The Cretaceous asteroid and snake evolution

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brian livesey
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The Cretaceous asteroid and snake evolution

Post by brian livesey »

It’s been known for some time that environmental changes caused by natural disasters can kick-start evolution in new directions. Researchers at the University of Bath, Bristol, Cambridge and Germany have collaborated by using fossils and analysing genetic differences between present day snakes, some 4,000 species, to reconstruct their evolutionary past.
The results suggest that all of today’s snakes owe their survival to just a handful of snake species that survived the impact of the Cretaceous asteroid 66 million years ago.
Dr. Nick Longrich, from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, said: “Our research indicates that extinction acted as a form of creative destruction - by wiping out old species, it allowed survivors to exploit the gaps in the ecosystem, experimenting with new lifestyles and habitats.”.
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Re: The Cretaceous asteroid and snake evolution

Post by Lariliss »

Mass extinction events have influenced the past several hundred million years of Earth's. Studying them helps scientists to understand how organisms respond to stress in their environment and how ecosystems recover from the loss of biodiversity.
Permian mass extinction (90% of life on Earth extinction) is also studied well.
Slower processes, like massive volcanism also had environmental effects that lasted millions of years.
Geoscientists can determine how different environmental changes affect life. They show similarities in overall patterns of recovery with distinct phases of stabilization and diversification.
Actually, in our modern history and today, we evidence ecosystems undergoing severe changes with particular species mass extinctions. The ocean ecosystem has significant changes for the food chain transformation, having predators crucially decreased by human actions and new species coming to replace them.
The Earth satellite monitoring is set to control specific ecosystems.
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