21 votes
Accepted

How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

Things in the paper that strike me as suspicious Associating toxic plant defenses with the Cretaceous Although there continues to be uncertainty about precisely when plants first evolved toxic ...
kingledion's user avatar
20 votes

How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

Rather than talk to the specifics of this idea, which others have already done well, I'll contextualise it as one anti-consensus view among many. Many. Many. The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs is ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 2,474
14 votes
Accepted

What is the term for "technical extinction" of yet alive animals?

This is technically called Functional extinction. With no viable reproducing population the species will almost certainly become extinct. Note that humans could potentially mess with this through the ...
Harry Vervet's user avatar
  • 2,472
14 votes

How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

No, it's not convincing; angiosperms evolved in the middle part of the dinosaurs' reign, not the end, and toxins evolve slowly which gives herbivores a chance to compensate, also conifers can be ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
13 votes
Accepted

Are there any documented cases of extinction of a species of fungus?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List there are many endangered fungi, but none that are documented to have become extinct within the time frame of interest to you....
tyersome's user avatar
  • 5,588
10 votes

Are there any documented cases of extinction of a species of fungus?

Yes. One example is of a fungus named Prototaxites. It was originally thought to be a tree, but it was a massive, tree-like fungus.
SmugDoodleBug's user avatar
7 votes

Do species ever go extinct by becoming too successful?

yes, infectious bacteria are a good example, a highly destructive infection may often kill its host before it can spread the disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27114/
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Could we back-breed birds into dinosaurs?

Do birds descend from dinosaurs? First, it is confusing to say things like Birds descend from dinosaurs Humans descend from monkeys Mammals descend from vertebrates Snakes descend from animals It ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
5 votes

What is the term for "technical extinction" of yet alive animals?

For this matter, I'll call it Ecological Extinction. That means you still have an extant population, but the individuals in which you are focusing on do not interact any longer with their surroundings ...
Cabeça de Vento's user avatar
5 votes

Are there any side-effects from a mosquitoes extinction?

Eliminate Culicidae (mosquitoes) because some of the species transmit virus is a very bad idea. I have used the family name to make you realize there is more than 3500 species of mosquitoes and only a ...
Nico Coallier's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Wasn't extinction of dinosaurs necessary?

Basic misunderstand about how one can make sense of nature Nature is not a conscient being (or at least not falsifiable conscient being) trying to optimize the amount of flora or whatever you would ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
4 votes

Have skeletons of "failed" animals been found yet?

Short answer The dodo and Irish Elk, both going extinct relatively recently, are examples of species that have yielded skeletons and went extinct, at least partly, due to maladaptations. Background ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Location of microbes causing eliminated diseases

Whether a disease can be eradicated or not depends on its reservoir. To be eliminated it needs to be eliminated in all places and organisms it can thrive in and spread from. This makes diseases like ...
Oosaka's user avatar
  • 3,245
4 votes

Would a colony with only one male and female collapse?

Populations founded by a single pair are quite common in the lab The Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel, one such example of high artificial inbreeding, is a series of inbred lines where the ...
rg255's user avatar
  • 16.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Is high metabolism linked to high evolutionary turnover?

Metabolism and evolutionary rates are linked, but not in the way you describe. First consider that metabolism is intrinsically linked to body size. The larger an animal is, the smaller amount of ...
Shawn's user avatar
  • 425
3 votes

Is there software or a website where I can browse extinct species?

You can search for species that are "Extinct" or "Extinct in the wild" at the IUCN red list website (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). That list currently includes ...
fileunderwater's user avatar
3 votes

Do people even notice when insects other than butterflies and beetles go extinct?

Lots of insects are considered threatened and endangered. The global IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which is arguably the most important tool for evaluating species' ...
fileunderwater's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Do people even notice when insects other than butterflies and beetles go extinct?

I am not aware of a better list, but you are right that (1) many insects have gone extinct recently, and (2) documentation of insect extinction is poor. An article in Conservation Biology (2005) says ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
3 votes

Is there really a clear distinction between dinosaurs and birds?

The placement of the bird clade within the dinosaur clade is based on much more than just "having feathers and being warm-blooded"; paleontologists have discovered many, many ancient bird and theropod ...
Oosaka's user avatar
  • 3,245
3 votes
Accepted

Extinction of non-mammal Synapsida

OK, I don't know how I did it but I misread your question as being why all the non-mammalian Synapsids went extinct. I answered your question at the end, but I'm leaving the rest as-is until I figure ...
Oosaka's user avatar
  • 3,245
3 votes

Do we know of any "species ending bugs"?

From the vantage point of other species, humans might be considered "bugs" in the sense that we are organisms that are causal in the ongoing extinction of numerous species. We're doing a pretty good ...
Alex Reynolds's user avatar
2 votes

Real-world examples of Darwinian extinction

Although you don't mention it in your question, I guess you'd like examples of extinction in (more or less) constant environment? Then I guess you'd like cases of extinction due to the introduction of ...
Joce's user avatar
  • 1,127
2 votes

Would a colony with only one male and female collapse?

There have been several studies with similar structure and background as your experiment, such as "Inbreeding Effects on Reproductive Outcome: A Study Based on a Large Sample from the Endogamous ...
Ebbinghaus's user avatar
  • 2,603
2 votes
Accepted

Could we eradicate mosquitoes?

Could we use this technology to completely eradicate from the world all species of mosquito that prey on humans? Yes, implemented correctly, a gene drive has this capability. Also, could we ...
aesthete's user avatar
  • 351
2 votes

Which extinction event killed the highest proportion of organisms?

This is a great question. I decided to research it and here is what I found. For some reason the GOE is not on lists of the "big 5" mass extinctions. The question is why? I think it's due to the pace ...
futurebird's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is it possible that nearly human mammals existed before the last mass extinction dinosaurs?

Is it possible that nearly human mammals existed before the last mass extinction dinosaurs? Short answer No! Longer answer The ancestor of all mammals lived about ~180 millions years ago (see here)...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
2 votes

Why are there few quail any more in the Northeast of the US?

Work in the early 1990s (https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/5210546) (https://www.nwf.org/en/Magazines/National-Wildlife/1993/The-Case-of-the-Disappearing-Quail) suggests development (curtailing ...
Alex Reynolds's user avatar
2 votes

An online tree of life with extinct species present?

The tree of life project is your best bet, its not 100% complete but it is more complete than any other project I have ever seen, and unlike most actually includes many if not most extinct taxa. http:/...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
2 votes
Accepted

Can the extinct Chinese Paddlefish be revived?

Informally speaking, there is no real/good way to bring back extinct species. Especially sexually reproducing species; you'd need to revive a male and a female at the very least, and these are ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,202
2 votes
Accepted

How many plant species would have existed immediately after the K-PG extinction?

Good question. The fossil record post Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary is much less clear than the animal fossil record. It's basically impossible to give a true value, since there's no way to determine ...
user438383's user avatar
  • 2,351

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