Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Competition from the ancestors of cats drove the extinction of many species of ancient dogs

12.08.2015

Competition played a more important role in the evolution of the dog family (wolves, foxes, and their relatives) than climate change, shows a new international study published in PNAS.

An international team including scientists from the Universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), São Paulo (Brazil) and Lausanne (Switzerland) analyzed over 2000 fossils and revealed that the arrival of felids to North America from Asia had a deadly impact on the diversity of the dog family, contributing to the extinction of as many as 40 of their species.


Competition from the ancestors of cats drove the extinction of many species of ancient dogs

Michele Silvestro

“We usually expect climate changes to play an overwhelming role in the evolution of biodiversity. Instead, competition among different carnivore species proved to be even more important for canids” says leading author Daniele Silvestro at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

The dog family originated in North America about 40 million of years ago and reached a maximum diversity around 22 million of years ago, when more than 30 species inhabited the continent. Today, only 9 species of the dog family live in North America.

They progressively increased in body size and specialized into becoming large predators. Some of them exceeded 30 Kg (66 pounds) and were among the largest carnivores on the North American continent. Although several large carnivores today face a higher extinction risk than smaller species, the authors of the study found no evidence of a similar pattern in ancient canid species.

The evolutionary success of carnivorous animals is inevitably linked to their ability to obtain food. The limited amount of resources (preys) imposes strong competition among carnivores sharing the same geographic range. For instance African carnivores such as wild dogs, hyenas, lions and other felids are constantly competing with each other for food.

North American carnivores in the past might have followed similar dynamics and much of the competition is found among species of the dog family and from ancient felids and dogs. Interestingly, while felids appeared to have a strongly negative impact on the survival of ancient dogs, the opposite is not true. This suggests that felids must have been more efficient predators than most of the extinct species in the dog family.
Details on the publication

Silvestro D, Antonelli A, Salamin N, Quental T B: The role of clade competition in the diversification of North American canids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA (2015). The full article is available free of charge at the following link: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/06/23/1502803112.abstract

Contact
Dr. Daniele Silvestro, phone +41 764 909931, e-mail: daniele.silvestro@unil.ch University of Gothenburg, Sweden & University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Prof. Tiago B. Quental, phone +55 11 3091-0967, e-mail: tbquental@usp.br University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/news-calendar/News_detail//competi...

Henrik Axlid | University of Gothenburg

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>