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Encyclopedia > Local extinction
The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited example of extinction.
The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited[1] example of extinction.

In biology and ecology, extinction is the cessation of existence of a species or group of taxa, reducing biodiversity. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of that species (although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point; see population bottleneck). Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively. This difficulty leads to phenomena such as Lazarus taxa, where a species presumed extinct abruptly "re-appears" (typically in the fossil record) after a period of apparent absence. Image File history File links ExtinctDodoBird. ... Image File history File links ExtinctDodoBird. ... Binomial name Raphus cucullatus Linnaeus, 1758 Former range (in red) The Mauritius Dodo (Raphus cucullatus, called Didus ineptus by Linnaeus), more commonly just dodo, was a metre-high (three-foot) flightless bird of the island of Mauritius. ... Extinction has the following meanings: In biology, extinction is the disappearance of a species. ... Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the branch of science dealing with the study of living organisms. ... Ernst Haeckel coined the term oekologie in 1866. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a grouping of organisms (named or unnamed). ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity or biological diversity is the diversity of life. ... A population bottleneck (or genetic bottleneck) is an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing, and the population is reduced by 50% or more, often by several orders of magnitude. ... In biology, the range of an species is the geographical area within which that species can be found. ... In biology, a lazarus taxon (plural taxa) is a taxon that disappears from one or more periods of the fossil record, only to appear again later. ... An ammonite fossil Eocene fossil fish of the genus Knightia Petrified wood fossil formed through permineralization. ...


Through evolution, new species arise through the process of speciation — where new varieties of organisms arise and thrive when they are able to find and exploit an ecological niche — and species become extinct when they are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition. A typical species becomes extinct within 10 million years of its first appearance,[2] although some species, called living fossils, survive virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. Only one in a thousand species that have existed remain today.[2] In 1832, while travelling on the Beagle, naturalist Charles Darwin collected giant fossils in South America. ... Charles Darwins first sketch of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) Speciation is the theory of the evolutionary process by which new biological species are believed by some to arise. ... Two lichenes species on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... Living fossil is a term for any living species (or clade) of organism which closely resembles species otherwise only known from fossils and has no close living relatives. ...


Prior to the dispersion of humans across the earth, extinction was a purely natural phenomenon that generally occurred at a continuous low rate (mass extinctions being relatively rare events). Starting approximately 100,000 years ago, and coinciding with an increase in the numbers and range of humans, species extinctions have increased to a rate unprecedented[3] since the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. This is known as the Holocene extinction event and is at least the sixth such extinction event. Some experts have estimated that up to half of presently existing species may become extinct by 2100.[4] An extinction event (also extinction-level event, ELE) is a period in time when a large number of species die out. ... Map of countries by population —showing the population of the China and India in the billions. ... Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta where erosion has exposed the KT boundary. ... The Holocene extinction event is a name customarily given to the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. ... An extinction event (also extinction-level event, ELE) occurs when there is a sharp decrease in the number of species in relatively short period of time. ...

Conservation status
the risk of extinction
Extinction

Extinct
Extinct in the Wild
The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... The Dodo, shown here in illustration, is an often-cited[1] example of extinction. ...

Threatened

Critically Endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
An endangered species is a species whose population is so small that it is in danger of becoming extinct. ... The critically endangered Amur Tiger, a rare subspecies of tiger. ... A vulnerable species is one whose chances of extinction characterize it as threatened but not quite as endangered. ...

Lower risk

Near Threatened
Conservation Dependent
Least Concern
Near Threatened (NT) is an IUCN category assigned to species or lower taxa which may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future, although it does not currently qualify for the threatened status. ... Conservation Dependent (LR/cd) was an IUCN category assigned to species or lower taxa which were dependent on conservation efforts to prevent the taxon becoming threatened with extinction. ... Least concern (LC) is an IUCN category assigned to species or lower taxa which do not qualify for any other category. ...

See also

World Conservation Union
IUCN Red List
The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. ...

Contents

Definition

Look up Extinction in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

A species becomes extinct when the last existing member of that species dies. Extinction therefore becomes a certainty when there are no surviving individuals that are able to reproduce and create a new generation. A species may become functionally extinct when only a handful of individuals survive, which are unable to reproduce due to poor health, age, sparse distribution over a large range, a lack of individuals of both sexes (in sexually reproducing species), or other reasons. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ...

