. It is widely known that the deglacial climate change was accompanied by an unprecedented decline in many species of large terrestrial mammals, featuring among others the near-total eradication of the woolly mammoth. Due to an herbivorous diet that involved the grazing of a large number of trees, their extinction is thought to have contributed to the rapid and well-documented expansion of dwarf deciduous trees in Siberia and Beringia, which in turn could have affected the surface albedo of Northern Continents, and contributed to the changing climate of the period. In this study, we use the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM) to simulate the possible effects of megafaunal extinctions on Pleistocene climate change. We have introduced various hypothetical scenarios of megafaunal extinctions ranging from catastrophic to more realistic cases, in order to quantify their potential impact on climate via the associated biogeophysical effects of expanding vegetation on regional and global temperature. In particular, we focus our attention on a Maximum Impact Scenario (MIS), which represents the greatest possible post-extinction reforestation in the model. The more realistic experiments include sensitivity tests based on the timing of extinction, the amount of tree clearance associated with mammoth diets, and the size of mammoth habitats. We also show the results of a simulation with free (non-prescribed) atmospheric CO2. For the most extreme extinction scenario, we obtained a surface albedo increase of 0.006, which resulted in a global warming of 0.175°C. Less extreme scenarios produced smaller global mean temperature changes, though local warming in some locations exceeded 0.3°C even in the more realistic extinction scenarios. In the simulation with freely evolving atmospheric CO2

  10. Global climate change driven by soot at the K-Pg boundary as the cause of the mass extinction

    PubMed Central

    Kaiho, Kunio; Oshima, Naga; Adachi, Kouji; Adachi, Yukimasa; Mizukami, Takuya; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Saito, Ryosuke

    2016-01-01

    The mass extinction of life 66 million years ago at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, marked by the extinctions of dinosaurs and shallow marine organisms, is important because it led to the macroevolution of mammals and appearance of humans. The current hypothesis for the extinction is that an asteroid impact in present-day Mexico formed condensed aerosols in the stratosphere, which caused the cessation of photosynthesis and global near-freezing conditions. Here, we show that the stratospheric aerosols did not induce darkness that resulted in milder cooling than previously thought. We propose a new hypothesis that latitude-dependent climate changes caused by massive stratospheric soot explain the known mortality and survival on land and in oceans at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. The stratospheric soot was ejected from the oil-rich area by the asteroid impact and was spread globally. The soot aerosols caused sufficiently colder climates at mid–high latitudes and drought with milder cooling at low latitudes on land, in addition to causing limited cessation of photosynthesis in global oceans within a few months to two years after the impact, followed by surface-water cooling in global oceans in a few years. The rapid climate change induced terrestrial extinctions followed by marine extinctions over several years. PMID:27414998

  11. A review and synthesis of late Pleistocene extinction modeling: progress delayed by mismatches between ecological realism, interpretation, and methodological transparency.

    PubMed

    Yule, Jeffrey V; Fournier, Robert J; Jensen, Christopher X J; Yang, Jinyan

    2014-06-01

    Late Pleistocene extinctions occurred globally over a period of about 50,000 years, primarily affecting mammals of > or = 44 kg body mass (i.e., megafauna) first in Australia, continuing in Eurasia and, finally, in the Americas. Polarized debate about the cause(s) of the extinctions centers on the role of climate change and anthropogenic factors (especially hunting). Since the late 1960s, investigators have developed mathematical models to simulate the ecological interactions that might have contributed to the extinctions. Here, we provide an overview of the various methodologies used and conclusions reached in the modeling literature, addressing both the strengths and weaknesses of modeling as an explanatory tool. Although late Pleistocene extinction models now provide a solid foundation for viable future work, we conclude, first, that single models offer less compelling support for their respective explanatory hypotheses than many realize; second, that disparities in methodology (both in terms of model parameterization and design) prevent meaningful comparison between models and, more generally, progress from model to model in increasing our understanding of these extinctions; and third, that recent models have been presented and possibly developed without sufficient regard for the transparency of design that facilitates scientific progress. PMID:24984323

  12. Is the modern koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) a derived dwarf of a Pleistocene giant? Implications for testing megafauna extinction hypotheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Gilbert J.

    2008-12-01

    The modern Australian koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus) is commonly regarded as a dwarf descendent of a Late Pleistocene giant koala ( Ph. stirtoni). The implication of that hypothesis is that the giant koala survived the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction "event", albeit as a smaller body-sized form. It is important to be able to constrain rates of Late Pleistocene faunal turnover, an aspect reliant on having accurate taxonomic information of extinct species. The koala dwarfing hypothesis is tested here by using a temporally-constrained biogeographical record of fossil koalas, and a morphological character analysis. The contemporary occurrence of both taxa in pre-Late Pleistocene deposits and significant differences in dental morphologies between those forms suggests that the modern koala is not a derived dwarf of the Pleistocene giant koala. Thus, the giant-form was among a number of other giant mammals, lizards and birds that suffered extinction sometime during the Late Pleistocene. The potential phenomenon of dwarfing of other Late Pleistocene and Recent faunas, such as grey kangaroos, is commonly used as a test for or against various megafaunal extinction hypotheses. However, the results of this study also demonstrate that the dwarfing hypothesis has not been adequately tested for a suite of other taxa. Thus, until the dwarfing hypothesis can be more fully tested, a clear understanding of the fate of Late Pleistocene faunas that apparently survived the extinction "event", and the origins of many extant forms will remain elusive.

  13. Global climate change driven by soot at the K-Pg boundary as the cause of the mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Kaiho, Kunio; Oshima, Naga; Adachi, Kouji; Adachi, Yukimasa; Mizukami, Takuya; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Saito, Ryosuke

    2016-01-01

    The mass extinction of life 66 million years ago at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, marked by the extinctions of dinosaurs and shallow marine organisms, is important because it led to the macroevolution of mammals and appearance of humans. The current hypothesis for the extinction is that an asteroid impact in present-day Mexico formed condensed aerosols in the stratosphere, which caused the cessation of photosynthesis and global near-freezing conditions. Here, we show that the stratospheric aerosols did not induce darkness that resulted in milder cooling than previously thought. We propose a new hypothesis that latitude-dependent climate changes caused by massive stratospheric soot explain the known mortality and survival on land and in oceans at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. The stratospheric soot was ejected from the oil-rich area by the asteroid impact and was spread globally. The soot aerosols caused sufficiently colder climates at mid-high latitudes and drought with milder cooling at low latitudes on land, in addition to causing limited cessation of photosynthesis in global oceans within a few months to two years after the impact, followed by surface-water cooling in global oceans in a few years. The rapid climate change induced terrestrial extinctions followed by marine extinctions over several years. PMID:27414998

  14. Global climate change driven by soot at the K-Pg boundary as the cause of the mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiho, Kunio; Oshima, Naga; Adachi, Kouji; Adachi, Yukimasa; Mizukami, Takuya; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Saito, Ryosuke

    2016-07-01

    The mass extinction of life 66 million years ago at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, marked by the extinctions of dinosaurs and shallow marine organisms, is important because it led to the macroevolution of mammals and appearance of humans. The current hypothesis for the extinction is that an asteroid impact in present-day Mexico formed condensed aerosols in the stratosphere, which caused the cessation of photosynthesis and global near-freezing conditions. Here, we show that the stratospheric aerosols did not induce darkness that resulted in milder cooling than previously thought. We propose a new hypothesis that latitude-dependent climate changes caused by massive stratospheric soot explain the known mortality and survival on land and in oceans at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. The stratospheric soot was ejected from the oil-rich area by the asteroid impact and was spread globally. The soot aerosols caused sufficiently colder climates at mid–high latitudes and drought with milder cooling at low latitudes on land, in addition to causing limited cessation of photosynthesis in global oceans within a few months to two years after the impact, followed by surface-water cooling in global oceans in a few years. The rapid climate change induced terrestrial extinctions followed by marine extinctions over several years.

