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Next Mass Extinction Looms

But it's in early stages, so there is hope, new paper says

(Newser) - Some conservationists have been using the term "the sixth extinction" for a few years now—referring to the possibility that more than 75% of existing species could disappear for the sixth time in the planet's history—but there's been little factual proof to back up the frightening prediction. Until... More »

How Birds, Crocs Escaped Prehistoric Extinction

One-way breathing pattern points to common ancestor

(Newser) - In the midst of the planet's worst-ever wave of extinction some 250 million years ago, the ancestors of birds and alligators managed to survive thanks to a shared breathing mechanism that enabled them to weather low oxygen levels. New research shows that when birds and alligators breathe, air flows in... More »

Comet Crash Created Diamonds, Death

'Nanodiamond' discovery points to species-destroying collision 13,000 years ago

(Newser) - Newly discovered microscopic diamonds suggest that a comet crashed into North America 13,000 years ago, triggering devastating floods and fires that killed 35 species and wiped out human communities, reports the Los Angeles Times. Layers of "nanodiamonds," found in a number of regions in the country, were... More »

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