Bark from the extinct Lepidodendron, which died out after the Carboniferous, likely due to competition from newer plant life.
Bark from the extinct Lepidodendron, which died out after the Carboniferous, likely due to competition from newer plant life.[5]

Pinpointing the extinction (or pseudoextinction) of a species requires a clear definition of that species. If it is to be declared extinct, the species in question must be uniquely identifiable from any ancestor or daughter species, or from other closely related species. Extinction (or replacement) of species by a daughter species plays a key role in the punctuated equilibrium hypothesis of Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge. [6] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Species See text. ... The Carboniferous is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Devonian period, about 359. ... Pseudoextinction of a species occurs where there are no more living members of that species, but members of a daughter species or subspecies remain alive. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... Punctuated equilibrium (or punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing species will show little to no evolutionary change throughout their history. ... Stephen Jay Gould Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, historian of science, and professor. ... Dr. Niles Eldredge (born August 25, 1943) is an American paleontologist, who, along with Stephen Jay Gould, proposed the theory of punctuated equilibrium in 1972. ...


In ecology, extinction is often used informally to refer to local extinction, in which a species ceases to exist in the chosen area of study, but still exists elsewhere. This phenomenon is also known as extirpation. Local extinctions may be followed by a replacement of the species taken from other locations; Wolf reintroduction is an example of this. Species which are not extinct are termed extant. Those that are extant but threatened by extinction are referred to as endangered species. A reintroduced gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park Wolf reintroduction involves the artificial reestablishment of a population of wolves into areas where they had been previously extirpated. ... In biology, extant taxon is commonly used in discussions of living and fossil species. ... The critically endangered Amur Tiger, a rare subspecies of tiger. ...


An important aspect of extinction at the present time are human attempts to preserve critically endangered species through the creation of the conservation status extinct in the wild. Species listed under this status by the World Conservation Union (WCU) are not known to have any living specimens in the wild, and are maintained only in zoos or other artificial environments. Some of these species are functionally extinct. When possible, modern zoological institutions attempt to maintain a viable population for species preservation and possible future reintroduction to the wild through use of carefully planned breeding programs. The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... Giraffes in Sydneys Taronga Zoo Zoo redirects here. ... Species with a small population size are subject to a higher chance of extinction because their small population size makes them more vulnerable to genetic drift, resulting in stochastic variation in their gene pool, their demography and their environment. ... Reintroduction is the deliberate release of animals from captivity into the wild. ... A breeding program is the planned breeding of a group of animals or plants, usually involving at least several individuals and extending over several generations. ...


Pseudoextinction

Main article: Pseudoextinction

Descendants may or may not exist for extinct species. Daughter species that evolve from a parent species carry on most of the parent species' genetic information, and even though the parent species may become extinct, the daughter species lives on. In other cases, species have produced no new variants, or none that are able to survive the parent species' extinction. Extinction of a parent species where daughter species or subspecies are still alive is also called pseudoextinction. Pseudoextinction of a species occurs where there are no more living members of that species, but members of a daughter species or subspecies remain alive. ... The genotype is the specific genetic makeup (the specific genome) of an individual, in the form of DNA. Together with the environmental variation that influences the individual, it codes for the phenotype of that individual. ...


However, pseudoextinction is difficult to demonstrate unless one has a strong chain of evidence linking a living species to members of a pre-existing species. For example, it is sometimes claimed that the extinct Hyracotherium, which was an ancient animal similar to the horse, is pseudoextinct, rather than extinct, because there are several extant species of horse, including zebra and donkeys. However, as fossil species typically leave no genetic material behind, it is not possible to say whether Hyracotherium actually evolved into more modern horse species or simply evolved from a common ancestor with modern horses. Pseudoextinction is much easier to demonstrate for larger taxonomic groups. For example, it could be said that dinosaurs are pseudoextinct, because some of their descendants, the birds, survive today. This little horse lived 50 million years ago the person who discovered it called Mole Beast or Hyracotherium later they found another one but called it Dawn Horse the name was given to another Hyracotherium but it also goes by Eohippus. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... In biology, extant taxon is commonly used in discussions of living and fossil species. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... Species Equus zebra Equus hartmannae Equus quagga Equus grevyi The Zebra is a part of the horse family, Equidae, native to central and southern Africa. ... Binomial name Equus asinus The donkey or ass (Equus asinus) is a domesticated animal of the horse family, Equidae. ... Orders & Suborders Saurischia Sauropodomorpha Theropoda Ornithischia Thyreophora Ornithopoda Marginocephalia Dinosaurs were vertebrate animals that dominated the terrestrial ecosystem for over 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. ... Orders Many - see section below. ...


