Wed, May 24, 2017 | updated 11:36 PM IST

Toxic amphibian defenses at higher risk of extinction

Updated: Nov 23, 2016 09:51 IST      
Toxic amphibian defenses at higher risk of extinction

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov. 23 (ANI): A recent study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, found that amphibians which use poisonous defenses are more likely to get extinct than other species.

Research published by a Swansea University scientist has suggested amphibians which have a toxic defence against predators such as the iconic poison dart frogs have a much higher risk of extinction than species which use other types of defence mechanisms.

The key finding of Dr Kevin Arbuckle's latest study is that poisonous species are 60 percent more likely to be threatened than species without chemical defences.

Amphibians are usually considered the most threatened group of vertebrate animals and are experiencing population declines globally, raising conservation challenges.

The threats to amphibian biodiversity are numerous and include rapid habitat destruction, exploitation, and pollutants entering the environment.

Many characteristics of animals may be linked to contemporary extinction risk. For instance, certain traits are either known or

suspected to influence factors such as mortality rates or the ability of populations to recover after declines, and are therefore potential predictors of extinction risk.

The work by Dr Arbuckle, Lecturer in Biosciences (Evolutionary Biology) in the University's College of Science, used amphibians as a model system and tested whether chemical antipredator defence is associated with contemporary extinction rates. This is possible by using conservation status (e.g. 'endangered', 'vulnerable') as a measure of extinction risk in species alive today.

"The results of this new study suggest that while toxic defence can be great for avoiding predators, it might be bad news in the long-term for a species. It's another example of how evolution doesn't act 'for the good of the species', but instead for the good of the individual," said Dr Arbuckle.

"The study builds on my previous work, which found that toxic amphibians were also more likely to become extinct over their

evolutionary history, and the next step is to figure out what mechanism is behind the link between defence and extinction," he

added.

Dr Arbuckle previously suggested three main possibilities to explain higher extinction rates in toxic amphibians, and figuring out which of these have been important are the focus of another study.

The different ideas are: Costly chemical hypothesis: Chemical defence is energetically costly; Marginal habitats hypothesis: Chemical defence allows shifts to 'marginal' (low carrying capacity) habitats, which are intrinsically more vulnerable, and;

Slow life-history hypothesis: Chemical defence is associated with slow life-histories, which damages the recovery of populations after declines. (ANI)

DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

Full Story >>

Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

Full Story >>

Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

Full Story >>

Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

Full Story >>

Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

Full Story >>

Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

Full Story >>

Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

Full Story >>

'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

Full Story >>

Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

Full Story >>

New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

The hidden cost of helping your co-workers

Updated: May 10, 2017 19:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): If you're a co-worker who helps other, you are likely to feel good, but are those good feelings coming at a price?

Full Story >>

Scientists track brain developments of newborn babies

Updated: May 10, 2017 15:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Researchers can now easily study how the human brain develops as scientists have published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains.

Full Story >>

Device to check ripeness of tomatoes?

Updated: May 10, 2017 12:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Future farmers may be zapping tomatoes with lasers!

Full Story >>

Secret behind stealthy solar storms revealed

Updated: May 09, 2017 09:41 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 9 (ANI): While mostly massive solar storms are often preceded by some kind of warning, sometimes mysterious slower-moving 'stealth' storms appear seemingly out of nowhere, leaving scientists baffled.

Full Story >>