Connect with us

Science

Mastodon migrations north offer clues about today's animal movements: study – CTV News

Published

on


WHITEHORSE —
The migration of extinct mastodon herds to Yukon and Alaska during warm periods between ice ages could hold clues and warning signs for today’s animals moving north during a warming climate, says a new research paper.

The paper from Hamilton’s McMaster University, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, says mastodon herds that migrated north during the warm periods were less genetically diverse, which made them more vulnerable to extinction.

Mastodons, similar to today’s elephants and extinct mammoths, roamed much of North America, including parts of Mexico. Mastodons went extinct about 11,000 years ago along with mammoths, large-toothed cats, giant beavers and western camels.

Emil Karpinski, a paleontologist at McMaster’s Ancient DNA Centre, said the report is the result of six years of research that examined the fossil bones and teeth of more than 30 different mastodons.

He said the research showed mastodons migrated north several times during periods between ice ages when the Earth warmed, but didn’t survive when ice ages returned.

“Mastodons were much more at home in these warmer, wooded wetland habitats with an abundance of shrubs and trees like spruce and pine for them to eat,” Karpinski told a panel discussion involving about a dozen mastodon experts.

“We wanted to see, which is kind of the end hope of all this research, if what we learn about these animals could be applied to present-day species,” he said.

“We’re observing very similar travels in species like moose, snowshoe hare, beavers, not just ones in the Arctic, but also various birds, fish and other species that are rapidly moving northward in response to climate warming.”

Karpinski said the research indicates the mastodon herds that migrated north were less genetically diverse and were more susceptible to extinction.

Grant Zazula, a Yukon government paleontologist and one of the report’s authors, said the research shows mastodon herds migrated north more than once with the same disastrous results.

He said the northern mastodons were decimated with the arrival of an ice age 250,000 years ago and were also wiped out by a second ice age about 100,000 years ago.

“Their populations would have peaked about 100,000 years ago and that’s when climates were essentially as warm as they are today and the environment looked very similar to today’s environment,” he said.

Zazula said mastodons were not equipped to survive the colder climates of the ice ages.

“What this is showing us is those populations kind of at the frontier of migrations and range extensions really lack genetic diversity,” he said. “It doesn’t take very much to wipe them out. It could be a change in climate. It could be hunting. It could be disease.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

COVID-19 Today: School, child care cases for Newmarket, York Region, and Ontario – NewmarketToday.ca

Published

on


Newmarket (reported Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 0 school-related cases
  • 0 schools closed

Licensed child care facilities

  • 0 child care centre cases
  • 0 child care centres closed

York Region (reported Frisday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 1 school outbreaks*
    • Blue Willow, Woodbridge (1 student, 1 staff)
  • 0 schools closed
  • 12 confirmed cases
  • 7 students
  • 5 staff/visitors
  • 8 (-2) schools under surveillance**:
    • Carrville Mills (1 staff), in Thornhill
    • Little Rouge (1 student), in Markham;
    • St. Michael the Archangel (1 staff); Tommy Douglas Secondary (1 student), Our Lady of Fatima (1 staff), in Woodbridge;
    • Maple High (1 student), Dr. Roberta Bondar (1 student) in Maple
    • Kleinburg P.S. (1 student) in Kleinburg
  • Surveillance closed for Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1 staff) and J. Addison (1 student), in Markham

*An outbreak is declared when 2 or more cases are confirmed within a 14-day period, with at least one case acquired in the school

**Schools with a laboratory-confirmed case that was not transmitted within the school 

Licensed child care facilities

  • 4 child care centre outbreaks*
  • 2 active outbreaks
    • Childventures Early Learning Academy, Aurora (1 staff)
    • Montessori School House, Maple (1 child, 1 staff)
  • 1 case child
  • 4 cases staff/visitors

*An outbreak is declared with one or more confirmed case in children or staff

Ontario (reported Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.):

Cases in schools

  • 238 (+29) school-related cases
  • 110 (+10) students; 50 (+10) staff
  • 78 (+9) individuals not identified 
  • 198 (+20) of 4,828 schools with a case (4.10%)
  • 2 schools closed
    • Fellowes High School, Pembroke (1 student, 4 staff cases)
    • Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School, Ottawa (2 students, 2 staff)

