Tuesday, July 22, 2014

heythereuniverse:

The Great Dying: Explosive Microbial Growth Caused Earth’s Greatest Extinction Event | The Daily Galaxy

The physical environment can produce sudden shocks to the life of our planet through impacting space rocks, erupting volcanoes and other events. But sometimes life itself turns the tables and strikes a swift blow back to the environment. MIT researchers have identified a different culprit — one coming from biology rather than geology. They argue that the carbon disruption and, consequently, the end-Permian extinction were set off by a particular microorganism that evolved a new way to digest organic material into methane.

The end-Permian (or PT) extinction event occurred 252 million years ago. It is often called the Great Dying because around 90 percent of marine species disappeared in one fell swoop. Similar numbers died on land as well, producing a stark contrast between Permian rock layers beneath (or before) the extinction and the Triassic layers above. Extinctions are common throughout time, but for this one, the fossil record truly skipped a beat.

"The end-Permian is the greatest extinction event that we know of," said Daniel Rothman, a geophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The changes in the fossil record were obvious even to 19th Century geologists.”

[Link to the original paper]

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spaceslut:

the greatest horse in all of animation history

spaceslut:

the greatest horse in all of animation history

(Source: )

Monday, July 21, 2014
anythingfeline:

Manis ♀ - Tried Drying Herself Up by Harimau Kayu (AKA Sumatra-Tiger)

anythingfeline:

Manis ♀ - Tried Drying Herself Up by Harimau Kayu (AKA Sumatra-Tiger)

space-wallpapers:

Saturn Eclipsing the Sun

space-wallpapers:

Saturn Eclipsing the Sun

awwww-cute:

My black lab puppy met a fawn

awwww-cute:

My black lab puppy met a fawn

There are two great mysteries that overshadow all other mysteries in science. One is the origin of the universe. That’s my day job. However, there is also the other great mystery of inner space. And that is what sits on your shoulders, which believe it or not, is the most complex object in the known universe. But the brain only uses 20 watts of power. It would require a nuclear power plant to energise a computer the size of a city block to mimic your brain, and your brain does it with just 20 watts. So if someone calls you a dim bulb, that’s a compliment. Michio Kaku (via science-junkie)