Tuesday January 21, 2020
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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)

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For Millennials, Owning a Car Means More Sex

Given that emerging adults in the study belonged to a vulnerable and psychologically immature group, future studies are required in other social groups to reach a broad conclusion, the researchers noted

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Car, sex
A car also makes it easier to get to places for sex and can be used at public places too, it added. Pixabay

Millennials, please take note if you are about to own a car (or if your parents are gifting you one on New Year) as this can boost your sex life too. According to researchers, owning a car gives young adults higher self-esteem, making it a status symbol that women find attractive, and fall for them.

Having a car increased sexual desire and the probability of having action between the sheets, reported researchers from the University of Colima in Mexico.

Owning a car early in life “can act as a sexual enhancer in emerging adulthood. Women still demonstrate a clear preference for men that possess or show the potential to acquire material resources,” said study lead author David Soriano-Hernandez.

For the study, published in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy, the researchers asked 809 students aged 17 to 24 studying at a small university in Western Mexico about their sex lives.

The students were surveyed in relation to their sexual conduct, along with other socio-economic aspects.

The participants were then separated into two groups, one with cars and other without it.

Having a car increased sexual desire and the probability of having sexual intercourse at a younger age, of having more sexual partners, and increase in the frequency of sexual activities.

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Owning a car means more sex for millennials: Study. Pixabay

According to the researchers, having their own cars gives young men higher self-esteem and is a status symbol women find attractive.

Those with a car typically had sex twice as often, and with double the number of partners.

One drawback was that they were engaged in unsafe sex, the researchers said.

A car also makes it easier to get to places for sex and can be used at public places too, it added.

Also Read: Cleanliness Survey Taps into Toilets Usability, Sludge, Waste Management

“It is not unusual for cars to have a type of erotic effect on their owners and spectators. Expressions such as ‘hot’, ‘sexy’, and ‘exciting’ are often used to describe automobiles,” Soriano-Hernandez said.

The study noted that the automobile can also act as a sexual enhancer in emerging adulthood, which should be taken into consideration in the development of sex education strategies.

Given that emerging adults in the study belonged to a vulnerable and psychologically immature group, future studies are required in other social groups to reach a broad conclusion, the researchers noted. (IANS)