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October 25 2012

Fossil Record Shows Species Need to Spread Out to Survive

Counter to expectations, groups of related marine species with large population sizes have just the same risk of extinction as those with small population sizes, according to new research.

The new analysis of marine fossil records across 500 million years shows that ocean invertebrates (animals without backbones) limited to small geographic ranges typically bear the brunt of extinction, regardless of their abundance there. The findings offer a potentially important clue for present-day conservationists.

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