Earth - Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction: Is it Here Yet?...

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Within the four billion years that Earth has been around, it has already experienced five mass extinctions. The most recent, and most well known occurred 65 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. While that may have been caused by a meteor colliding with the earth, if scientists are correct, our actions, both past and present, are harming many species of organisms and we may even be causing our own demise. Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval, as has happened only five times in the past 540 million years or so. Biologists now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the known species losses over the past few centuries and millennia. Here we review how differences between fossil and modern data and the addition of recently available palaeontological information influence our understanding of the current extinction crisis. The results confirm that current extinction rates are higher than would be expected from the fossil record, highlighting the need for effective conservation measures. We, as humans, mistreat the animal population. On a smaller scale, the human population wastes domestic and wild, animals for medical testing, for their fur, and for entertainment such as dog fighting. These things may not seem to be globally threatening, yet the constant waste of certain species of animals and the destruction of an animal's natural habitat will lead to the endangerment and eventually the extinction of the species. Furthermore, many people are unaware that the world is currently in the midst of the largest mass extinction in history. http://geology.com/press-release/sixth-mass-extinction/ Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction: Is it Here Yet? Steep declines of many animal species worry researchers Republished from a March, 2011 press release by the National Science Foundation . Steep Decline in Population of Animal Species
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This note was uploaded on 06/08/2011 for the course GEO 1 taught by Professor Dean during the Spring '11 term at Riverside Community College.

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Earth - Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction: Is it Here Yet?...

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