Feeds

Life on earth follows 62 million year cycle

Biodiversity has a rhythm

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Life on earth follows a mysterious 62 million year cycle that has left researchers stumped for an explanation.

An analysis of fossil records for the past 542 million years shows that biodiversity fluctuates according to the cycle, which holds true for both extinctions and new species. Physicist Richard Muller and his grad student Robert Rohde, working for the DoE's Lawrence Livermore Lab, discovered the cycle in 2003, but have been unable to explain it.

The pair examined 14 different possible explanations but couldn't find a relationship that held up. Rohde's personal hunch is that it's related to volcanic activity, but equally, he says, it could relate to the earth's passage through the Milky Way. Muller suspects that gravitational attraction from stellar objects such as galaxies or molecular clouds could in turn influence the number of genera.

Biodiversity follows a 62 year cycle

The pair also noticed a 140 million cycle but since the period covered by fossil records only permits four of these, they're reluctant to draw a conclusion. ®

Related link

Livermore Labs press release [thanks Jorn]

Related stories

Cretinous hacks in Cretaceous/Jurassic outrage
Tempel-1: iceberg or galactic rubber ball?
Scientists lighten up on dark energy
Cows bear grudges: official
Climatologist scoops major prize at IoP awards

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.