Posts Tagged ‘extinction’

A recipe for collaboration

A recipe for collaboration

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Research

Recently, along with Adam Kane, Kevin Healy, Graeme Ruxton and Andrew Jackson, we published a review on scavenging behaviour in vertebrates through time in Ecography. This paper was my first review paper as well as my first paper written from afar, without ever actually meeting in a room with the co-authors for working on the project. Difficulty: * Preparation time: 5 month to submission Serves: 5 people (but any manageable number of people who you like working with will do) Ingredients: An exciting topic: For this recipe you will need an exciting topic. In this case, prior [&hellip

Trump and the future of

Trump and the future of “America’s best idea.”

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

In 1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the first National Park not only in the USA, but in the world. President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act, and so the National Parks were born. Today 59 National Parks exist throughout the United States, covering approximately 51.9 million acres with the goal of maintaining in perpetuity both wildlife and their habitat. Since 1916 the National Park Service (NPS) has been entrusted with the care of these National Parks, and this year they celebrate their centenary. The National Parks have been referred [&hellip

Evading Extinction

Evading Extinction

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

It’s a sombre statistic: year on year, we lose up to 100,000 species. That’s somewhere between 0.01 and 0.1 percent of all species on the planet (we don’t know the exact rate because we don’t know exactly how many species exist; it could be 2 million or 100 million). The rate is thought to be at least 1000 times what it would be in the absence of the deforestation, poaching and pollution we are responsible for.   But despite this gloomy outlook, prospects are improving for some species that have narrowly escaped extinction. That’s partly thanks to ongoing [&hellip

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

Seminar series: Tom Ezard, University of Southampton

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

Part of our series of posts by final-year undergraduate students for their Research Comprehension module. Students write blogs inspired by guest lecturers in our Evolutionary Biology and Ecology seminar series in the School of Natural Sciences. This week; views from Sarah Byrne and Sean Meehan on Tom Ezard’s seminar, Birth, death and macroevolutionary consequences. Splitting Hares – easier said than done? In a recent talk given by Tom Ezard, a research fellow and evolutionary ecologist, the definition of a species was examined and challenged. While defining a species may seem a simple task for just about anybody and [&hellip

Back from the dead

Back from the dead

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

What do you associate with the word “extinction”? I think of death, dinosaurs, dodos, desolation and despair (well maybe the last ones are a bit overly dramatic but I was feeling the alliterative vibe). No matter what your initial reactions may be, I think the concepts of extinction being irreversible and ultimately a “bad thing” would feature in most of our reactions to the word. It turns out that neither of these initial associations is necessarily true. Extinctions are not always bad. It is all too easy to overlook their important role in shaping the evolution of [&hellip

Undead as a dodo?

Undead as a dodo?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

While most of the younger generations are familiar with the ideas behind Jurassic Park, they are probably also aware that, despite the best efforts of geneticists, there is no possibility of conjuring up a T. Rex from the fossilised remnants that are on display in museums. However, there are plans afoot to attempt a similarly ambitious project with species that have disappeared from the earth more recently. These reintroduction programmes, where there are currently no living relatives to repopulate the species, have been termed “de-extinction”. The Long Now Foundation (a private, not-for-profit organisation committed to very long-term [&hellip

Chronicle of a death foreseen

Chronicle of a death foreseen

By EcoEvo@TCD | Reviews

Why did Neanderthals go extinct while humans prospered? There are volumes full of speculations into the decline and fall of our burly cousin who last walked the Earth 30,000 years ago. Climate change may have reduced the large herbivores on which they depended for food. Humans may have inadvertently spread lethal diseases to them when we first came into contact. Perhaps the most sinister hypothesis is that we extirpated them in an ancient act of genocide (/speciescide?). Researchers at Oxford now argue that Neanderthal orbit size gives us an insight into the reason for their downfall. They [&hellip

Good-bye Guinea worm?

Good-bye Guinea worm?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

The media is all abuzz about the Carter Centre’s recent announcement that 542 cases of guinea worm infection were reported in 2012. That is a remarkable achievement, considering that 3.5million cases where the reported when the Carter Centre began their eradication programme in 1986. The guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis) is a particularly gruesome parasitic nematode that causes painful and debilitating disease. It is one species no one will be too sorry to see go. Well no one except the folks at the (tongue in cheek) Save the Guinea worm Foundation. Perversely, considering our track record of causing [&hellip

World's ending: enough time to read this?

World’s ending: enough time to read this?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

What will happen today on the last day of the world (21st)? Will some giant asteroid hit the Earth? Will massive tsunamis ravage all the coast lines? Will climate suddenly be way to warm for life? Will methane bubble out of the oceans and asphyxiate everybody? Or are aliens going to take over our planet? We could spend a long time discussing the causes (or not !) of the end of the world. However people usually ignore the timing of this type of inevitable (or not !!) catastrophe. We all have in mind the asteroid that Alvarez [&hellip