Sunday, May 26, 2019
facebook


World will shift to smaller animals over next century
Photo: iStock

World will shift to smaller animals over next century

26 May 2019 | 12:14 PM

LONDON: Smaller birds and mammals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, are more likely to avoid becoming extinct over the next 100 years, scientists say.

[ + read story ]

London

Smaller birds and mammals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, are more likely to avoid becoming extinct over the next 100 years, scientists say.

Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK predict a worldwide move towards smaller birds and mammals in the next century.

In the future, small, fast-lived, highly-fertile, insect-eating animals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, will predominate.

 These 'winners' include rodents, such as dwarf gerbil—and songbirds, such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver, they said.

Less adaptable, slow-lived species, requiring specialist environmental conditions, will likely fall victim of extinction. These 'losers' include the tawny eagle and black rhinoceros.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, predict the average body mass of mammals specifically will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century.

 This decline represents a large, accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent body size reduction observed in species from 130,000 years ago until today.

 "By far the biggest threat to birds and mammals is humankind—with habitats being destroyed due to our impact on the planet, such as deforestation, hunting, intensive farming, urbanisation and the effects of global warming," said Rob Cooke, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton      "The substantial 'downsizing' of species which we forecast could incur further negative impacts for the long-term sustainability of ecology and evolution," said Cooke.

"This downsizing may be happening due to the effects of ecological change but, ironically, with the loss of species which perform unique functions within our global ecosystem, it could also end up as a driver of change too," he said.

The research team focused on 15,484 living land mammals and birds and considered five characteristics that relate to the role of each species in nature: body mass, litter/clutch size, breadth of habitat, diet and length of time between generations.

 In addition, the researchers used the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species to determine which animals are most likely to become extinct in the next century.

They used modern statistical tools to combine all this data to make their projections and evaluate the loss of biodiversity.

"We have demonstrated that the projected loss of mammals and birds will not be ecologically random -- rather a selective process where certain creatures will be filtered out, depending on their traits and vulnerability to ecological change," said Felix Eigenbrod, a professor at the University of Southampton.

"Extinctions were previously viewed as tragic, deterministic inevitabilities, but they can also be seen as opportunities for targeted conservation actions," said Amanda Bates, Research Chair at Memorial University in Canada.

"As long as a species that is projected to become extinct persists, there is time for conservation action and we hope research such as ours can help guide this," Bates said. PTI 

885 million bank transactions, social security numbers leaked

885 million bank transactions, social security numbers leaked

25 May 2019 | 1:36 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Real estate title insurance giant First American Financial Corp. had leaked a whopping 885 million sensitive customer financial records, going back to 2003, on its website for everybody to access.

Apple releases system updates for iPhones, MacBooks

Apple releases system updates for iPhones, MacBooks

25 May 2019 | 12:51 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Just weeks after releasing the iOS 12.3 globally, Apple is rolling out a minor iOS 12.3.1 with bug fixes along with a supplemental for macOS 10.14.5.

Archaeologists unearth marble goddess head in Rome

Archaeologists unearth marble goddess head in Rome

25 May 2019 | 11:13 AM

ROME: Italian archaeologists have unearthed a white marble head, possibly of a goddess, dating back to the Imperial Age, the Superintendence of Cultural and Archaeological Heritage of Rome announced on Friday.

Reading with toddlers can reduce harsh parenting, boost child behaviour: Study

Reading with toddlers can reduce harsh parenting, boost child behaviour: Study

24 May 2019 | 5:18 PM

WASHINGTON: Parents who regularly read with their toddlers are less likely to engage in harsh parenting, enhancing children's behaviour, a study has found.

SpaceX launches first 60 satellites of its internet network

SpaceX launches first 60 satellites of its internet network

24 May 2019 | 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON: SpaceX has launched a rocket carrying the first 60 satellites of its "Starlink" constellation, which is intended to provide internet from space in an array that could one day contain over 12,000 orbiting transponders.

Oldest meteorite collection on Earth discovered in Chile

Oldest meteorite collection on Earth discovered in Chile

24 May 2019 | 12:41 PM

LONDON: Scientists say they have uncovered the oldest meteorite collection on Earth's surface in Chile's Atacama Desert, allowing them to reconstruct the rate of falling meteorites over the past two million years.

Human activity behind global temperature rise, study confirms

Human activity behind global temperature rise, study confirms

23 May 2019 | 5:05 PM

LONDON: Human factors such as greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution, and other external factors are responsible for the rise in global temperature, an Oxford study has confirmed.

Scientists recreate 5,000-year-old Egyptian Pharaoh's beer

Scientists recreate 5,000-year-old Egyptian Pharaoh's beer

23 May 2019 | 3:45 PM

JERUSALEM: Scientists have recreated an ancient beer that was served during the reign of Egyptian Pharaohs over 5,000 years ago.

China responsible for surge in ozone-depleting emissions: Study

China responsible for surge in ozone-depleting emissions: Study

23 May 2019 | 11:26 AM

SHANGHAI: China is to blame for much of the increase in illegal ozone-depleting substances (ODS) since 2013, according a study published by the journal Nature on Thursday, with domestic companies accused of violating a global production ban.