Causes

The passenger pigeon, gone since 1914, was hunted to extinction in a few decades.
The passenger pigeon, gone since 1914, was hunted to extinction in a few decades.

There are a variety of causes that can contribute directly or indirectly to the extinction of a species or group of species. Most simply, any species that is unable to survive or reproduce in its environment, and unable to move to a new environment where it can do so, dies out and becomes extinct. Extinction of a species may come suddenly when an otherwise healthy species is wiped out completely, as when toxic pollution renders its entire habitat unlivable; or may occur gradually over thousands or millions of years, such as when a species gradually loses out competition for food to newer, better adapted competitors. Conservation biology uses the Extinction Vortex model to classify extinctions by cause. The question of whether more historical extinctions have been caused by evolution or by catastrophe is a subject of debate; Mark Newman, the author of Modeling Extinction argues for a mathematical model that falls between the two positions.[2] When concerns about human extinction have been raised, for example in Sir Martin Rees' 2003 book Our Final Hour, concerns lie with climate change or technological disaster. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (640x1024, 177 KB) Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Passenger Pigeon Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (640x1024, 177 KB) Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Passenger Pigeon Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... // Binomial name Ectopistes migratorius (Linnaeus, 1766) The Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once probably the most common bird in the world. ... Survival skills are skills that may help one to survive dangerous situations (such as storms or earthquakes), or in dangerous places (such as the desert, the mountains, and the jungle). ... For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ... Conservation biology is the protection and management of biodiversity that uses principles and experiences from the biological sciences, from natural resource management, and from the social sciences, including economics. ... Extinction Vortices are a means through which conservation biologists, geneticists and ecologists can understand the dynamics of and categorize extinctions in the context of their causes. ... In 1832, while travelling on the Beagle, naturalist Charles Darwin collected giant fossils in South America. ... Human extinction would be the extinction of the human species, Homo sapiens. ... The Right Honourable Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, FRS (born 23 June 1942) is a professor of astronomy. ... Our Final Hour is a 2003 book by the British Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years Climate change refers to the variation in the Earths global climate or in regional climates over time. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a level of technological mastery sufficient to leave the surface of the planet for the first time and explore space. ...


Currently, environmental groups and some governments are concerned with the extinction of species due to human intervention, and are attempting to combat further extinctions.[3] Humans can cause extinction of a species through overharvesting, pollution, habitat destruction, introduction of new predators and food competitors, and other influences. According to the World Conservation Union (WCU, also known as IUCN), 784 extinctions have been recorded since the year 1500, the arbitrary date selected to define "modern" extinctions, with many more likely to have gone unnoticed.[7] Most of these modern extinctions can be attributed directly or indirectly to human effects. Endangered species are species that are in danger of becoming extinct; several organizations attempt to preserve recognized endangered species through a variety of conservation programs. Ernst Haeckel coined the term oekologie in 1866. ... [[Image:your crap . ... Habitat destruction is a process of land use change in which one habitat-type is removed and replaced with some other habitat-type ... This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... Competition characterises a biochemical, ecologic, economic, political, or sporting activity whereby two or more individuals or groups strive antagonistically against one another for some reward. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The critically endangered Amur Tiger, a rare subspecies of tiger. ... The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future. ...


Genetic and demographic causes

Population genetics and demographic phenomena affect the evolution, and therefore the risk of extinction, of species. Regarding the possibility of extinction, small populations which represent an entire species are much more vulnerable to these types of effects. Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... Species with a small population size are subject to a higher chance of extinction because their small population size makes them more vulnerable to genetic drift, resulting in stochastic variation in their gene pool, their demography and their environment. ...


Natural selection acts to propagate beneficial genetic traits and eliminate weaknesses. However, it is sometimes possible for a deleterious mutation to be spread throughout a population through the effect of genetic drift. The Galápagos Islands hold 13 species of finches that are closely related and differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... Genetic drift is the term used in population genetics to refer to the statistical drift over time of allele frequencies in a finite population due to random sampling effects in the formation of successive generations. ...


A diverse or "deep" gene pool gives a population a higher chance of surviving an adverse change in conditions. Effects that cause or reward a loss in genetic diversity can increase the chances of extinction of a species. Population bottlenecks can dramatically reduce genetic diversity by severely limiting the number of reproducing individuals and make inbreeding more frequent. The founder effect can cause rapid, individual-based speciation and is the most dramatic example of a population bottleneck. The gene pool of a species or a population is the complete set of unique alleles that would be found by inspecting the genetic material of every living member of that species or population. ... Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... A population bottleneck (or genetic bottleneck) is an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing, and the population is reduced by 50% or more, often by several orders of magnitude. ... This article may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Simple illustration of founder effect. ...


