In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past)

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The presence of night lighting may determine which species or which individuals within a species are able to live in our cities. Many species will avoid the light altogether, leading to a decline in the diversity of species in urban areas. On the other hand, many species are attracted to lights. Some predators, like spiders or geckos, may even benefit because if they hang around lights their next meal literally comes to them.

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But, for others, like moths and birds, the lights cause them to become disorientated and trapped in the glare. This may lead to them dying through exhaustion, predation or collisions.

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Because of this, some species may change. We predict that evolution should favour individuals in these species that are less attracted to the light. In this scenario the effective gene pool of individuals living in light-affected areas is reduced, and this has implications for their genetic diversity and could make them more vulnerable to extinction. In Australia, 30 per cent of all threatened species are living under bright city lights.

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While the lights in our parks and streets ensure safe human transport within and between our cities and rural areas, they often act as barriers to movement for other animals. Night lights fragment the environment — creating a patchwork of light and dark areas that may result in populations of the same species becoming isolated in much the same way as habitat destruction, like tree clearing, has done in the past. And bright lights at the edges of cities can reduce the likelihood of individuals moving into city areas. This restriction of movement effectively isolates populations which may ultimately drive differences between them to such a degree that it leads to speciation — that is one species becoming two species that are no longer able to successfully breed together.

In Pursuit of Early Mammals

This is a problem in species with very low populations — the split could be enough to cause population collapse and extinction. We can see how light at night is impacting animal behaviour, but there may also be hidden physiological changes that are equally, if not more, disruptive. Go to Conservation Land Management. Series: Life of the Past. By: Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska Author. Publisher: Indiana University Press. Click to have a closer look.

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Select version. About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles. Images Additional images. About this book In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution.

Contents Preface 1. Monograph Popular Science. Media reviews. Current promotions. Other titles in Life of the Past. Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys. More Info. Life Through the Ages. Noah's Ravens. Oceans of Kansas.

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Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico. The Great Fossil Enigma. Mesozoic Sea Dragons. Plants in Mesozoic Time. Patrons of Paleontology. The Complete Dinosaur.


In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past)

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In Pursuit of Early Mammals

Contents pp. Foreword pp. Preface pp.