Google showing poll results live across its platforms

Google showing poll results live across its platforms

23 May 2019 | 11:20 AM

NEW DELHI: Google on Thursday brought live Lok Sabha election results for the first time across its platforms — Search, YouTube and Google Assistant.

Massive water reservoir discovered on Mars

Massive water reservoir discovered on Mars

23 May 2019 | 1:13 PM

HOUSTON: Scientists have discovered one of the largest water reservoirs on Mars, in the form of ice layers buried over a kilometre beneath the surface, a finding that may reveal whether the Red Planet was habitable in the past.

Scientists ‘paint’ microscopic Mona Lisa on quantum canvas

Scientists ‘paint’ microscopic Mona Lisa on quantum canvas

22 May 2019 | 10:32 PM

MELBOURNE: Scientists have created microscopic replicas of iconic masterpieces, including Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night, on a quantum ‘canvas’ the width of a human hair.

This smartphone app can spot rare Huntington's disease

This smartphone app can spot rare Huntington's disease

22 May 2019 | 4:18 PM

LONDON: A team of researchers has created a smartphone application which helps recognise early symptoms of a rare Huntington's disease.

Scientists 'paint' microscopic Mona Lisa on quantum canvas

Scientists 'paint' microscopic Mona Lisa on quantum canvas

22 May 2019 | 3:47 PM

MELBOURNE: Scientists have created microscopic replicas of iconic masterpieces, including Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Van Gogh's Starry Night, on a quantum 'canvas' the width of a human hair.

Android gets Adobe's 1st cross-device video editing app

Android gets Adobe's 1st cross-device video editing app

22 May 2019 | 3:33 PM

NEW DELHI: Software major Adobe on Wednesday announced that it is rolling out its first cross-device video editing app "Premiere Rush" to Android phones.

Space travel may harm astronauts' joints: Study

Space travel may harm astronauts' joints: Study

22 May 2019 | 1:35 PM

WASHINGTON: Space travel can be detrimental to the joints of astronauts, say scientists who have found early signs of cartilage breakdown in mice sent aboard a Russian spaceflight.

World nations failing the poorest on energy goals

World nations failing the poorest on energy goals

22 May 2019 | 12:28 PM

WASHINGTON: More than 150 million people are gaining access to electricity every year, reducing the ranks of those who live without power, but this is not enough to meet global development goals, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Formation of Moon brought water to Earth: Study

Formation of Moon brought water to Earth: Study

22 May 2019 | 11:44 AM

BERLIN: A cosmic body that hit the Earth and led to the formation of the Moon about 4.4 billion years ago may have also delivered large quantities of water to our home planet, making it habitable, scientists have found.

Send your name to fly aboard next Mars rover

Send your name to fly aboard next Mars rover

22 May 2019 | 10:33 AM

WASHINGTON: Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, the US space agency has invited public to submit their names to fly abroad the next rover to Red Planet in 2020.

Google sorry for saving users' password in readable form

Google sorry for saving users' password in readable form

22 May 2019 | 10:27 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Wednesday extended an apology to its G Suite customers after revealing that it stored passwords of some enterprise users in plaintext for years.

Millions of Instagram users' data leaked, company probing

Millions of Instagram users' data leaked, company probing

21 May 2019 | 4:48 PM

NEW DELHI: After Facebook that is battling several data breaches, its photo-sharing service Instagram saw itself in trouble after personal data of millions of celebrities and influencers were allegedly exposed on its platform in a massive database that was traced to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox.

Twitter records 5.6 lakh tweets on exit polls in 24 hours

Twitter records 5.6 lakh tweets on exit polls in 24 hours

21 May 2019 | 3:48 PM

NEW DELHI: As majority of exit polls predicted victory for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, Twitter recorded nearly 5.6 lakh tweets related to exit polls in 24 hours, the company said on Tuesday.

Global sea levels could rise more than expected: Study

Global sea levels could rise more than expected: Study

21 May 2019 | 2:48 PM

LONDON: Global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica, according to a study.

More mysterious ‘jars of the dead’ discovered in Laos

More mysterious ‘jars of the dead’ discovered in Laos

20 May 2019 | 4:03 PM

MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered 15 new sites in Laos containing over a hundred mysterious 1,000-year-old massive stone jars—similar to those found in India and Indonesia—possibly used to bury the dead.

Climate a bigger driver of language diversity

Climate a bigger driver of language diversity

20 May 2019 | 12:59 PM

MELBOURNE: A region’s climate has a greater impact than landscape on how many languages are spoken there, according to a study that mapped language diversity around the world.

This novel robotic drone can fly, drive

This novel robotic drone can fly, drive

20 May 2019 | 10:47 AM

JERUSALEM: Scientists have developed the first robot drone that can fly like a quadcopter, drive on tough terrain and squeeze into tight spaces using the same motors.

New study reveals teleconnection between Indian monsoon and Atlantic Nino

New study reveals teleconnection between Indian monsoon and Atlantic Nino

19 May 2019 | 4:23 PM

DUBAI: There is a growing teleconnection between Indian summer monsoon rainfall and Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies, said a new study which is likely to brighten the prospect of a more accurate monsoon prediction in India.

