Mass extinctions 'offer cautionary tale'

From BBC - October 10, 2017

Mass extinctions have the potential to guide modern conservation efforts, say scientists.

A study confirms the idea that upheavals of the geological past caused a drastic loss of biodiversity.

''Disaster faunas'' dominated by a small number of widespread, newly-evolving species prevailed for millions of years.

Researchers warn that a sixth mass extinction is underway, which is predicted to have similar effects.

''These common trends observed in the fossil record have the potential to inform modern conservation efforts, given that the current biodiversity crisis is acknowledged as representing another mass extinction event,'' say the experts.

Their work is published in the journal Nature Communications.


The study analysed long-term changes in biodiversity in the supercontinent Pangaea, which incorporated almost all of the land masses on Earth.

The scientists traced the history of almost 900 animal species living between about 260 million and 175 million years ago.


Continue reading at BBC »