Habitat degradation

Main article: Habitat destruction

The degradation of a species' habitat may alter the fitness landscape to such an extent that the species is no longer able to survive and becomes extinct. This may occur by direct effects, such as the environment becoming toxic, or indirectly, by limiting a species' ability to compete effectively for diminished resources or against new competitor species. Habitat destruction is a process of land use change in which one habitat-type is removed and replaced with some other habitat-type ... Habitat (from the Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species lives and grows. ... In evolutionary biology, fitness landscapes or adaptive landscapes are used to visualize the relationship between genotypes (or phenotypes) and replicatory success. ... The skull and crossbones is a common symbol for toxicity. ...


Habitat degradation through toxicity can kill off a species very rapidly, by killing all living members through contamination or sterilizing them. It can also occur over longer periods at lower toxicity levels by affecting life span, reproductive capacity, or competitiveness. The Lachine Canal, in Montreal, is badly polluted Pollution is the release of harmful environmental contaminants, or the substances so released. ... Sterilization can mean: Sterilization (surgical procedure) - an operation which renders an animal or human unable to procreate Sterilization (microbiology) - the elimination of microbiological organisms It can also mean the death of sperm cells due to radiation. ...


Habitat degradation can also take the form of a physical destruction of niche habitats. The widespread destruction of tropical rainforests and replacement with open pastureland is widely cited as an example of this; elimination of the dense forest eliminated the infrastructure needed by many species to survive. For example, a fern that depends on dense shade for protection from direct sunlight can no longer survive without forest to house it. Another example is the destruction of ocean floors by bottom trawling.[8] Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical rain forests, are a tropical and subtropical biome. ... Classes Marattiopsida Osmundopsida Gleicheniopsida Pteridopsida A fern is any one of a group of about 20,000 species of plants classified in the phylum or division Pteridophyta, also known as Filicophyta. ...


Diminished resources or introduction of new competitor species also often accompany habitat degradation. Global warming has allowed some species to expand their range, bringing unwelcome competition to other species that previously occupied that area. Sometimes these new competitors are predators and directly affect prey species, while at other times they may merely outcompete vulnerable species for limited resources. Vital resources including water and food can also be limited during habitat degradation, leading to extinction. Global mean surface temperatures 1856 to 2005 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades. ... Water is a tasteless, odourless substance that is essential to all known forms of life and is known as the universal solvent. ...

The Golden Toad was last seen on May 15, 1989. Decline in amphibian populations is ongoing worldwide.
The Golden Toad was last seen on May 15, 1989. Decline in amphibian populations is ongoing worldwide.

Download high resolution version (3593x2400, 1410 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (3593x2400, 1410 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Binomial name Bufo periglenes Savage, 1967 The Golden Toad or Monte Verde Toad (Bufo periglenes) lived in handfulls of places in the Monteverde forest located in Costa Rica, a country in Central America. ... May 15 is the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (136th in leap years). ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Golden Toad of Monteverde, Costa Rica was among the first casualties of amphibian declines. ...

Predation, competition, and disease

Humans have been transporting animals and plants from one part of the world to another for thousands of years, sometimes deliberately (e.g., livestock released by sailors onto islands as a source of food) and sometimes accidentally (e.g., rats escaping from boats). In most cases, such introductions are unsuccessful, but when they do become established as an invasive alien species, the consequences can be catastrophic. Invasive alien species can affect native species directly by eating them, competing with them, and introducing pathogens or parasites that sicken or kill them or, indirectly, by destroying or degrading their habitat. Human populations may themselves act as invasive predators. According to the "overkill hypothesis", the swift extinction of the megafauna in areas such as New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar and Hawaii resulted from the sudden introduction of human beings to environments full of animals that had never seen them before, and were therefore completely unadapted to their predation techniques. Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera Subregnum Eumetazoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Radiata (unranked) Ctenophora Cnidaria Bilateria (unranked) Acoelomorpha Myxozoa Superphylum Deuterostomia Chordata Hemichordata Echinodermata Chaetognatha Superphylum Ecdysozoa Kinorhyncha Loricifera Priapulida Nematoda Nematomorpha Onychophora Tardigrada Arthropoda Superphylum Platyzoa Platyhelminthes Gastrotricha Rotifera Acanthocephala Gnathostomulida Micrognathozoa Cycliophora Superphylum Lophotrochozoa Sipuncula Nemertea Phoronida Bryozoa Entoprocta Brachiopoda... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta - rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta - zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta - trimerophytes Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta... Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ... Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... Lantana Invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel; May 2, 2006 The term invasive species refers to a subset of those species defined as introduced species or non-indigenous species. ... In biology and ecology endemic means exclusively native to a place or biota, in contrast to cosmopolitan or introduced. ... A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ... A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. ... Megafauna are generally defined as animals that weigh over 500 kg to 1 tonne, i. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Coextinction