  15. Are marine and nonmarine extinctions correlated?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rampino, Michael R.

    Recent papers in Eos have debated the possible relationships between marine mass extinctions, comet showers, and volcanism [Alvarez, 1986; Officer and Grieve, 1986], and ail three might be linked [Rampino, 1987]. Moreover, as Officer and Grieve [ 1986] point out, various other causes have been suggested for given extinction events, including changes in climate, ocean circulation, and sea level fluctuations, possibly related to plate tectonics and continental positions. Also under debate is the issue of whether mass extinctions were gradual, stepped, or geologically sudden events (see, for example, Hut et al. [1987]). A missing ingredient thus far in these debates has been the record of faunal diversity of nonmarine animals. Does this show any agreement with the marine extinction record?

  16. Opportunistic exploitation: an overlooked pathway to extinction.

    PubMed

    Branch, Trevor A; Lobo, Aaron S; Purcell, Steven W

    2013-07-01

    How can species be exploited economically to extinction? Past single-species hypotheses examining the economic plausibility of exploiting rare species have argued that the escalating value of rarity allows extinction to be profitable. We describe an alternative pathway toward extinction in multispecies exploitation systems, termed 'opportunistic exploitation'. In this mode, highly valued species that are targeted first by fishing, hunting, and logging become rare, but their populations can decline further through opportunistic exploitation while more common but less desirable species are targeted. Effectively, expanding exploitation to more species subsidizes the eventual extinction of valuable species at low densities. Managers need to recognize conditions that permit opportunistic depletion and pass regulations to protect highly desirable species when exploitation can expand to other species. PMID:23562732

  17. Epidemic Extinction and Control in Heterogeneous Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hindes, Jason; Schwartz, Ira B.

    2016-07-01

    We consider epidemic extinction in finite networks with a broad variation in local connectivity. Generalizing the theory of large fluctuations to random networks with a given degree distribution, we are able to predict the most probable, or optimal, paths to extinction in various configurations, including truncated power laws. We find that paths for heterogeneous networks follow a limiting form in which infection first decreases in low-degree nodes, which triggers a rapid extinction in high-degree nodes, and finishes with a residual low-degree extinction. The usefulness of our approach is further demonstrated through optimal control strategies that leverage the dependence of finite-size fluctuations on network topology. Interestingly, we find that the optimal control is a mix of treating both high- and low-degree nodes based on theoretical predictions, in contrast to methods that ignore dynamical fluctuations.

  18. Biomarker Records Associated with Mass Extinction Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteside, Jessica H.; Grice, Kliti

    2016-06-01

    The history of life on Earth is punctuated by a series of mass extinction episodes that vary widely in their magnitude, duration, and cause. Biomarkers are a powerful tool for the reconstruction of historical environmental conditions and can therefore provide insights into the cause and responses to ancient extinction events. In examining the five largest mass extinctions in the geological record, investigators have used biomarkers to elucidate key processes such as eutrophy, euxinia, ocean acidification, changes in hydrological balance, and changes in atmospheric CO2. By using these molecular fossils to understand how Earth and its ecosystems have responded to unusual environmental activity during these extinctions, models can be made to predict how Earth will respond to future changes in its climate.

  19. Electromagnetic wave extinction within a forested canopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karam, M. A.; Fung, A. K.

    1989-01-01

    A forested canopy is modeled by a collection of randomly oriented finite-length cylinders shaded by randomly oriented and distributed disk- or needle-shaped leaves. For a plane wave exciting the forested canopy, the extinction coefficient is formulated in terms of the extinction cross sections (ECSs) in the local frame of each forest component and the Eulerian angles of orientation (used to describe the orientation of each component). The ECSs in the local frame for the finite-length cylinders used to model the branches are obtained by using the forward-scattering theorem. ECSs in the local frame for the disk- and needle-shaped leaves are obtained by the summation of the absorption and scattering cross-sections. The behavior of the extinction coefficients with the incidence angle is investigated numerically for both deciduous and coniferous forest. The dependencies of the extinction coefficients on the orientation of the leaves are illustrated numerically.

  20. The extinction properties of forest components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karam, M. A.; Fung, A. K.; Blanchard, A. J.; Nance, C. E.

    1988-01-01

    The effect of each forest component on the extinction of electromagnetic waves is investigated by modeling the branches with finite cylinders, deciduous leaves with elliptic disks, and coniferous leaves with needles. The inner field is estimated by the field inside an infinitely long cylinder of similar properties for the branches, and by the Shifrin approximation for the leaves. For each forest component analytic expressions were derived for the extinction cross section via the forward scattering theorem and for ohmic and scattered losses. For branches, the variation of the extinction cross section obtained via the forward scattering theorem is illustrated numerically as a function of the branch radius and the imaginery part of its dielectric constant. It is compared with the measurements from a single branch. For the leaves, the forward scattering theorem gives value for the extinction cross section equal to the ohmic cross section.

  1. Limited diversity of the interstellar extinction law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krełowski, J.; Strobel, A.

    2012-01-01

    We have applied the method of investigating extinction curves using statistically meaningful samples that was proposed by us 25 years ago. The extensive data sets of the ANS (Astronomical Netherlands Satellite) and 2MASS (Two Micron All Sky Survey) were used, together with U BV photometry to create average extinction curves for samples of OB stars. Our results demonstrate that in the vast majority of cases the extinction curves are very close to the mean galactic extinction curve. Only a few objects were found to be obviously discrepant from the average. The latter phenomenon may be related to nitrogen chemistry in translucent interstellar clouds. Data from ANS and 2MASS Tables A4-A6 are available at the CDS via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/AN/333/60

  2. 76 FR 3615 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14259

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-20

    ..., receive, possess, analyze, and archive marine mammal parts for scientific research. DATES: Written... requesting authorization to import, export, receive, possess, analyze and archive marine mammal...

  3. Megafauna biomass tradeoff as a driver of Quaternary and future extinctions

    PubMed Central

    Barnosky, Anthony D.

    2008-01-01

    Earth's most recent major extinction episode, the Quaternary Megafauna Extinction, claimed two-thirds of mammal genera and one-half of species that weighed >44 kg between ≈50,000 and 3,000 years ago. Estimates of megafauna biomass (including humans as a megafauna species) for before, during, and after the extinction episode suggest that growth of human biomass largely matched the loss of non-human megafauna biomass until ≈12,000 years ago. Then, total megafauna biomass crashed, because many non-human megafauna species suddenly disappeared, whereas human biomass continued to rise. After the crash, the global ecosystem gradually recovered into a new state where megafauna biomass was concentrated around one species, humans, instead of being distributed across many species. Precrash biomass levels were finally reached just before the Industrial Revolution began, then skyrocketed above the precrash baseline as humans augmented the energy available to the global ecosystem by mining fossil fuels. Implications include (i) an increase in human biomass (with attendant hunting and other impacts) intersected with climate change to cause the Quaternary Megafauna Extinction and an ecological threshold event, after which humans became dominant in the global ecosystem; (ii) with continued growth of human biomass and today's unprecedented global warming, only extraordinary and stepped-up conservation efforts will prevent a new round of extinctions in most body-size and taxonomic spectra; and (iii) a near-future biomass crash that will unfavorably impact humans and their domesticates and other species is unavoidable unless alternative energy sources are developed to replace dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. PMID:18695222

