Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

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.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/30/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Dinosaurs, asteroid, food system, extinction


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some scientists claim that more than 65 million years ago, 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."

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Green

Heading our way? 255-square-mile iceberg breaks off from Antarctica Watch

Image of As it has been thinning and draining rapidly and may be an important contributor to sea level rise, the Pine Island Glacier has been closely studied over the past 20 years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An iceberg roughly six times the size of Manhattan, at 255 square miles, has broken off from Antarctica and is now drifting freely in the open ocean. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Known as B31, the iceberg separated from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier ... continue reading


What a difference a millennia makes! Antarctic was at one time like coastal California Watch

Image of It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today! The two new studies are helping scientists determine the effects of long-term ... continue reading


BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? Smog from India, China winds way to U.S., Canada Watch

Image of The smog in Asia, it must be noted is caused by more than just the burning of fossil fuels - it's comprised of nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic compounds that combine to produce ozone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ripples in the global pond, half a world away, can have effects all over the globe. Researchers at Texas A&M now say that air pollution originating in both India and China, almost certainly affects global weather patterns, particularly in the United States and ... continue reading


MONSTER El Nino forming in South Pacific, will being devastating weather around the globe in 2014-2015 Watch

Image of We may see a sharp increase in severe weather events for 2014-2015.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to scientists, a massive El Nino is forming in the Pacific and it may be the largest such El Nino ever recorded. If true then the entire planet may experience an uptick in extreme weather events with serious consequences for life and property around the ... continue reading


World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says Watch

Image of Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 ... continue reading


Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump Watch

Image of The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks ... continue reading


THIRD Oarfish sighting in Sea of Cortez stokes earthquake fears Watch

Image of A tour guide lies beside a beached oarfish specimen on the Isla San Francisco in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An oarfish has been found washed on an island beach in Mexico, leading to speculation if it is one of the two previously sighted and filmed last month, or if it is in fact a third specimen. If it is a third, it could fuel rumors of an earthquake since anecdotal ... continue reading


Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity Watch

Image of Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last ... continue reading


Are these oarfish in Mexico predicting an earthquake? Tourists film TWO live oarfish trying to beach themselves Watch

Image of Oarfish are legendary harbingers of earthquakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing new video shows two oarfish swimming just offshore in Mexico to the delight of ecotourists on a kayaking tour. The video, taken last March, shows the pair of fish possibly about to beach themselves. Oarfish are rarely sighted and legend associates their ... continue reading


MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago Watch

Image of The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter