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Fossil Corals Show Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise?

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Author Topic: Fossil Corals Show Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise?  (Read 538 times)
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« on: April 27, 2009, 10:26:53 am »

Shrinking Habitat

Wolfgang Kiessling, a paleontologist at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, is an expert on mass-extinction events.

While he doubts that changing sea levels alone drive mass die-offs, he said the study is important because it shows that habitat size is relevant to species diversity.

"The bigger habitat you have, the more species you can sustain—and when habitat shrinks, you get increased risk of extinction," said Kiessling, who was not involved in the study.

However, he added, changes in sea level alone are insufficient to explain the magnitude of mass-extinction events such as the one 65 million years ago, which wiped out the dinosaurs. (See "Volcano Theory of Dino Die-Off Gets New Support" [November 5, 2007].)

"There's got to be more," he said, "something like supervolcanoes, asteroid impacts. … "
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