Because of poor dates for land fossils laid down before and after the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, paleontologists assumed that the terrestrial extinctions from Gondwana occurred at the same time as the better-documented marine extinctions. But a new study provides more precise dates for South African fossils and points to a long, perhaps 400,000-year period of extinction on land before the rapid marine extinction 252 million years ago.
Source: In Earth’s largest extinction, land animal die-offs began long before marine extinction: New dates for fossils indicate land animal turnover extended for hundreds of thousands of years — ScienceDaily
Since pre-industrial times, the world’s oceans have warmed by an average of one degree Celsius (1°C). Now researchers report that those rising temperatures have led to widespread changes in the population sizes of marine species. The researchers found a general pattern of species having increasing numbers on their poleward sides and losses toward the equator.
Source: As the ocean warms, marine species relocate toward the poles — ScienceDaily
East Antarctica’s Denman Glacier has retreated 5 kilometers, nearly 3 miles, in the past 22 years, and researchers are concerned that the shape of the ground surface beneath the ice sheet could make it even more susceptible to climate-driven collapse.
Source: East Antarctica’s Denman Glacier has retreated almost 3 miles over last 22 years: Scientists assess ice sheet with potential to raise global sea levels nearly 5 feet — ScienceDaily
A tiny, 555-million-year-old seafloor creature reveals why our bodies are organised the way they are.
Source: Fossil worm shows us our evolutionary beginnings – BBC News
As biodiversity disappears, the risk to human health increases. Experts say we need to protect wild spaces and species to help prevent future outbreaks.
Source: Where Pandemics Come From — and How to Stop Them • The Revelator
Geologists have discovered the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most animals today, including humans. The wormlike creature, Ikaria wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut. It was found in Ediacaran Period deposits in Australia and was 2-7 millimeters long, with the largest the size of a grain of rice.
Source: Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils: A wormlike creature that lived more than 555 million years ago is the earliest bilaterian — ScienceDaily
We have critiqued the misuse of the term ‘evolution’ for the coronavirus (check the archives here and at redfortyeight.com)/ At best the term microevolution might apply…
Source: COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin — ScienceDaily