Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




FLORA AND FAUNA
What a bunch of dodos
by Staff Writers
London UK (SPX) Mar 28, 2013


Species lost include several species of moa-nalos, large flightless waterfowl from Hawai'i, and the New Caledonian Sylviornis, a relative of the game birds (pheasants, grouse, etc) but which weighed in at around 30kg, three times as heavy as a swan.

Research carried out by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and collaborators reveals that the last region on earth to be colonised by humans was home to more than 1,000 species of birds that went extinct soon after people reached their island homes.

The paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Almost 4,000 years ago, tropical Pacific Islands were an untouched paradise, but the arrival of the first people in places like Hawaii and Fiji caused irreversible damage to these natural havens, due to overhunting and deforestation. As a result, birds disappeared. But understanding the scale and extent of these extinctions has been hampered by uncertainties in the fossil record.

Professor Tim Blackburn, Director of ZSL's Institute of Zoology says: "We studied fossils from 41 tropical Pacific islands and using new techniques we were able to gauge how many extra species of bird disappeared without leaving any trace."

They found that 160 species of non-passerine land birds (non-perching birds which generally have feet designed for specific functions, for example webbed for swimming) went extinct without a trace after the first humans arrived on these islands alone.

"If we take into account all the other islands in the tropical Pacific, as well as seabirds and songbirds, the total extinction toll is likely to have been around 1,300 bird species," Professor Blackburn added.

Species lost include several species of moa-nalos, large flightless waterfowl from Hawai'i, and the New Caledonian Sylviornis, a relative of the game birds (pheasants, grouse, etc) but which weighed in at around 30kg, three times as heavy as a swan.

Certain islands and bird species were particularly vulnerable to hunting and habitat destruction. Small, dry islands lost more species because they were more easily deforested and had fewer places for birds to hide from hunters. Flightless birds were over 30 times more likely to become extinct that those that could fly.

Bird extinctions in the tropical Pacific did not stop with these losses. Forty more species disappeared after Europeans arrived, and many more species are still threatened with extinction today.

.


Related Links
Zoological Society of London
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FLORA AND FAUNA
DNA helps unravel relationship between plants and insects
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 27, 2013
Studying the relationship between plants and the insects that feed on them is an arduous task, as it must be done through direct observation. It can take years for a researcher to fully understand the diets of a community of herbivorous insects in a tropical rain forest. Now, five Smithsonian scientists are paving a fast track using the DNA found inside the insects' stomachs, potentially t ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
Shellfish gone near damaged nuke plant

Hopes fade in search for survivors of Tibet landslide

Half of Indonesians at risk of landslides: official

China mine blast kills 28: state media

FLORA AND FAUNA
CO2 could produce valuable chemical cheaply

Catalyst in a teacup: New approach to chemical reduction

Lasers could yield particle research tool

Paint-on plastic electronics: Aligning polymers for high performance

FLORA AND FAUNA
Outside View: Transboundary rivers treaty

Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark

Predictions of climate impacts on fisheries can be a mirage

Researchers Issue Forecast for 'Moderate' New England Red Tide in 2013

FLORA AND FAUNA
Arctic 'greening' seen through global warming

China plans more Antarctica research sites

Summer melt season is getting longer on the Antarctic Peninsula

The long winter ahead

FLORA AND FAUNA
Pig wasting syndrome costing farmers millions

US regulators under fire over bee-toxic pesticides

The latest genomic studies of wheat sheds new light on crop adaptation and domestication

Swiss baby formula 'adulterated by Chinese partner'

FLORA AND FAUNA
US thanks Japan for help with tsunami debris

Strong quake kills one, injures 86 in Taiwan

Iceland sees unusual seismic activity at Hekla volcano

Huge and widespread volcanic eruptions triggered the end-Triassic extinction

FLORA AND FAUNA
Nigerian Easter day military raid leaves 15 dead

Obama to meet African leaders Thursday

S.Africa opposition wants troops out of Central Africa

S.African troops alarmed over killing child soldiers in C. Africa

FLORA AND FAUNA
First evidence of Neanderthal/human mix

Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia

Patents said threat to 'genomic liberty'

'End of Men'? Not Even Close, Says UC San Diego Report on Gender in the Professions




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement