extinction tagged posts

Ocean mammals face extinction

The ocean’s mammals are at a crucial crossroads – with some at risk of extinction and others showing signs of recovery, researchers led by scientists at the University of Exeter have warned. Scientists have found that accidental capture by fisheries (bycatch), climate change and pollution are among the key drivers of decline following a detailed review of the status of the world’s 126 marine mammal species – which include whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, manatees, dugongs, sea otters and polar bears.

A quarter of these species are now classified as being at risk of extinction – vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered on the IUCN Red List – with the near-extinct vaquita porpoise and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale among those in greatest danger.

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Coral reefs ‘weathered dinosaur extinction’

coral reef

Corals may have teamed up with the microscopic algae which live inside them as much as 160 million years ago, according to new research. The two organisms have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they need each other to survive. But this partnership was previously thought to have developed about 60 million years ago.

The new findings suggest that reef algae may have weathered significant environmental changes over time. This includes the mass extinction that wiped out most of the dinosaurs.

Algae’s resilience to temperature changes has been of concern to scientists recently, as warming events on the Great Barrier Reef have seen the coral “bleached” of its algae.

The study, conducted by an international team of scientists, aimed to explore the diversity of algae species co-habiting with co...

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