Cases in child care centres and homes

  • 109 (+2) cases at child care centres and homes
  • 54 (+2) children
  • 55 staff
  • 36 (-1) of 5,111 child care centres with current cases (0.70%)
  • 10 (-1) child care centres currently closed (.20%)

York Region Public Health reminds parents and guardians to check your child daily for symptoms of COVID-19. For more information and resources, including how to protect yourself and others, visit york.ca/SafeAtSchool
 
You can download Canada’s COVID Alert in Apple and Google app stores or visit ontario.ca/covidalert

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

A dazzling full 'harvest moon' is set to illuminate Vancouver skies next week – Vancouver Is Awesome

Published

on


While the weekend forecast calls for rain, Vancouver skies are expected to clear next week, which is just in time for the glorious full Harvest moon. 

Earlier this month, locals were treated to a full corn moon. Last year, September’s full moon was a full ‘harvest moon,’ which takes place in two years out of three. However, since October’s full moon falls closest to the fall equinox this year, it will carry the harvest title. 

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “this full Moon name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked the time when corn was supposed to be harvested.”

The Harvest Moon gets was given its name because farmers needed its silvery light to harvest crops. It has since inspired a rather dreamy, beautiful song by Canadian icon Neil Young, too.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac also notes that Native peoples would give distinctive names to each reoccurring full moon to mark the change of seasons. As such, many of these names arose when Native Americans first interacted with colonialists. 

The October moon will be at its fullest in Vancouver on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2:05 p.m. 

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Dozens of McGill students living in student neighbourhood test positive for COVID-19 – Yahoo News Canada

Published

on


Dozens of students at McGill University are testing positive for COVID-19 according to their peers, but the university is not counting most of those cases in its official tally, because they happened off-campus.

Jacob Rothery, a student living in the so-called McGill ghetto in Montreal’s Milton Park neighbourhood next to the university, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. So did his three roommates.

Rothery says he knows of at least 20 other students who tested positive, and suspects more numbers are going to come from the popular and crowded student neighbourhood.

“There were a decent amount of students going to student bars,” he said. “And then on top of that, you don’t necessarily know who the people that you think you’re in your bubble with are seeing, so they could be seeing a bunch of other people, who are putting themselves in riskier situations.” 

Rothery says he and his friends did not violate public health guidelines, but that didn’t stop an outbreak in his group of friends.

“People may have had it, but had no symptoms. So they had no reason to get tested. And then you have gatherings that aren’t that big, maybe fifteen people or 10, but those 10 people see other people and their bubbles are a lot bigger than they think they are,” he said. 

Submitted by Jacob Rothery

View photos

Submitted by Jacob Rothery

Thom Haghighat is another McGill student who is self-isolating, after he and his roommate tested positive for COVID-19.

He figures he caught the virus from one of the students returning to the “ghetto” from Toronto or elsewhere in Montreal.

Haghighat says he also knows of at least 25 students living in the area who tested positive, with a dozen in his immediate group of friends.

Like Rothery, Haghighat says he and his friends were limiting personal gatherings and keeping a small circle of people to interact with.

Despite this, he said, he still saw cases rise among his peers in the past week. He believes false negatives are part of the problem. 

“The first time we got tested, we tested negative. We still self-isolated, but I know a lot of people who would think they were in the clear to go see other people,” he said, noting that he knew others who also got false negatives. 

Rothery had also received a false negative test result earlier this week, before testing positive.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Only "on-campus" numbers” data-reactid=”45″>Only “on-campus” numbers

Despite these anecdotal reports, McGill University has officially recorded just six COVID-19 cases this week on campus, and says there is no evidence of community transmission on its campuses.

McGill’s main campus is downtown. The Macdonald campus, which houses agricultural and nutrition programs among others, is in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in the West Island.

A spokesperson for the university said the number includes staff and students who were present on campus in the week preceding their positive COVID test. 

Most classes at McGill have moved online, which means far fewer people are frequenting the campus. 

Justin Hayward/CBCJustin Hayward/CBC

View photos

Justin Hayward/CBC

Some students say the university should include the numbers of students who test positive off-campus, as well.

“It’s important for them to at least take responsibility for the things that are going on in their student body, whether or not they’re technically on campus, because I think that distinction is pretty useless,” said Rothery.

For its part, McGill says it is working with public health authorities on strict protocols to limit the spread.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending