Thursday, October 16, 2008

Species more likely to be wiped out by 'sick Earth' than asteroid strike

Most major mass-extinctions on Earth have occurred when "the Earth got sick", not when an asteroid slammed into it, reports ScienceDaily. An asteroid strike is easier to understand, and the most recent major extinction (the one that claimed the dinosaurs) was likely triggered by an asteroid, but typically, a mass-extinction is more complex.

What causes the Earth to get sick? Researchers are still trying to figure that out. One common link between two mass-extinctions is "bouquet-like atructures of aragonite crystals" which appear on the ocean floor. During another mass extinction, coral reefs were suddenly wiped out.

(Photo of asteroid by
Jacopo Werther)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.