Saturday March 23, 2019

Frogs’ Survival Possible due to Dinosaurs’ Death: Study

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Frogs' survival
There are 6,700 known species of Frogs today. Wikimedia
  • Many theories exist explaining the extinction of Dinosaurs but the most agreed upon is the asteroid explanation
  • It turns out that the frogs’ survival is due to the extinction of dinosaurs just like their extinction paved way for successful human evolution
  • If the asteroid catastrophe would not have happened, 88% of today’s frog’s species would not be here today

July 04, 2017: A study carried out by American and Chinese biologists has concluded that had it not been for the extinction of dinosaurs by the asteroid, 88% of frog’s species we have today would not exist. The frogs’ survival was a benefit reaped out of the death of dinosaurs.

The Asteroid that hit the planet wiped out three-quarters on animals on the Earth. The extinction is popularly known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-PG) boundary.

The asteroid which met the Earth 66 million years ago had a direct impact in wiping out dinosaurs from the face of the planet, however, the frogs actually benefitted out of it. The emergence of frogs can be traced back to 200 million years.

ALSO READ: Astronomers Spot Primitive ‘Little Cub’ Galaxy that may Shed Light on Early Universe

The resilient creatures were able to take advantage of an evolutionary vacuum that was created as a result of the destruction. It has been observed that 9 out of 10 frog species that exist today evolved from just three frog lineages that survived the asteroid impact, mentioned ANI report.

Frogs are “master survivors” stated David Wake, co-author of the research paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. They were quick to take to trees which at the time were “evolving to their full flowering”. The team of Gene researchers studied 95 sets of genes from 156 frog species.

Today, frogs are the most diverse group of vertebrates with more than 6,700 species discovered.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

Next Story

World’s Largest Extinction Wiped Out Plants Before Animals, Says New Research

The team studied fossilised pollen, the chemical composition and age of rock, and the layering of sediment on the cliffsides of southeastern Australia. 

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earth, digital
Researchers found high concentrations of nickel in the Sydney Basin's mud-rock - surprising because there are no local sources of the element. Pixabay

The world’s largest extinction wiped out plants before many animal counterparts, says new research.

Roughly 252 million years ago, \nickel byproduct from a volcanic eruption in Siberia drifted to Australia, kicking off the Earth-spanning cataclysm known as the “Great Dying”.

Spewing carbon and methane into the atmosphere for roughly two million years, the eruption led to the extinction of about 96 per cent of oceanic life and 70 per cent of land-based vertebrates.

But the new study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers suggests that nickel may have driven some Australian plant life to extinction nearly 400,000 years before most marine species perished.

“That’s big news. People have hinted at that, but nobody’s previously pinned it down. Now we have a timeline,” said lead author Christopher Fielding.

Roughly 252 million years ago, nickel byproduct from a volcanic eruption in Siberia drifted to Australia, kicking off the Earth-spanning cataclysm known as the "Great Dying". 
Roughly 252 million years ago, nickel byproduct from a volcanic eruption in Siberia drifted to Australia, kicking off the Earth-spanning cataclysm known as the “Great Dying”.  . (VOA)

The team studied fossilised pollen, the chemical composition and age of rock, and the layering of sediment on the cliffsides of southeastern Australia.

They discovered high concentrations of nickel in the Sydney Basin’s mud-rock – surprising because there are no local sources of the element.

The finding, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, points to the eruption of lava through nickel deposits in Siberia, said Tracy Frank, Professor at the varsity.

That volcanism could have converted the nickel into an aerosol that drifted thousands of miles southward before descending on, and poisoning, much of the plant life there.

Fossils
The team studied fossilised pollen, the chemical composition and age of rock, and the layering of sediment on the cliffsides of southeastern Australia. VOA

Similar spikes in nickel have been recorded in other parts of the world, she explained.

Also Read: Higher Consumption of Fruits, Vegetables May Lower Death Risk in Dialysis Patients

The phenomenon may also have triggered a series of others: herbivores dying from the lack of plants, carnivores dying from a lack of herbivores, and toxic sediment eventually flushing into seas already reeling from rising carbon dioxide, acidification and temperatures.

Though the time scale and magnitude of the Great Dying exceeded the planet’s current ecological crises, Frank said the emerging similarities – especially the spikes in greenhouse gases and continuous disappearance of species – make it a lesson worth studying. (IANS)