  4. Life in the Aftermath of Mass Extinctions.

    PubMed

    Hull, Pincelli

    2015-10-01

    The vast majority of species that have ever lived went extinct sometime other than during one of the great mass extinction events. In spite of this, mass extinctions are thought to have outsized effects on the evolutionary history of life. While part of this effect is certainly due to the extinction itself, I here consider how the aftermaths of mass extinctions might contribute to the evolutionary importance of such events. Following the mass loss of taxa from the fossil record are prolonged intervals of ecological upheaval that create a selective regime unique to those times. The pacing and duration of ecosystem change during extinction aftermaths suggests strong ties between the biosphere and geosphere, and a previously undescribed macroevolutionary driver - earth system succession. Earth system succession occurs when global environmental or biotic change, as occurs across extinction boundaries, pushes the biosphere and geosphere out of equilibrium. As species and ecosystems re-evolve in the aftermath, they change global biogeochemical cycles - and in turn, species and ecosystems - over timescales typical of the geosphere, often many thousands to millions of years. Earth system succession provides a general explanation for the pattern and timing of ecological and evolutionary change in the fossil record. Importantly, it also suggests that a speed limit might exist for the pace of global biotic change after massive disturbance - a limit set by geosphere-biosphere interactions. For mass extinctions, earth system succession may drive the ever-changing ecological stage on which species evolve, restructuring ecosystems and setting long-term evolutionary trajectories as they do. PMID:26439357

  5. Extinction rates of established spatial populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meerson, Baruch; Sasorov, Pavel V.

    2011-01-01

    This paper deals with extinction of an isolated population caused by intrinsic noise. We model the population dynamics in a “refuge” as a Markov process which involves births and deaths on discrete lattice sites and random migrations between neighboring sites. In extinction scenario I, the zero population size is a repelling fixed point of the on-site deterministic dynamics. In extinction scenario II, the zero population size is an attracting fixed point, corresponding to what is known in ecology as the Allee effect. Assuming a large population size, we develop a WKB (Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin) approximation to the master equation. The resulting Hamilton’s equations encode the most probable path of the population toward extinction and the mean time to extinction. In the fast-migration limit these equations coincide, up to a canonical transformation, with those obtained, in a different way, by Elgart and Kamenev [Phys. Rev. EPHYADX1539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.70.041106 70, 041106 (2004)]. We classify possible regimes of population extinction with and without an Allee effect and for different types of refuge, and solve several examples analytically and numerically. For a very strong Allee effect, the extinction problem can be mapped into the overdamped limit of the theory of homogeneous nucleation due to Langer [Ann. Phys. (NY)APNYA60003-491610.1016/0003-4916(69)90153-5 54, 258 (1969)]. In this regime, and for very long systems, we predict an optimal refuge size that maximizes the mean time to extinction.

  6. Mass extinctions in the deep sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, E.

    1988-01-01

    The character of mass extinctions can be assessed by studying extinction patterns of organisms, the fabric of the extinction, and assessing the environmental niche and mode of life of survivors. Deep-sea benthic foraminifera have been listed as little affected by the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) mass extinction, but very few quantitative data are available. New data on deep-sea Late Maestrichtian-Eocene benthic foraminifera from Maud Rise (Antractica) indicate that about 10 percent of the species living at depths of 2000 to 2500 m had last appearances within 1 my of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, versus about 25 percent of species at 1000 to 1500 m. Many survivors from the Cretaceous became extinct in a period of global deep-sea benthic foraminiferal extinction at the end of the Paleocene, a time otherwise marked by very few extinctions. Preliminary conclusions suggest that the deep oceanic environment is essentially decoupled from the shallow marine and terrestrial environment, and that even major disturbances of one of these will not greatly affect the other. This gives deep-sea benthic faunas a good opportunity to recolonize shallow environments from greater depths and vice versa after massive extinctions. The decoupling means that data on deep-sea benthic boundary was caused by the environmental effects of asteriod impact or excessive volcanism. The benthic foraminiferal data strongly suggest, however, that the environmental results were strongest at the Earth's surface, and that there was no major disturbance of the deep ocean; this pattern might result both from excessive volcanism and from an impact on land.

  7. Properties of Dust Extinction in Starburst Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzetti, D.; Kinney, A. L.; Storchi-Bergmann, T.; Panagia, N.

    1993-05-01

    We have studied the extinction properties of 38 starburst and Blue Compact galaxies covering the metallicity range 8.3<=log (O/H)<=9.2, by analyzing their UV+optical spectra. The UV spectra come from the compilation of IUE spectra by Kinney et al. (Kinney, Bohlin, Calzetti, Panagia, & Wyse, 1993, ApJS, to appear on the May issue). The optical spectra, spanning the wavelength range 3200-7500 Angstroms, have been observed in a IUE-matched aperture. Following standard techniques, we have derived the selective extinction E(B-V) from the Balmer decrement and the metallicity from the [OII] and [OIII] lines. In order to clarify the properties of dust extinction in the UV for starburst galaxies, we have fitted the observed UV fluxes of our galaxies in the wavelength range 1250-2600 Angstroms according to the power law F(lambda )~lambda (beta ) and studied the behaviour of beta as function of the selective extinction E(B-V). We find that these two quantities are correlated and that there is no difference between the loci occupied by the low and high metallicity galaxies in the plane beta -vs-E(B-V). The correlation indicates that a higher metallicity does not change the characteristics of individual grains, but merely increases their number. On this ground, our conclusion is that the shape of the extinction law in the UV does not depend on metallicity, for extinctions E(B-V)>0.2. Although the low metallicity galaxies in our sample follow neither the Large Magellanic Cloud nor the Small Magellanic Cloud extinction laws, the absence in our spectra of prominent 2200 Angstroms dust features illustrates that a simple application of a galactic extinction law may be inadequate to properly correct the UV spectra. Models of clumpy dust layers and of dust mixed with the ionized gas are currently under analysis.

  8. On the prior distribution of extinction time.

    PubMed

    Solow, Andrew R

    2016-06-01

    Bayesian inference about the extinction of a species based on a record of its sightings requires the specification of a prior distribution for extinction time. Here, I critically review some specifications in the context of a specific model of the sighting record. The practical implication of the choice of prior distribution is illustrated through an application to the sighting record of the Caribbean monk seal. PMID:27277952

  9. How does climate change cause extinction?

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Abigail E.; Aiello-Lammens, Matthew E.; Fisher-Reid, M. Caitlin; Hua, Xia; Karanewsky, Caitlin J.; Yeong Ryu, Hae; Sbeglia, Gena C.; Spagnolo, Fabrizio; Waldron, John B.; Warsi, Omar; Wiens, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to be a major cause of species extinctions in the next 100 years. But what will actually cause these extinctions? For example, will it be limited physiological tolerance to high temperatures, changing biotic interactions or other factors? Here, we systematically review the proximate causes of climate-change related extinctions and their empirical support. We find 136 case studies of climatic impacts that are potentially relevant to this topic. However, only seven identified proximate causes of demonstrated local extinctions due to anthropogenic climate change. Among these seven studies, the proximate causes vary widely. Surprisingly, none show a straightforward relationship between local extinction and limited tolerances to high temperature. Instead, many studies implicate species interactions as an important proximate cause, especially decreases in food availability. We find very similar patterns in studies showing decreases in abundance associated with climate change, and in those studies showing impacts of climatic oscillations. Collectively, these results highlight our disturbingly limited knowledge of this crucial issue but also support the idea that changing species interactions are an important cause of documented population declines and extinctions related to climate change. Finally, we briefly outline general research strategies for identifying these proximate causes in future studies. PMID:23075836

  10. Conservation Genetics of a Critically Endangered Limpet Genus and Rediscovery of an Extinct Species

    PubMed Central

    Ó Foighil, Diarmaid; Li, Jingchun; Lee, Taehwan; Johnson, Paul; Evans, Ryan; Burch, John B.