Just visualising a kiss can alter your attitude

Just visualising a kiss can alter your attitude

19 May 2019 | 4:43 PM

NEW YORK: You would never forget that inconspicuous street corner where you kissed her for the first time. However, according to researchers, our attitudes can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine.

Cows in shelters in India suffer from chronic stress: Study

Cows in shelters in India suffer from chronic stress: Study

19 May 2019 | 3:22 PM

HYDERABAD: Chronic stress due to health and management issues like old age, improper flooring and cleanliness, besides others, plague cows kept in various shelters in the country, according to a study.

Italy launches anti-competition probe against Google

Italy launches anti-competition probe against Google

18 May 2019 | 3:59 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Joining the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the European Union (EU), Italy's antitrust authority has become the latest international regulatory body to launch an anti-competition investigation against Google.

A quarter of West Antarctic ice now unstable: Study

A quarter of West Antarctic ice now unstable: Study

18 May 2019 | 3:30 PM

LONDON: Antarctica's ice sheet has thinned by up to 122 metres in places, with the most rapid changes occurring in West Antarctica where ocean melting has triggered glacier imbalance, scientists say.

Bolster social interactions to win online debates

Bolster social interactions to win online debates

17 May 2019 | 10:18 PM

NEW YORK: Want to win an argument online? Bolstering your social interactions may be more helpful than rehearsing your rhetorical flourishes, says a study.

Twitter adding GIFs, polls, emojis to TweetDeck

Twitter adding GIFs, polls, emojis to TweetDeck

17 May 2019 | 2:49 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Micro-blogging site Twitter plans to its social media dashboard app TweetDeck with support for GIFs, polls and emojis.

Cashback incentives to push Google Pay in India

Cashback incentives to push Google Pay in India

17 May 2019 | 2:32 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: To push its payments platform Google Pay in India, the search engine plans to offer cashback incentives on Android apps.

Instagram kills standalone Direct messaging app

Instagram kills standalone Direct messaging app

17 May 2019 | 1:37 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is putting an end to "Direct", its standalone camera-first messaging app which was used to send Instagram direct messages.

414 million plastic pieces found on Indian Ocean islands: Study

414 million plastic pieces found on Indian Ocean islands: Study

17 May 2019 | 11:52 AM

MELBOURNE: An estimated 414 million pieces of plastic—including nearly one million shoes and 370,000 toothbrushes—have been found washed ashore on the beaches of remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to a study.

SpaceX again postpones launch of 60 Starlink satellites

SpaceX again postpones launch of 60 Starlink satellites

17 May 2019 | 10:10 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: Elon Musk's company SpaceX has once again postponed the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first 60 Starlink Internet communications satellites, this time owing to a "software issue".

WhatsApp warns clones to cease bogus operations in India

WhatsApp warns clones to cease bogus operations in India

16 May 2019 | 5:27 PM

NEW DELHI: Companies in India claiming that they can help people send bulk messages on WhatsApp must cease operations, the Facebook-owned messaging app warned on Thursday.

NASA spots Israeli spacecraft’s crash site on Moon

NASA spots Israeli spacecraft’s crash site on Moon

16 May 2019 | 4:09 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA’s Moon orbiting spacecraft has spotted the impact site of the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft on a region of the Moon called “Sea of Serenity” where it crash landed on April 11.

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged earlier than thought

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged earlier than thought

16 May 2019 | 3:21 PM

LONDON: Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 8,00,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to a study.

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women

16 May 2019 | 2:54 PM

LONDON: Men initiate sex more than three times as often as women do in a long-term, heterosexual relationship, says a study.

Apple 5G chip not to debut before 2025

Apple 5G chip not to debut before 2025

16 May 2019 | 2:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple's plans of introducing its own iPhone 5G chip could take as long as six years, the media reported.

Asian summer monsoon weakening unprecedented

Asian summer monsoon weakening unprecedented

16 May 2019 | 2:04 PM

WASHINGTON: Rainfall from the Asian summer monsoon, which influences water availability, ecosystems and agriculture in India, has been decreasing over the past 80 years, according to a study.

Chinese mission may help unlock secrets of Earth, Moon’s evolution

Chinese mission may help unlock secrets of Earth, Moon’s evolution

16 May 2019 | 1:33 PM

BEIJING: China’s Chang’e-4 mission, the first to perform a soft landing on the far side of the Moon, has shed light on the chemical and mineralogical composition of the lunar mantle.

    more Spectrum...
    Technical gainsTower Technician

    Technical gains

    22 May 2019 | 7:54 AM
    A futuristic courseRobotics

    A futuristic course

    22 May 2019 | 7:54 AM
    Build a strong defenceSmart strategy: How to deal with a toxic boss

    Build a strong defence

    22 May 2019 | 7:54 AM
    Working on health and nutritionStart-up Zone

    Working on health and nutrition

    22 May 2019 | 7:54 AM
    more Jobs & Careers...