Main article: Coextinction

Coextinction refers to the loss of a species due to the extinction of another. An obvious example of coextinction is the extinction of parasitic insects following the loss of their hosts. Coextinction can also occur when a species loses its pollinator, or to predators in a food chain who lose their prey. According to Koh (2004), "Species coextinction is a manifestation of the interconnectedness of organisms in complex ecosystems ... While coextinction may not be the most important cause of species extinctions, it is certainly an insidious one"[9]. Coextinction of a species is the loss of one species upon the extinction of another. ... A parasite is an organism that lives in or on the living tissue of a host organism at the expense of it. ... A pollinator is the agent that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization or syngamy of the female gamete in the ovule of the flower by the male gamete from the pollen grain. ... This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... Food chains and food webs and/or food networks describe the feeding relationships between species in a biotic community. ...


Mass extinctions

Apparent fraction of genera going extinct at any given time, as reconstructed from the fossil record (Graph not meant to include recent epoch of Holocene extinction event).
Apparent fraction of genera going extinct at any given time, as reconstructed from the fossil record (Graph not meant to include recent epoch of Holocene extinction event).
Main article: Extinction event

There have been at least five mass extinctions in the history of life, and four in the last 3.5 billion years in which many species have disappeared in a relatively short period of geological time. These are covered in more detail in the article on extinction events. The most recent of these, the K-T extinction 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period, is best known for having wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs, among many other species. Image File history File links Description Total Phanerozoic biodiversity during the same interval. ... Image File history File links Description Total Phanerozoic biodiversity during the same interval. ... In biology, a genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic grouping. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Fossil. ... The Holocene extinction event is a name customarily given to the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. ... An extinction event (also extinction-level event, ELE) occurs when there is a sharp decrease in the number of species in relatively short period of time. ... An extinction event (also extinction-level event, ELE) occurs when there is a sharp decrease in the number of species in relatively short period of time. ... The Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction event, also known as the KT boundary (from German: Kreide-Tertiär-Grenzschicht), was a period of massive extinction of species, about 65. ... The Cretaceous Period is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ... The word Avian can refer to different things: .. Most commonly it is used referring to the class of animals named birds. Avians are a fantasy race in several fantasy settings. ...


According to a 1998 survey of 400 biologists conducted by New York's American Museum of Natural History, nearly 70 percent of biologists believe that we are currently in the early stages of a human-caused mass extinction,[10] known as the Holocene extinction event. In that survey, the same proportion of respondents agreed with the prediction that up to 20 percent of all living species could become extinct within 30 years (by 2028). Biologist E.O. Wilson estimated [4] in 2002 that if current rates of human destruction of the biosphere continue, one-half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in 100 years. Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width {{{WidthUS}}} miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ... The American Museum of Natural History is a landmark of Manhattans Upper West Side in New York, USA, at 79th Street and Central Park West. ... The Holocene extinction event is a name customarily given to the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ...


Human attitudes on extinction

Extinction is an important research topic in the field of zoology, and biology in general, and has also become an area of concern outside the scientific community. A number of organisations, such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature, have been created with the goal of preserving species from extinction. Governments have attempted, through enacting laws, to avoid human overharvesting or habitat destruction. While many human-caused extinctions have been accidental, humans have also engaged in the deliberate destruction of some species, such as dangerous viruses, and the extirpation of other problematic species has been suggested. Zoology is the biological discipline which involves the study of non human animals. ... Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the branch of science dealing with the study of living organisms. ... WWF, the global environment conservation organization, was constituted and registered in 1961 pursuant to Sections 80 et seq. ... Groups I: dsDNA viruses II: ssDNA viruses III: dsRNA viruses IV: (+)ssRNA viruses V: (-)ssRNA viruses VI: ssRNA-RT viruses VII: dsDNA-RT viruses A virus (Latin, poison) is a microscopic particle that can infect the cells of a biological organism. ...


