Some Scientists Claim that Giant asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs disrupted food chain
Vital lesson needs to be learned by dinosaurs' example, scientists say
A new study of the dinosaur era may have ominous implications for modern man. It claims that the mass extinction of dinosaurs by a massive asteroid was made worse because it destroyed the fragile food chain. There are lessons here that modern man should learn, some scientists warn.
More than 65 million years ago, some claim that a huge asteroid plunged into the earth in Mexico. Many species became extinct, including the dinosaurs, thus ending the Cretaceous Period of Earth history.
The food chain at that time was already under tremendous strain before the collision. The ecosystem simply could not cope with the cataclysm, and plant life died off.
Therefore, the continuous exploitation of the Earth's resources could place humankind in the same peril as we stress the planet with mono-crops and hasten the extinction animals, plant life and marine species.
The impact zone of the now-buried Chicxulub crater on the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula had widespread effect on the world's ecology.
These scientists examined a computer model in order to see what happened up and down the food chain. They found the structure of North American ecosystems made the extinction much worse than it might have been.
"Our study suggests that the severity of the mass extinction in North America was greater because of the ecological structure of communities at the time," Jonathan Mitchell of Chicago's Committee on Evolutionary Biology says.
Reconstructing terrestrial food webs for 17 Cretaceous ecological communities, seven of these food webs existed within two million years of the Chicxulub impact. Ten had come from the preceding 13 million years.
The computer model showed how disturbances spread through the food web and developed the simulation to predict how many animal species would become extinct from a plant die-off.
"Our analyses show that more species became extinct for a given plant die-off in the youngest communities," Mitchell said.
"We can trace this difference in response to changes in a number of key ecological groups such as plant-eating dinosaurs like Triceratops and small mammals."
Environmental and biological factors meant food webs were already under strain before the asteroid hit. A large scale disturbance was more likely to have an effect on the survival of species.
"Besides shedding light on this ancient extinction, our findings imply that seemingly innocuous changes to ecosystems caused by humans might reduce the ecosystems' abilities to withstand unexpected disturbances," Mitchell says.
"It is therefore critical that conservation efforts pay attention to ecosystem functioning and the roles of species in their communities as we continue to degrade our modern ecosystems."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Green News
- Global warming? 'Soul-crushing' cold recorded in Antarctica
- Design students come up with high-tech toilets for modern world
- Global Warming? Somebody tell this man why a few degrees of extra warmth are bad
- 2011 Japan tsunami was triggered by world's largest fault slip
- Discovery may prompt scientists to redraw human family tree -- again
- Report urges policymakers to ignore long-term climate change threats and focus on 'abrupt' changes instead
- When you gotta go, you gotta go: Prehistoric dinosaur toilet discovered in Argentina
- Isn't this just the cutest dinosaur EVER?
- Climate change a myth? Not for these places!
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?