    2011-01-01

    Background A third of all known freshwater mollusk extinctions worldwide have occurred within a single medium-sized American drainage. The Mobile River Basin (MRB) of Alabama, a global hotspot of temperate freshwater biodiversity, was intensively industrialized during the 20th century, driving 47 of its 139 endemic mollusk species to extinction. These include the ancylinid limpet Rhodacmea filosa, currently classified as extinct (IUCN Red List), a member of a critically endangered southeastern North American genus reduced to a single known extant population (of R. elatior) in the MRB. Methodology/Principal Findings We document here the tripling of known extant populations of this North American limpet genus with the rediscovery of enduring Rhodacmea filosa in a MRB tributary and of R. elatior in its type locality: the Green River, Kentucky, an Ohio River Basin (ORB) tributary. Rhodacmea species are diagnosed using untested conchological traits and we reassessed their systematic and conservation status across both basins using morphometric and genetic characters. Our data corroborated the taxonomic validity of Rhodacmea filosa and we inferred a within-MRB cladogenic origin from a common ancestor bearing the R. elatior shell phenotype. The geographically-isolated MRB and ORB R. elatior populations formed a cryptic species complex: although overlapping morphometrically, they exhibited a pronounced phylogenetic disjunction that greatly exceeded that of within-MRB R. elatior and R. filosa sister species. Conclusions/Significance Rhodacmea filosa, the type species of the genus, is not extinct. It persists in a Coosa River tributary and morphometric and phylogenetic analyses confirm its taxonomic validity. All three surviving populations of the genus Rhodacmea merit specific status. They collectively contain all known survivors of a phylogenetically highly distinctive North American endemic genus and therefore represent a concentrated fraction of continental freshwater

  11. Marine mammals from the Miocene of Panama

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhen, Mark D.; Coates, Anthony G.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Montes, Camilo; Pimiento, Catalina; Rincon, Aldo; Strong, Nikki; Velez-Juarbe, Jorge

    2010-12-01

    Panama has produced an abundance of Neogene marine fossils both invertebrate (mollusks, corals, microfossils etc.) and vertebrate (fish, land mammals etc.), but marine mammals have not been previously reported. Here we describe a cetacean thoracic vertebra from the late Miocene Tobabe Formation, a partial cetacean rib from the late Miocene Gatun Formation, and a sirenian caudal vertebra and rib fragments from the early Miocene Culebra Formation. These finds suggest that Central America may yet provide additional fossil marine mammal specimens that will help us to understand the evolution, and particularly the biogeography of these groups.

  12. Habitat patterns in a small mammal community

    SciTech Connect

    Kitchings, J.T.; Levy, D.J.

    1981-11-01

    Microhabitat relationships between four sympatric small mammal species (Peromyscus leucopus, Ochrotomys nuttalli, Blarina brevicauda, and Tamias striatus) were examined to determine if their discriminant analysis of small mammal habitat represented a unique habitat utilization pattern for a specific small mammal community. The authors concluded that habitat is only one of many dimensions to be considered when studying the interactions of sympatric species. Reproductive strategy, activity patterns, and other factors make up the n-dimensional hyperspace of an animal's niche. Thus differences in habitat usage alone cannot be used to determine niche overlap and competition between species. (JMT)

  13. Compound Stimulus Extinction Reduces Spontaneous Recovery in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coelho, Cesar A. O.; Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Fear-related behaviors are prone to relapse following extinction. We tested in humans a compound extinction design ("deepened extinction") shown in animal studies to reduce post-extinction fear recovery. Adult subjects underwent fear conditioning to a visual and an auditory conditioned stimulus (CSA and CSB, respectively) separately…

  14. Passive electroreception in aquatic mammals.

    PubMed

    Czech-Damal, Nicole U; Dehnhardt, Guido; Manger, Paul; Hanke, Wolf

    2013-06-01

    Passive electroreception is a sensory modality in many aquatic vertebrates, predominantly fishes. Using passive electroreception, the animal can detect and analyze electric fields in its environment. Most electric fields in the environment are of biogenic origin, often produced by prey items. These electric fields can be relatively strong and can be a highly valuable source of information for a predator, as underlined by the fact that electroreception has evolved multiple times independently. The only mammals that possess electroreception are the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the echidnas (Tachyglossidae) from the monotreme order, and, recently discovered, the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) from the cetacean order. Here we review the morphology, function and origin of the electroreceptors in the two aquatic species, the platypus and the Guiana dolphin. The morphology shows certain similarities, also similar to ampullary electroreceptors in fishes, that provide cues for the search for electroreceptors in more vertebrate and invertebrate species. The function of these organs appears to be very similar. Both species search for prey animals in low-visibility conditions or while digging in the substrate, and sensory thresholds are within one order of magnitude. The electroreceptors in both species are innervated by the trigeminal nerve. The origin of the accessory structures, however, is completely different; electroreceptors in the platypus have developed from skin glands, in the Guiana dolphin, from the vibrissal system. PMID:23187861

  15. Running and Breathing in Mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bramble, Dennis M.; Carrier, David R.

    1983-01-01

    Mechanical constraints appear to require that locomotion and breathing be synchronized in running mammals. Phase locking of limb and respiratory frequency has now been recorded during treadmill running in jackrabbits and during locomotion on solid ground in dogs, horses, and humans. Quadrupedal species normally synchronize the locomotor and respiratory cycles at a constant ratio of 1:1 (strides per breath) in both the trot and gallop. Human runners differ from quadrupeds in that while running they employ several phase-locked patterns (4:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1, 5:2, and 3:2), although a 2:1 coupling ratio appears to be favored. Even though the evolution of bipedal gait has reduced the mechanical constraints on respiration in man, thereby permitting greater flexibility in breathing pattern, it has seemingly not eliminated the need for the synchronization of respiration and body motion during sustained running. Flying birds have independently achieved phase-locked locomotor and respiratory cycles. This hints that strict locomotor-respiratory coupling may be a vital factor in the sustained aerobic exercise of endothermic vertebrates, especially those in which the stresses of locomotion tend to deform the thoracic complex.

  16. The Late Ordovician Extinction: How it became the best understood of the five major extinctions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheehan, P.

    2003-04-01

    The end Ordovician extinction has become arguably the best-understood major extinction event in Earth History. A plethora of workers have established the pattern of faunal change and causes of the extinction with remarkably little disagreement. The first indication of increased extinction at the end of the Ordovician was a graph of global diversity patterns by Norman Newell in 1967, although he did not recognize it as a major event. The presence of a major extinction event became clear as William Berry and Art Boucot assembled data for Silurian correlation charts in the late 1960s. The first reports of North African glaciation in the late 1960s provided a cause for the extinction and study of the event snowballed. It was no accident that recognition of the extinction began in North America, because it was there that the extinction completely overturned faunas in the epicontinental seas. Glacio-eustatic regression of shallow seaway coincided with the disappearance of endemic Laurentian faunas and replacement by a highly cosmopolitan fauna in the Silurian. Once the event was established in North America, paleontologists soon found evidence of the event around the globe. The well-documented Hirnantia Fauna was found to correspond to the glacial interval, and Pat Brenchley soon recognized that there were two pulses of extinction, at the beginning and end of the glaciation. At the same time that the faunal changes were being documented geologic studies of the glaciation provided information on the environmental changes associated with the extinction. The timing of the glacial maximum was established in Africa and by the presence of dropstones in high latitude marine rocks. The 1990s saw geochemical techniques employed that allowed examination of atmospheric CO2 and temperature changes. In many places carbonate deposition declined. Glacio-eustatic regression was obvious in many areas, and a sea-level decline in the range of 50-100 m was established. Shallow

  17. The Miocene mammal Necrolestes demonstrates the survival of a Mesozoic nontherian lineage into the late Cenozoic of South America.