The scientific community

The possibility of extinction was not widely accepted before the 1800s.[11] When parts of the world had not been thoroughly examined and charted, scientists could not rule out that animals found only in the fossil record were not simply 'hiding' in unexplored regions of the Earth.[12] Georges Cuvier is credited with establishing extinction as a fact in a 1796 lecture to the French Institute.[11] Georges Cuvier Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (August 23, 1769–May 13, 1832) was a French naturalist and zoologist. ... The Institut de France (French Institute) is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is probably the Académie française. ...


Although today the scientific community "stress[es] the importance" of maintaining biodiversity[13][14] they have found historic extinctions useful for research; Cuvier's observations of fossil bones convinced him that they did not originate in extant animals. This discovery was critical for the spread of uniformitarianism[15] and lead to the first book publicizing the idea of evolution. [16] In the case of the Bay Checkerspot, scientists, including Paul R. Ehrlich, chose not to intervene in a local extinction, using it to study the danger to the world population[17] Biologist Bruce Walsh of the University of Arizona states three reasons for scientific interest in the preservation of species; genetical resources, ecosystem stability, and ethics.[14] Within scientific philosophy, uniformitarianism is the principle in which one assumes that the same processes that shaped the Universe occurred then as they do now, unless there is good evidence otherwise. ... Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Stanford University professor and a renowned entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies). ... The University of Arizona (UA or U of A) is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. ... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ethikos, meaning arising from habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of value or quality. ...


Until recently, it had been universally accepted that the extinction of a species meant the complete end of its time on Earth. However, recent technological advances have encouraged the hypothesis that through the process of cloning, extinct species may be "brought back to life".[18] Proposed targets for cloning include the mammoth[18] and thylacine, although the latter attempt has been abandoned.[19] In order for such a program to succeed, a sufficient number of individuals would need to be cloned (in the case of sexually reproducing organisms) to create a viable population size. The cloning of an extinct species has not yet been attempted, primarily due to technological limitations, though bioethical and philosophical objections have also been raised. The concept of cloning extinct species was popularized in the successful novel and movie Jurassic Park. Cloning is the process of creating an identical copy of an original organism or thing. ... Species Mammuthus africanavus   African mammoth Mammuthus columbi   Columbian mammoth Mammuthus exilis   Pygmy mammoth Mammuthus jeffersonii   Jeffersonian mammoth Mammuthus trogontheri   Steppe mammoth Mammuthus meridionalis Mammuthus primigenius   Woolly mammoth Mammuthus lamarmorae   Sardinian Dwarf Mammoth A mammoth is any of a number of an extinct genus of elephant, often with long curved tusks... Binomial name Thylacinus cynocephalus (Harris, 1808) The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is a large carnivorous marsupial native to Australia which is thought to have gone extinct in the 20th century. ... Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Jurassic Park is a novel written by Michael Crichton that was published in 1990. ...


Planned extinction

Humans have aggressively worked towards the extinction of many species of virus and bacterium in the cause of disease eradication. For example, the smallpox virus is now essentially extinct in the wild[20] - although samples are retained in laboratory settings, and the polio virus is now confined to small parts of the world as a result of human efforts to cure the disease it causes. Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) was a highly contagious viral disease unique to humans. ... Poliomyelitis (polio), or infantile paralysis, is a viral paralytic disease. ...


Olivia Judson is one of few modern scientists to have advocated the deliberate extinction of any species. Her September 25, 2003 New York Times article, "A Bug's Death", advocates "specicide" of thirty mosquito species through the introduction of recessive "knockout genes". Her arguments for doing so are: Olivia Judson is an evolutionary biologist at Imperial College London, under the pseudonym of Dr. Tatiana she wrote a bestselling guidebook to sex throughout the natural kingdom called Dr. Tatianas Sex Advice to all Creation. She has supported a possible future campaign to completely wipeout the malarial mosquito (see... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In genetics, the term recessive gene refers to an allele that causes a phenotype (visible or detectable characteristic) that is only seen in a homozygous genotype (an organism that has two copies of the same allele). ... A gene knockout is a genetically engineered organism that carries one or more genes in its chromosomes that has been made inoperative. ...

