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Humans wiped out megafauna in Australia

With the help of biological remains of Prehistoric creatures found in Australia, it has been proven that the reason behind their extinction was nothing but humans

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New York, Jan 21, 2017: The poop of some of the ancient huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia has indicated that the primary cause of their extinction was humans, not climate change.

Led by Monash University in Victoria and the University of Colorado Boulder, a team of researchers used information from a sediment core which had spores from a fungus called Sporormiella that thrived on the dung of plant-eating mammals.

The study, published in journal Nature Communications, was led by Sander van der Kaars of Monash University and professor Gifford Miller from University of Colorado Boulder.

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“The sediment core allowed scientists to look back in time, in this case more than 150,000 years, spanning Earth’s last full glacial cycle,” said Miller.

“Fungal spores from plant-eating mammal dung were abundant in the sediment core layers from 150,000 years ago to about 45,000 years ago, when they went into a nosedive,” added Miller.

The ocean sediment core showed the southwest is one of the few regions on the Australian continent that had dense forests both 45,000 years ago and today, making it a hotbed for biodiversity.

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“Because of the density of trees and shrubs, it could have been one of their last holdouts some 45,000 years ago. There is no evidence of significant climate change during the time of the megafauna extinction,” Miller noted, suggesting that the extinction may have been caused by “imperceptible overkill.”

A 2006 study by Australian researchers indicated that even low-intensity hunting of Australian megafauna could have resulted in the extinction of a species in just a few hundred years.

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“The results of this study are of significant interest across the archaeological and Earth science communities who are fascinated by now extinct giant animals that roamed the planet — and the cause of their extinction — as our own species began its persistent colonization of Earth,” said van der Kaars. (IANS)

 

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)

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