    PubMed

    Rougier, Guillermo W; Wible, John R; Beck, Robin M D; Apesteguía, Sebastian

    2012-12-01

    The early Miocene mammal Necrolestes patagonensis from Patagonia, Argentina, was described in 1891 as the only known extinct placental "insectivore" from South America (SA). Since then, and despite the discovery of additional well-preserved material, the systematic status of Necrolestes has remained in flux, with earlier studies leaning toward placental affinities and more recent ones endorsing either therian or specifically metatherian relationships. We have further prepared the best-preserved specimens of Necrolestes and compared them with newly discovered nontribosphenic Mesozoic mammals from Argentina; based on this, we conclude that Necrolestes is related neither to marsupials nor placentals but is a late-surviving member of the recently recognized nontherian clade Meridiolestida, which is currently known only from SA. This conclusion is supported by a morphological phylogenetic analysis that includes a broad sampling of therian and nontherian taxa and that places Necrolestes within Meridiolestida. Thus, Necrolestes is a remnant of the highly endemic Mesozoic fauna of nontribosphenic mammals in SA and extends the known record of meridiolestidans by almost 45 million years. Together with other likely relictual mammals from earlier in the Cenozoic of SA and Antarctica, Necrolestes demonstrates the ecological diversity of mammals and the mosaic pattern of fauna replacement in SA during the Cenozoic. In contrast to northern continents, the Cenozoic faunal history of SA was characterized by a long period of interaction between endemic mammalian lineages of Mesozoic origin and metatherian and eutherian lineages that probably dispersed to SA during the latest Cretaceous or earliest Paleocene. PMID:23169652

  18. A tour de force by Hawaii’s invasive mammals: Establishment, takeover, and ecosystem restoration through eradication

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Invasive mammals have irreversibly altered ecosystems of Hawai‘i and other tropical Pacific islands in numerous cases through novel herbivory, predation, and diseases, thereby causing the disproportionate extinction of flora and fauna that occur nowhere else on Earth. The control and eradication of invasive mammals is the single most expensive management activity necessary for restoring ecological integrity to many natural areas of Hawai‘i and other Pacific Islands, and have already advanced the restoration of native biota by removing herbivorous ungulates from >750 km2. Rodenticides which have been tested and registered for hand and aerial broadcast in Hawai‘i have been used to eradicate rats from remote islands to protect nesting seabirds and are now being applied to larger islands to protect forest birds. The exclusion of other invasive mammals is now being undertaken with more sophisticated control techniques and fences. New fence designs are capable of excluding all mammals from areas to protect endangered native birds. Although the eradication of mammals from large areas has resulted in the restoration of some ecosystem processes such as natural forest regeneration, changes in other processes such as fire regimes, nutrient cycling, and invasive plant proliferation remain more difficult to reverse at larger landscape scales.

  19. The Miocene mammal Necrolestes demonstrates the survival of a Mesozoic nontherian lineage into the late Cenozoic of South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rougier, Guillermo W.; Wible, John R.; Beck, Robin M. D.; Apesteguía, Sebastian

    2012-12-01

    The early Miocene mammal Necrolestes patagonensis from Patagonia, Argentina, was described in 1891 as the only known extinct placental "insectivore" from South America (SA). Since then, and despite the discovery of additional well-preserved material, the systematic status of Necrolestes has remained in flux, with earlier studies leaning toward placental affinities and more recent ones endorsing either therian or specifically metatherian relationships. We have further prepared the best-preserved specimens of Necrolestes and compared them with newly discovered nontribosphenic Mesozoic mammals from Argentina; based on this, we conclude that Necrolestes is related neither to marsupials nor placentals but is a late-surviving member of the recently recognized nontherian clade Meridiolestida, which is currently known only from SA. This conclusion is supported by a morphological phylogenetic analysis that includes a broad sampling of therian and nontherian taxa and that places Necrolestes within Meridiolestida. Thus, Necrolestes is a remnant of the highly endemic Mesozoic fauna of nontribosphenic mammals in SA and extends the known record of meridiolestidans by almost 45 million years. Together with other likely relictual mammals from earlier in the Cenozoic of SA and Antarctica, Necrolestes demonstrates the ecological diversity of mammals and the mosaic pattern of fauna replacement in SA during the Cenozoic. In contrast to northern continents, the Cenozoic faunal history of SA was characterized by a long period of interaction between endemic mammalian lineages of Mesozoic origin and metatherian and eutherian lineages that probably dispersed to SA during the latest Cretaceous or earliest Paleocene.

  20. Assessing small mammal abundance with track-tube indices and mark-recapture population estimates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiewel, A.S.; Clark, W.R.; Sovada, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    We compared track-tube sampling with mark-recapture livetrapping and evaluated a track-tube index, defined as the number of track tubes with identifiable small mammal tracks during a 4-night period, as a predictor of small mammal abundance estimates in North Dakota grasslands. Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were the most commonly recorded species by both methods, but were underrepresented in track-tube sampling, whereas 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) and Franklin's ground squirrels (S. franklinii) were overrepresented in track-tube sampling. Estimates of average species richness were lower from track tubes than from livetrapping. Regression models revealed that the track-tube index was at best a moderately good predictor of small mammal population estimates because both the form (linear versus curvilinear) and slope of the relationship varied between years. In addition, 95% prediction intervals indicated low precision when predicting population estimates from new track-tube index observations. Track tubes required less time and expense than mark-recapture and eliminated handling of small mammals. Using track tubes along with mark-recapture in a double sampling for regression framework would have potential value when attempting to estimate abundance of small mammals over large areas. ?? 2007 American Society of Mammalogists.

  1. Climate directly influences Eocene mammal faunal dynamics in North America

    PubMed Central

    Woodburne, Michael O.; Gunnell, Gregg F.; Stucky, Richard K.

    2009-01-01

    The modern effect of climate on plants and animals is well documented. Some have cautioned against assigning climate a direct role in Cenozoic land mammal faunal changes. We illustrate 3 episodes of significant mammalian reorganization in the Eocene of North America that are considered direct responses to dramatic climatic events. The first episode occurred during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), beginning the Eocene (55.8 Ma), and earliest Wasatchian North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA). The PETM documents a short (<170 k.y.) global temperature increase of ≈5 °C and a substantial increase in first appearances of mammals traced to climate-induced immigration. A 4-m.y. period of climatic and evolutionary stasis then ensued. The second climate episode, the late early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO, 53–50 Ma), is marked by a temperature increase to the highest prolonged Cenozoic ocean temperature and a similarly distinctive continental interior mean annual temperature (MAT) of 23 °C. This MAT increase [and of mean annual precipitation (MAP) to 150 cm/y) promoted a major increase in floral diversity and habitat complexity under temporally unique, moist, paratropical conditions. Subsequent climatic deterioration in a third interval, from 50 to 47 Ma, resulted in major faunal diversity loss at both continental and local scales. In this Bridgerian Crash, relative abundance shifted from very diverse, evenly represented, communities to those dominated by the condylarth Hyopsodus. Rather than being “optimum,” the EECO began the greatest episode of faunal turnover of the first 15 m.y. of the Cenozoic. PMID:19666605