  • Anopheles mosquitoes (which spread malaria) and Aedes mosquitoes (which spread dengue fever, yellow fever, elephantiasis, and other diseases) represent only 30 species; eradicating these would save at least one million human lives per annum at a cost of reducing the genetic diversity of the family Culicidae by only 1%.
  • She writes that since species go extinct "all the time" the disappearance of a few more will not destroy the ecosystem: "We're not left with a wasteland every time a species vanishes. Removing one species sometimes causes shifts in the populations of other species - but different need not mean worse."
  • Anti-malarial & mosquito control programs offer little realistic hope to the 300 million people in developing nations who will be infected with acute illnesses this year; although trials are ongoing she writes that if they fail: "We should consider the ultimate swatting." [21]

Some Species Anopheles beklemishevi Anopheles coustani Anopheles crypticus Anopheles farauti Anopheles forattinii Anopheles funestus Anopheles gambiae Anopheles grabhamii Anopheles hailarensis Anopheles halophylus Anopheles hyrcanus Anopheles kosiensis Anopheles maculipennis Anopheles minimus Anopheles moucheti Anopheles nili Anopheles ovengensis Anopheles pampanae Anopheles peytoni Anopheles quadrimaculatus Anopheles rennellensis Anopheles rivulorum Anopheles triannulatus Anopheles is... Malaria is an infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. ... Species Aedes albopictus Aedes aegypti This page is about the genus of mosquito, for the Roman building see aedes (Roman) Aedes is a genus of mosquito found in tropical and subtropical zones. ... Dengue fever (IPA: ) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases, found in the tropics, with a geographical spread similar to malaria. ... Elephantiasis (Greek ελεφαντίασις, from ελέφαντας, the elephant) is a syndrome that is characterized by the thickening of the skin and underlying tissues, especially in the legs and genitals. ... Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is 1) a rank or 2) a taxon in that rank. ... This article is about the insect; for the WWII aircraft see De Havilland Mosquito. ... An ecosystem, a contraction of ecological and system, refers to the collection of components and processes that comprise, and govern the behavior of, some defined subset of the biosphere. ... Malaria is an infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ...

Other groups

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Extinction

In the 1800s when extinction was first described, the idea of extinction was threatening to those who held a belief in the Great Chain of Being, a theological position that did not allow for "missing links".[11] Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... 1579 drawing of the great chain of being from Didacus Valades, Rhetorica Christiana The great chain of being or scala naturæ is a classical and western medieval conception of the order of the universe, whose chief characteristic is a strict hierarchical system. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, word or reason) means reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God. ...


In modern times, commercial and industrial interests often have to contend with the effects of production on plant and animal life. When commercial technologies are tested the testing tends to concentrate on human effects. However, some technologies with no, or minimal, proven harmful effects on Homo sapiens can be devastating to wildlife (for example, DDT[22]). In extreme case these new processes can in themselves cause unintended extinctions as a side-effect of business operations. Although most companies were formerly more concerned with bottom-line profits than corporate image, a move began (under campaign pressure) to account for corporate reputational risk from such environmental catastrophes. Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... DDT was the first modern pesticide and is arguably the best known organic pesticide. ... Profit, from Latin meaning to make progress, is defined in two different ways. ... Reputation management involves recording a person or agents actions and the opinions of others about those actions. ...


Governments sometimes see the loss of native species as a loss to ecotourism, and can enact laws with severe punishment against the trade in native species in an effort to prevent extinction in the wild. Nature preserves are created by governments as a means to provide continuing habitats to species crowded by human expansion. The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity has resulted in international Biodiversity Action Plan programmes, which attempt to provide comprehensive guidelines for government biodiversity conservation. Ecotourism means ecological tourism, where ecological has both environmental and social connotations. ... A nature reserve is an area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. ... The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty that was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. ... Diademed Sifaka, an endangered primate of Madagascar Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a an internationally recognized programme addressing threatened species or habitats, which is designed to protect and restore biological systems. ...


People who live close to nature can be dependent on the survival of all the species in their environment and might be considered some of the people who should be most concerned about extinction risks. However with human overpopulation in tropical lesser developed countries, there has been enormous pressure on forests due to subsistence agriculture and imprudent use of slash-and-burn agricultural techniques. As a result the indigenous populations often prioritize day-to-day survival over species conservation[23]. Map of countries by population —showing the population of the China and India in the billions. ... Subsistence agriculture is agriculture carried out for survival — with few or no crops available for sale. ... Assarting in Finland in 1892 Slash and burn (a specific practice that may be part of shifting cultivation or swidden-fallow agriculture) is an agricultural procedure widely used in forested areas. ...


