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Extinction is here to stay

  • Karl W. Flessa (a1) and David Jablonski (a2)


This summer's meeting season saw five gatherings devoted specifically to the topic of extinction: Chicago's Field Museum symposium in May (see Diamond 1983); a field conference to examine the Cretaceous-Tertiary transition in Montana; a symposium on molluscan extinction at the American Malacological Union meeting in Seattle; a special session at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution in St. Louis; and a research conference on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (see also Lewin 1983a,b,c). Several recent books consider the topic (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1981; Nitecki 1981; Silver and Schultz 1982; Martin and Klein, 1984) and plans are underway to publish the papers presented at the Field Museum, Seattle, and Flagstaff meetings. Our review of the topic is based principally on the themes explored at the St. Louis and Flagstaff meetings.



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Boag, P. T. 1983. More extinct island birds. Nature. 305:274275.
Brown, J. H., and Gibson, A. C. 1983. Biogeography. Mosby; St. Louis.
Diamond, J. M. 1982. Man the exterminator. Nature. 298:787789.
Diamond, J. M. 1983. Extinctions, catastrophic and gradual. Nature. 304:396397.
Ehrlich, P. and Ehrlich, A. 1981. Extinction. Random House; New York.
Fischer, A. G. and Arthur, M. A. 1977. Secular variations in the pelagic realm. Soc. Econ. Paleont. Mineral. Spec. Pub. 25:1950.
Futuyma, D. J. and Slatkin, M., eds. 1983. Coevolution. Sinauer; Sunderland, Mass.
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Lewin, R. 1983b. What killed the giant mammals? Science. 221:10361037.
Lewin, R. 1983c. No dinosaurs this time. Science. 221:11681169.
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Lundelius, E. L. Jr. 1983. Climatic implications of Late Pleistocene and Holocene faunal associations in Australia. Alcheringia. 7:125149.
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Shoemaker, E. M. 1983. Asteroid and comet bombardment of the earth. Ann. Rev. Earth Plant. Sci. 11:461494.
Signor, P. W. III and Lipps, J. H. 1982. Sampling bias, gradual extinction patterns and catastrophes in the fossil record. Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Pap. 190:291296.
Silver, L. T. and Schultz, P. H., eds. 1982. Geological implications of impacts of large asteroids and comets on the earth. Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Paper 190.
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Terborgh, J. and Winter, B. 1980. Some causes of extinction. Pp. 119133. In: Soulé, M. E. and Wilcox, B. A., eds. Conservation Biology: An Evolutionary-Ecological Perspective. Sinauer; Sunderland, Mass.
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