Why dinosaurs couldn't live in modern ecosystems
It would be like exposing them to smallpox.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Paleontologist and geologist Anthony Martin looks at movies, such as Jurassic World, and can't help but raise his brow. "Despite a century of dinosaur flicks portraying Tyrannosaurs and other predatory dinosaurs gratuitously munching humans, one bite of our species — or other sizable mammals — might make them sick."
Indeed, we humans — if we ever brought back prehistoric beasts — may have a War of the Worlds' effect on people-munching raptors. What's interesting about this fanciful discussion, though, isn't necessarily whether we can resurrect dinosaurs (we can't at this time) — but if we could ever successfully recover a former iteration of an ecosystem.
Even without dinos, scientists are doing it today, though. Often referred to as "rewilding" projects, these endeavors take place when scientists try to "restore ecosystems by closely mimicking their previous iterations, [and] often include reintroducing locally extinct animals." One notable example includes reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park after they were driven from the land in the early 1900s.
This lack of a predatory presence caused the elk population to spike causing "erosion and expanded floodplains." So, what about mammoths, which Harvard scientists are currently trying to revive the DNA of? It's a proposal that would need a lot of collaboration from experts. Indeed, in his article for The Conversation about resurrecting prehistoric beasts, Martin writes:
Accomplishing this goal would require a huge team of scientists, consisting (at minimum) of paleontologists, geologists, ecologists, botanists, zoologists, soil scientists, biochemists, and microbiologists.
One key issue these kinds of scientists could solve was touched upon quite smartly in the first Jurassic Park film with the ill Triceratops. Recall how paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler looks through the dinosaur's feces in order to determine whether or not it had digested a toxic plant.
Martin points out that this is a great nod to the evolutionary complications of having millions-of-years-old herbivores eat modern plants. They have evolved over the years to defend themselves against certain plant-eaters. The same issue could be said for the reptilian meat-eaters.
Could the same effect, however, be applied to mammoths?
Read more at The Conversation.
Photo Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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