  2. Climate directly influences Eocene mammal faunal dynamics in North America.

    PubMed

    Woodburne, Michael O; Gunnell, Gregg F; Stucky, Richard K

    2009-08-11

    The modern effect of climate on plants and animals is well documented. Some have cautioned against assigning climate a direct role in Cenozoic land mammal faunal changes. We illustrate 3 episodes of significant mammalian reorganization in the Eocene of North America that are considered direct responses to dramatic climatic events. The first episode occurred during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), beginning the Eocene (55.8 Ma), and earliest Wasatchian North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA). The PETM documents a short (<170 k.y.) global temperature increase of approximately 5 degrees C and a substantial increase in first appearances of mammals traced to climate-induced immigration. A 4-m.y. period of climatic and evolutionary stasis then ensued. The second climate episode, the late early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO, 53-50 Ma), is marked by a temperature increase to the highest prolonged Cenozoic ocean temperature and a similarly distinctive continental interior mean annual temperature (MAT) of 23 degrees C. This MAT increase [and of mean annual precipitation (MAP) to 150 cm/y) promoted a major increase in floral diversity and habitat complexity under temporally unique, moist, paratropical conditions. Subsequent climatic deterioration in a third interval, from 50 to 47 Ma, resulted in major faunal diversity loss at both continental and local scales. In this Bridgerian Crash, relative abundance shifted from very diverse, evenly represented, communities to those dominated by the condylarth Hyopsodus. Rather than being "optimum," the EECO began the greatest episode of faunal turnover of the first 15 m.y. of the Cenozoic. PMID:19666605

  3. Immediate Extinction Causes a Less Durable Loss of Performance than Delayed Extinction following Either Fear or Appetitive Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In…

  4. A Mesozoic gliding mammal from northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Meng, Jin; Hu, Yaoming; Wang, Yuanqing; Wang, Xiaolin; Li, Chuankui

    2006-12-14

    Gliding flight has independently evolved many times in vertebrates. Direct evidence of gliding is rare in fossil records and is unknown in mammals from the Mesozoic era. Here we report a new Mesozoic mammal from Inner Mongolia, China, that represents a previously unknown group characterized by a highly specialized insectivorous dentition and a sizable patagium (flying membrane) for gliding flight. The patagium is covered with dense hair and supported by an elongated tail and limbs; the latter also bear many features adapted for arboreal life. This discovery extends the earliest record of gliding flight for mammals to at least 70 million years earlier in geological history, and demonstrates that early mammals were diverse in their locomotor strategies and lifestyles; they had experimented with an aerial habit at about the same time as, if not earlier than, when birds endeavoured to exploit the sky. PMID:17167478

  5. Global Patterns of Zoonotic Disease in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Han, Barbara A; Kramer, Andrew M; Drake, John M

    2016-07-01

    As the frequency and prevalence of zoonotic diseases increase worldwide, investigating how mammal host distributions determine patterns of human disease and predicting which regions are at greatest risk for future zoonotic disease emergence are two goals which both require better understanding of the current distributions of zoonotic hosts and pathogens. We review here the existing data about mammalian host species, comparing and contrasting these patterns against global maps of zoonotic hosts from all 27 orders of terrestrial mammals. We discuss the zoonotic potential of host species from the top six most species-rich mammal groups, and review the literature to identify analytical and conceptual gaps that must be addressed to improve our ability to generate testable predictions about zoonotic diseases originating from wild mammals. PMID:27316904

  6. A Molecular Phylogeny of Plesiorycteropus Reassigns the Extinct Mammalian Order ‘Bibymalagasia’

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Madagascar is well known for its diverse fauna and flora, being home to many species not found anywhere else in the world. However, its biodiversity in the recent past included a range of extinct enigmatic fauna, such as elephant birds, giant lemurs and dwarfed hippopotami. The ‘Malagasy aardvark’ (Plesiorycteropus) has remained one of Madagascar’s least well-understood extinct species since its discovery in the 19th century. Initially considered a close relative of the aardvark (Orycteropus) within the order Tubulidentata, more recent morphological analyses challenged this placement on the grounds that the identifiably derived traits supporting this allocation were adaptations to digging rather than shared ancestry. Because the skeletal evidence showed many morphological traits diagnostic of different eutherian mammal orders, they could not be used to resolve its closest relatives. As a result, the genus was tentatively assigned its own taxonomic order ‘Bibymalagasia’, yet how this order relates to other eutherian mammal orders remains unclear despite numerous morphological investigations. This research presents the first known molecular sequence data for Plesiorycteropus, obtained from the bone protein collagen (I), which places the ‘Malagasy aardvark’ as more closely related to tenrecs than aardvarks. More specifically, Plesiorycteropus was recovered within the order Tenrecoidea (golden moles and tenrecs) within Afrotheria, suggesting that the taxonomic order ‘Bibymalagasia’ is obsolete. This research highlights the potential for collagen sequencing in investigating the phylogeny of extinct species as a viable alternative to ancient DNA (aDNA) sequencing, particularly in cases where aDNA cannot be recovered. PMID:23555726

  7. Elevational distribution and extinction risk in birds.

    PubMed

    White, Rachel L; Bennett, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    Mountainous regions are hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity. Unlike islands, which have been the focus of extensive research on extinction dynamics, fewer studies have examined mountain ranges even though they face increasing threats from human pressures - notably habitat conversion and climate change. Limits to the taxonomic and geographical extent and resolution of previously available information have precluded an explicit assessment of the relative role of elevational distribution in determining extinction risk. We use a new global species-level avian database to quantify the influence of elevational distribution (range, maximum and midpoint) on extinction risk in birds at the global scale. We also tested this relationship within biogeographic realms, higher taxonomic levels, and across phylogenetic contrasts. Potential confounding variables (i.e. phylogenetic, distributional, morphological, life history and niche breadth) were also tested and controlled for. We show that the three measures of elevational distribution are strong negative predictors of avian extinction risk, with elevational range comparable and complementary to that of geographical range size. Extinction risk was also found to be positively associated with body weight, development and adult survival, but negatively associated with reproduction and niche breadth. The robust and consistent findings from this study demonstrate the importance of elevational distribution as a key driver of variation in extinction dynamics in birds. Our results also highlight elevational distribution as a missing criterion in current schemes for quantifying extinction risk and setting species conservation priorities in birds. Further research is recommended to test for generality across non-avian taxa, which will require an advance in our knowledge of species' current elevational ranges and increased efforts to digitise and centralise such data. PMID:25849620

  8. Conservation Risks: When Will Rhinos be Extinct?

    PubMed

    Haas, Timothy C; Ferreira, Sam M

    2016-08-01

    We develop a risk intelligence system for biodiversity enterprises. Such enterprises depend on a supply of endangered species for their revenue. Many of these enterprises, however, cannot purchase a supply of this resource and are largely unable to secure the resource against theft in the form of poaching. Because replacements are not available once a species becomes extinct, insurance products are not available to reduce the risk exposure of these enterprises to an extinction event. For many species, the dynamics of anthropogenic impacts driven by economic as well as noneconomic values of associated wildlife products along with their ecological stressors can help meaningfully predict extinction risks. We develop an agent/individual-based economic-ecological model that captures these effects and apply it to the case of South African rhinos. Our model uses observed rhino dynamics and poaching statistics. It seeks to predict rhino extinction under the present scenario. This scenario has no legal horn trade, but allows live African rhino trade and legal hunting. Present rhino populations are small and threatened by a rising onslaught of poaching. This present scenario and associated dynamics predicts continued decline in rhino population size with accelerated extinction risks of rhinos by 2036. Our model supports the computation of extinction risks at any future time point. This capability can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed conservation strategies at reducing a species' extinction risk. Models used to compute risk predictions, however, need to be statistically estimated. We point out that statistically fitting such models to observations will involve massive numbers of observations on consumer behavior and time-stamped location observations on thousands of animals. Finally, we propose Big Data algorithms to perform such estimates and to interpret the fitted model's output. PMID:26340794