See also

Extinction Portal

Image File history File links ExtinctDodoBird. ... Since 1500, over 100 species of birds have become extinct, and this rate of extinction seems to be increasing. ... For a list of early taxa of birds known only from fossils, see Fossil birds. ... // Prepleistocene extinctions A large number of historical orders are extinct, for example dinosaurs, pterosaurs and ammonites. ... Achyranthes mangarevica Acacia prismifolia Acacia volubilis Acalypha rubra Acianthus ledwardii Acmadenia baileyensis Acmadenia candida Adenia natalensis Amperea xiphoclada Amphibromus whitei Anacyclus alboranensis Angraecum carpophorum Anthurium leuconeurum Araucaria mirabilis Argentipallium spiceri Argyreia soutteri Argyrolobium splendens Argyroxiphium virescens Armeria arcuata Artemisia insipida Asclepias bicuspis Aspalathus variegata Astiria rosea Astragalus kentrophyta Badula ovalifolia...

Notes and references

  1. ^ Diamond, Jared (1999). “Up to the Starting Line”, Guns, Germs, and Steel. W. W. Norton, 43-44. ISBN 0-393-31755-2.
  2. ^ a b c Newman, Mark. "A Mathematical Model for Mass Extinction". Cornell University. May 20, 1994. URL accessed July 30, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Species disappearing at an alarming rate, report says. MSNBC. URL accessed July 26, 2006.
  4. ^ a b Wilson, E.O., The Future of Life (2002) (ISBN 0-679-76811-4). See also: Leakey, Richard. The Sixth Extinction : Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind ( ISBN 0-385-46809-1 ).
  5. ^ Davis, Paul and Kenrick, Paul. Fossil Plants. Smithsonian Books, Washington D.C. (2004). Morran, Robin, C.; A Natural History of Ferns. Timber Press (2004). ISBN 0-88192-667-1
  6. ^ See: Niles Eldredge, Time Frames: Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, 1986, Heinemann ISBN 0-434-22610-6
  7. ^ World Conservation Union. "2004 Red List". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. URL accessed September 20, 2006.
  8. ^ Clover, Charles. 2004. The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat. Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7
  9. ^ Koh, Lian Pih. Science, Vol 305, Issue 5690, 1632-1634, 10 September 2004.
  10. ^ American Museum of Natural History. "National Survey Reveals Biodiversity Crisis - Scientific Experts Believe We are in the Midst of the Fastest Mass Extinction in Earth's History". URL accessed September 20, 2006.
  11. ^ a b c Viney, Mike. "Extinction Part 2 of 5". Colorado State University. URL accessed September 12, 2006.
  12. ^ Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud (Peter Watson Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN 0-297-60726-X)
  13. ^ Committee on Recently Extinct Organisms. "Why Care About Species That Have Gone Extinct?". URL accessed July 30, 2006.
  14. ^ a b Walsh, Bruce. Extinction. Bioscience at University of Arizona. URL accessed July 26, 2006.
  15. ^ Watson, p.16
  16. ^ Robert Chambers, 1844, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, 1994 reprint: University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-10073-1
  17. ^ Holsinger, Kent. "Local extinction". Population Viability Analysis: Bay Checkerspot Butterfly. URL accessed August 11, 2006.
  18. ^ a b Discover Channel staff. Will mammoths walk again?. Discovery Channel. March 9, 2001. URL accessed July 30, 2006.
  19. ^ ""Museum ditches thylacine cloning project"", February 15, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-07-30.
  20. ^ WHO FactsheetWHO meeting agenda Scientists certified it eradicated in December 1979, WHO formally ratified this on 8 May 1980 in resolution WHA33.3
  21. ^ Judson, Olivia. ""A Bug's Death"", New York Times, September 25, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-30.
  22. ^ International Programme on Chemical Safety (1989). "DDT and its Derivatives -- Environmental Aspects". Environmental Health Criteria 83. URL accessed September 20, 2006.
  23. ^ Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, Extinction, Random House, New York (1981) ISBN 0-394-51312-6
  • Clover, Charles. 2004. The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat. Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7

Jared Mason Diamond (born 10 September 1937) is an American evolutionary biologist, physiologist, biogeographer and nonfiction author. ... It has been suggested that Anna Karenina principle be merged into this article or section. ... W. W. Norton & Company is an American book publishing company that has remained independent since its founding. ... Cornell redirects here. ... May 20 is the 140th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (141st in leap years). ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... July 30 is the 211th day (212th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 154 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 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September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 30 is the 211th day (212th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 154 days remaining. ... September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

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