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'Morphospace' governs recovery after mass extinction

Mass Extinction Event
© MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
The re-establishment of species diversity following an extinction event is consistently slower than evolutionary theory predicts.
Theory tells us that after a mass extinction, an event where the diversity of species is drastically reduced, nature should rebound with a flurry of creativity. Species should quickly proliferate to refill desolate ecosystems, something called adaptive radiation.

Yet, the paleontological record suggests that this doesn't happen at anywhere near the expected pace. Now, research published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution argues that understanding something called "morphospace" might help us find the cause.

Extinction events happen with alarming regularity: there's the "big five", but a host of slightly smaller, yet still devastating extinctions have peppered the planet's history.

Scientists now worry that we might be in the middle of one of our own making, so this makes it all the more important to understand how the natural world bounces back from such catastrophes.

Perhaps the most well-known of the earth's mass extinctions is the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event. This took place 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked into the earth next to what is now the Yucatán Peninsula, creating the nearly 200-kilometre-wide depression known as the Chicxulub crater. This impact drove the extinction of all the non-avian dinosaurs, and much else besides.

Meteor

Meteor fireball cause of sonic boom heard in northeast Oklahoma

The GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) capture a meteor in NE Oklahoma around 5:20pm. The meteor was visible across much of the area and a large green fireball.

The meteor created a smoke trail as it burned across the sky; Tisha Rowley shot this picture of the smoke.
Meteor smoke trail over NE OK
The meteor generated a sonic boom as it burned entering Earth's atmosphere; the boom was heard across much of our area.

If you heard a low rumble or something that sounded like "thunder" in the distance between 5:20-5:25pm: you heard the meteor.

Comment: A daytime meteor was also seen earlier that day over Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia


Meteor

'Loud boom' heard in central North Carolina

Mystery boom in central NC
© WGHP
Residents living along a rural road in Trinity were alarmed by a mysterious noise and movement they say happened late Monday night.

"It was a very loud boom," Dianne Williams said.

Williams was alarmed to hear such a loud noise, followed by shaking. She said it was scary for her dogs too.

"I heard bang, bang, in the laundry room, so I opened the door where we keep our pots and pans and they were on the floor!" Williams said.

But she wasn't the only person along the road to hear the noise and feel the movement in the ground.


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball caught on home surveillance camera in Las Vegas, Nevada

Fireball over Las Vegas
© KSNV
A mysterious light in the sky was caught on home surveillance cameras in the southwest valley.

Was the fiery streak a meteor? A satellite?

A doorbell camera from a Rhodes Ranch home caught a streak of light flying across the sky Tuesday morning just after 4 a.m.

Southwest resident Shannon Graham said, "Amazing. I haven't seen anything like that. It's pretty cool to see that."

Shannon Graham lives in the area. Graham says the video of the mysterious streak brings back memories as a child looking up at the sky during meteor showers.

"They are not as uncommon as you think. I remember growing up. We would go outside and put lawn chairs out and watch the meteor showers", she says.


Fireball

Bright meteor fireball filmed streaking through Puerto Rico skies

fireball puerto
© Frankie Lucena
Screen shot of the fireball from Franke Lucena's facebook
Skywatcher Franke Lucena filmed a fireball blazing through the night skies of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, at 04:01 local time on Tuesday 9th April. According to reports, the event lasted for about 5 seconds before burning up in the atmosphere.

Also that evening there have been 53 reports to the American Meteor Society (AMS) of a fireball sighted from the US, so there may be another sighting and more footage to come.

If you would like to report a sighting, you can do so with the AMS here.

Comment: The uptick in fireball sightings continues apace:


Fireball 4

Very bright meteor fireball fragments over Krasnoyarsk, Russia - Third such event in four months

bolide is seen in sky over Krasnoyarsk
© The Siberian Times
Busy receiving space wanderes, this time a bolide is seen in sky over Krasnoyarsk.
Bright and noisy with a long, sparkling green and yellow tail, it was filmed by multiple observers in Krasnoyarsk region.

The phenomenon caused fear on the ground.

'I panicked as it sounded and looked like a plane on fire, I got really scared of the noise and shine it created', said a local woman from Krasnoyarsk, the large industrial city.

'I pulled a phone out of a pocket, but it flew across the sky so fast that I only caught a long white trace it left.'

Some residents said the meteor was blindingly bright, akin to the light and sparks created during intense welding work.

It split into several parts before disappearing in the sky somewhere over Irkutsk region, east of Krasnoyarsk.

The local ministry of emergencies confirmed it registered a meteor, and said that it didn't pose a threat to people or infrastructure.

It is the third major meteor or meteorite event in four months.


Fireball 2

Meteor fireball over New Mexico

Fireball - stock image
You can expect meteor activity to increase in the coming months, as we re-enter a time of year for major meteor showers. Here's what appears to be a random meteor, but a very bright one!

Have you seen a bright fireball? Report it to the American Meteor Society (AMS).

Here's Mike's report to the AMS.


Fireball 2

Hundreds report daytime meteor fireball over Southeast US

Meteor fireball over Southeast US on April 4, 2019.
© A. McCullough, AMS
Meteor fireball over Southeast US on April 4, 2019.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 434 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia on Thursday, April 4th 2019 around 10:50 UT.

AMS received 9 videos and 7 photos of the event.


Fireball 5

Meteor fireball recorded over Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brazil meteor fireball
© AMS/E. Santiago
The American Meteor Society (AMS) received 8 reports about a meteor fireball seen over Minas Gerais and São Paulo on Wednesday, April 3rd 2019 around 06:24 UT.

The event was recorded by Exoss monitoring stations and a video uploaded to the AMS website.


Fireball 5

Streaking meteor fireball caught on dash-cam over Wisconsin

Meteor over Kenosha
© Screen Capture Youtube
A meteor entering the earth's atmosphere lit up the sky early Wednesday around 2 a.m.

For one motorist driving west of Kenosha, it appeared that the streaking fireball had crashed near the Strawberry Creek club house and housing development. His 911 call triggered a response from both the Kenosha and Bristol fire departments.

Pleasant Prairie Police. dashcam video is below