  9. Elevational Distribution and Extinction Risk in Birds

    PubMed Central

    White, Rachel L.; Bennett, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountainous regions are hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity. Unlike islands, which have been the focus of extensive research on extinction dynamics, fewer studies have examined mountain ranges even though they face increasing threats from human pressures – notably habitat conversion and climate change. Limits to the taxonomic and geographical extent and resolution of previously available information have precluded an explicit assessment of the relative role of elevational distribution in determining extinction risk. We use a new global species-level avian database to quantify the influence of elevational distribution (range, maximum and midpoint) on extinction risk in birds at the global scale. We also tested this relationship within biogeographic realms, higher taxonomic levels, and across phylogenetic contrasts. Potential confounding variables (i.e. phylogenetic, distributional, morphological, life history and niche breadth) were also tested and controlled for. We show that the three measures of elevational distribution are strong negative predictors of avian extinction risk, with elevational range comparable and complementary to that of geographical range size. Extinction risk was also found to be positively associated with body weight, development and adult survival, but negatively associated with reproduction and niche breadth. The robust and consistent findings from this study demonstrate the importance of elevational distribution as a key driver of variation in extinction dynamics in birds. Our results also highlight elevational distribution as a missing criterion in current schemes for quantifying extinction risk and setting species conservation priorities in birds. Further research is recommended to test for generality across non-avian taxa, which will require an advance in our knowledge of species’ current elevational ranges and increased efforts to digitise and centralise such data. PMID:25849620

  10. Video Otoscopy in Exotic Companion Mammals.

    PubMed

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel; Knotek, Zdenek

    2015-09-01

    Ear disease is a common disorder seen in exotic companion mammals, especially in ferrets, rabbits, and rats. This article describes patient preparation, equipment, and video otoscopy technique in exotic companion mammals. This noninvasive technique facilitates accurate diagnosis of diseases affecting the external ear canal or middle ear. Moreover, therapeutic otoscopic evaluation of the external ear facilitates foreign body removal, external ear canal flushing, intralesional drug administration, myringotomy, and middle ear cavity flushing. PMID:26117517

  11. Viral epizootic reveals inbreeding depression in a habitually inbreeding mammal.

    PubMed

    Ross-Gillespie, Adin; O'Riain, M Justin; Keller, Lukas F

    2007-09-01

    Inbreeding is typically detrimental to fitness. However, some animal populations are reported to inbreed without incurring inbreeding depression, ostensibly due to past "purging" of deleterious alleles. Challenging this is the position that purging can, at best, only adapt a population to a particular environment; novel selective regimes will always uncover additional inbreeding load. We consider this in a prominent test case: the eusocial naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), one of the most inbred of all free-living mammals. We investigated factors affecting mortality in a population of naked mole-rats struck by a spontaneous, lethal coronavirus outbreak. In a multivariate model, inbreeding coefficient strongly predicted mortality, with closely inbred mole-rats (F> or = 0.25) over 300% more likely to die than their outbred counterparts. We demonstrate that, contrary to common assertions, strong inbreeding depression is evident in this species. Our results suggest that loss of genetic diversity through inbreeding may render populations vulnerable to local extinction from emerging infectious diseases even when other inbreeding depression symptoms are absent. PMID:17767596

  12. Sleep and memory in mammals, birds and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Vorster, Albrecht P; Born, Jan

    2015-03-01

    Sleep supports memory consolidation. Based on studies in mammals, sleep-dependent consolidation has been conceptualized as 'active system consolidation'. During waking, information is encoded into an initial store (hippocampus). During subsequent sleep, some of the newly encoded memories are selected to be reactivated and redistributed toward networks serving as long-term store (e.g., neocortex), whereby memories become transformed into more general, schema-like representations. Here we asked whether sleep in non-mammalian species might play a comparable role for memory. The literature review revealed that sleep produces enhancing effects on memory in all non-mammalian species studied. Furthermore, across species some of the hallmarking features of active system consolidation were identified: Studies of filial imprinting in chicks suggest that a redistribution of imprinting memory toward long-term storage sites occurs during sleep; song learning in birds appears to be driven by reactivations of song representations during sleep; studies of bees demonstrated the selectivity of sleep-dependent consolidation, benefiting extinction but not original classical conditioning. Although overall fragmentary, first evidence in non-mammalian species suggests active system consolidation might be an evolutionary conserved function of sleep. PMID:25305058

  13. Paleoindian large mammal hunters on the plains of North America

    PubMed Central

    Frison, George C.

    1998-01-01

    From ≈11,200 to 8,000 years ago, the Great Plains of North America were populated by small Paleoindian hunting groups with well developed weaponry and the expertise to successfully hunt large mammals, especially mammoths and bison. Mammoths became extinct on the Plains by 11,000 years ago, and, although paleoecological conditions were worsening, their demise may have been hastened by human predation. After this, the main target of the Plains Paleoindian hunters consisted of subspecies of bison, Bison antiquus and Bison occidentalis. As bison populations gradually diminished, apparently because of worsening ecological conditions, by ≈8,000 years ago, human subsistence was forced into a greater dependence on small animal and plant foods. Human paleoecology studies of the Paleoindian time period rely heavily on multidisciplinary efforts. Geomorphologists, botanists, soil scientists, palynologists, biologists, and other specialists aid archaeologists in data recovery and analysis, although, with few exceptions, their contributions are derived from the fringes rather than the mainstream of their disciplines. PMID:9826742

  14. The extinction context enables extinction performance after a change in context

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, James Byron; Gregory, Pamela; Sanjuan, Maria del Carmen

    2012-01-01

    One experiment with human participants determined the extent to which recovery of extinguished responding with a context switch was due to a failure to retrieve contextually-controlled learning, or some other process such as participants learning that context changes signal reversals in the meaning of stimulus – outcome relationships. In a video game, participants learned to suppress mouse clicking in the presence of a stimulus that predicted an attack. Then, that stimulus underwent extinction in a different context (environment within the game). Following extinction, suppression was recovered and then extinguished again during testing in the conditioning context. In a final test, participants that were tested in the context where extinction first took place showed less of a recovery than those tested in a neutral context, but they showed a recovery of suppression nevertheless. A change in context tended to cause a change in the meaning of the stimulus, leading to recovery in both the neutral and extinction contexts. The extinction context attenuated that recovery, perhaps by enabling retrieval of the learning that took place in extinction. Recovery outside an extinction context is due to a failure of the context to enable the learning acquired during extinction, but only in part. PMID:22521549

  15. Glucosylceramidases and malignancies in mammals.

    PubMed

    Astudillo, Leonardo; Therville, Nicole; Colacios, Céline; Ségui, Bruno; Andrieu-Abadie, Nathalie; Levade, Thierry

    2016-06-01

    Sphingolipids represent a major class of lipids that are essential constituents of eukaryotic cells. They are predominantly located in plasma membrane microdomains, and play an important structural role in regulating membrane fluidity. They are also bioactive effectors involved in diverse key cellular functions such as apoptosis and proliferation. The implication of some sphingolipids in cancer is well established whereas that of some others is still a matter of intense investigation. Glucosylceramide is the backbone of more than 300 structurally different glycosphingolipids including gangliosides and sulfatides, and is essential for mammalian development. Therefore, glucosylceramidases (also named GBA1, GBA2 and GBA3 β-glucosidases), the enzymes that hydrolyse β-glucosylceramide, play important functions. GBA1 is a lysosomal hydrolase whose deficiency causes Gaucher disease, the most prevalent inherited lysosomal storage disorder. GBA2 is a ubiquitous non-lysosomal glucosylceramidase whose mutations have been associated with some forms of hereditary spastic paraplegia. GBA3 is a cytosolic β-glucosidase, mostly present in the kidney, liver, spleen, intestine and lymphocytes of mammals, the function of which is still unclear. Whereas glucosylceramide synthase is implicated in multidrug resistance, the role of glucosylceramide breakdown in cancer is not yet fully appreciated. Defective GBA1 enzyme activity in humans, i.e., Gaucher disease, is associated with an increased risk of multiple myeloma and other malignancies. Putative molecular links between Gaucher disease and cancer, which might implicate the malignant cell and/or its microenvironment, are reviewed. The functions of GBA2 and GBA3 in cancer progression are also discussed. PMID:26582417

  16. Europe's other debt crisis caused by the long legacy of future extinctions.

    PubMed

    Dullinger, Stefan; Essl, Franz; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Erb, Karl-Heinz; Gingrich, Simone; Haberl, Helmut; Hülber, Karl; Jarosík, Vojtech; Krausmann, Fridolin; Kühn, Ingolf; Pergl, Jan; Pysek, Petr; Hulme, Philip E

    2013-04-30

    Rapid economic development in the past century has translated into severe pressures on species survival as a result of increasing land-use change, environmental pollution, and the spread of invasive alien species. However, though the impact of these pressures on biodiversity is substantial, it could be seriously underestimated if population declines of plants and animals lag behind contemporary environmental degradation. Here, we test for such a delay in impact by relating numbers of threatened species appearing on national red lists to historical and contemporary levels of socioeconomic pressures. Across 22 European countries, the proportions of vascular plants, bryophytes, mammals, reptiles, dragonflies, and grasshoppers facing medium-to-high extinction risks are more closely matched to indicators of socioeconomic pressures (i.e., human population density, per capita gross domestic product, and a measure of land use intensity) from the early or mid-, rather than the late, 20th century. We conclude that, irrespective of recent conservation actions, large-scale risks to biodiversity lag considerably behind contemporary levels of socioeconomic pressures. The negative impact of human activities on current biodiversity will not become fully realized until several decades into the future. Mitigating extinction risks might be an even greater challenge if temporal delays mean many threatened species might already be destined toward extinction. PMID:23589873

  17. Climate change and seasonal reproduction in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Bronson, F. H.

    2009-01-01

    Seasonal reproduction is common among mammals at all latitudes, even in the deep tropics. This paper (i) discusses the neuroendocrine pathways via which foraging conditions and predictive cues such as photoperiod enforce seasonality, (ii) considers the kinds of seasonal challenges mammals actually face in natural habitats, and (iii) uses the information thus generated to suggest how seasonal reproduction might be influenced by global climate change. Food availability and ambient temperature determine energy balance, and variation in energy balance is the ultimate cause of seasonal breeding in all mammals and the proximate cause in many. Photoperiodic cueing is common among long-lived mammals from the highest latitudes down to the mid-tropics. It is much less common in shorter lived mammals at all latitudes. An unknown predictive cue triggers reproduction in some desert and dry grassland species when it rains. The available information suggests that as our climate changes the small rodents of the world may adapt rather easily but the longer lived mammals whose reproduction is regulated by photoperiod may not do so well. A major gap in our knowledge concerns the tropics; that is where most species live and where we have the least understanding of how reproduction is regulated by environmental factors. PMID:19833645

  18. A Jurassic mammal from South America.

    PubMed

    Rauhut, Oliver W M; Martin, Thomas; Ortiz-Jaureguizar, Edgardo; Puerta, Pablo

    2002-03-14

    The Jurassic period is an important stage in early mammalian evolution, as it saw the first diversification of this group, leading to the stem lineages of monotremes and modern therian mammals. However, the fossil record of Jurassic mammals is extremely poor, particularly in the southern continents. Jurassic mammals from Gondwanaland are so far only known from Tanzania and Madagascar, and from trackway evidence from Argentina. Here we report a Jurassic mammal represented by a dentary, which is the first, to our knowledge, from South America. The tiny fossil from the Middle to Late Jurassic of Patagonia is a representative of the recently termed Australosphenida, a group of mammals from Gondwanaland that evolved tribosphenic molars convergently to the Northern Hemisphere Tribosphenida, and probably gave rise to the monotremes. Together with other mammalian evidence from the Southern Hemisphere, the discovery of this new mammal indicates that the Australosphenida had diversified and were widespread in Gondwanaland well before the end of the Jurassic, and that mammalian faunas from the Southern Hemisphere already showed a marked distinction from their northern counterparts by the Middle to Late Jurassic. PMID:11894091

  19. Long-Term Seasonal and Interannual Patterns of Marine Mammal Strandings in Subtropical Western South Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Jonatas H. F.; Mattos, Paulo H.; Silva, Kleber G.; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding temporal patterns of marine mammal occurrence is useful for establishing conservation strategies. We used a 38 yr-long dataset spanning 1976 to 2013 to describe temporal patterns and trends in marine mammal strandings along a subtropical stretch of the east coast of South America. This region is influenced by a transitional zone between tropical and temperate waters and is considered an important fishing ground off Brazil. Generalized Additive Models were used to evaluate the temporal stranding patterns of the most frequently stranded species. Forty species were documented in 12,540 stranding events. Franciscana (n = 4,574), South American fur seal, (n = 3,419), South American sea lion (n = 2,049), bottlenose dolphins (n = 293) and subantarctic fur seal (n = 219) were the most frequently stranded marine mammals. The seasonality of strandings of franciscana and bottlenose dolphin coincided with periods of higher fishing effort and strandings of South American and subantarctic fur seals with post-reproductive dispersal. For South American sea lion the seasonality of strandings is associated with both fishing effort and post-reproductive dispersal. Some clear seasonal patterns were associated with occurrence of cold- (e.g. subantarctic fur seal) and warm-water (e.g. rough-toothed dolphin) species in winter and summer, respectively. Inter-annual increases in stranding rate were observed for franciscana and South American fur seal and these are likely related to increased fishing effort and population growth, respectively. For subantarctic fur seal the stranding rate showed a slight decline while for bottlenose dolphin it remained steady. No significant year to year variation in stranding rate was observed for South American sea lion. The slight decrease in frequency of temperate/polar marine mammals and the increased occurrence of subtropical/tropical species since the late 1990s might be associated with environmental changes linked to climate change

  20. Long-Term Seasonal and Interannual Patterns of Marine Mammal Strandings in Subtropical Western South Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Prado, Jonatas H F; Mattos, Paulo H; Silva, Kleber G; Secchi, Eduardo R

    2016-01-01

    Understanding temporal patterns of marine mammal occurrence is useful for establishing conservation strategies. We used a 38 yr-long dataset spanning 1976 to 2013 to describe temporal patterns and trends in marine mammal strandings along a subtropical stretch of the east coast of South America. This region is influenced by a transitional zone between tropical and temperate waters and is considered an important fishing ground off Brazil. Generalized Additive Models were used to evaluate the temporal stranding patterns of the most frequently stranded species. Forty species were documented in 12,540 stranding events. Franciscana (n = 4,574), South American fur seal, (n = 3,419), South American sea lion (n = 2,049), bottlenose dolphins (n = 293) and subantarctic fur seal (n = 219) were the most frequently stranded marine mammals. The seasonality of strandings of franciscana and bottlenose dolphin coincided with periods of higher fishing effort and strandings of South American and subantarctic fur seals with post-reproductive dispersal. For South American sea lion the seasonality of strandings is associated with both fishing effort and post-reproductive dispersal. Some clear seasonal patterns were associated with occurrence of cold- (e.g. subantarctic fur seal) and warm-water (e.g. rough-toothed dolphin) species in winter and summer, respectively. Inter-annual increases in stranding rate were observed for franciscana and South American fur seal and these are likely related to increased fishing effort and population growth, respectively. For subantarctic fur seal the stranding rate showed a slight decline while for bottlenose dolphin it remained steady. No significant year to year variation in stranding rate was observed for South American sea lion. The slight decrease in frequency of temperate/polar marine mammals and the increased occurrence of subtropical/tropical species since the late 1990s might be associated with environmental changes linked to climate change