Mass Extinction #6: Coming Soon?

June 8, 2011 at 12:25 AM (Uncategorized)


Alright.  Our Earth has endured five extinction events, thus far, throughout the planet’s history.  The most advertised major extinction was the disappearance of most species at the end of the cretaceous period, which included the elimination of the dinosaurs.  This was roughly sixty-five million years ago, and certain studies are stating that time is winding down for the next one!

Our Earth endured her first major extinction period circa 440 million years ago.  This was the Ordovician-Silurian extinction, said to be due to an extreme cooling of the planet.  Scientists have labeled this time as the second-most lethal extinction period, focusing especially on sea life.  One third of aquatic dinosaurs, including brachiopods and bryozoans, went extinct during this time.  The major continental body of Gondwana was covered by glaciers, which lead to lower sea levels, worldwide.  The icing of the land lead to a loss of plant life, and other sustenance materials, necessary for the survival of animals.

The second extinction period was roughly 370 million years ago.  Called the Late Devonian extinction, it was characterized by an extreme glaciation of the planet.  It lasted roughly twenty million years, with seventy percent of all species being eliminated.  Around one-hundred twenty million years after that, the Permian-Triassic extinction occurred, with seventy percent of all land species, and ninety-six percent of all oceanic species disappearing.

The largest extinction period thus far was the Permian-Triassic extinction event, occurring roughly 250 million years ago.  Here, many animals that were classified as non-dinosaurs, or archosaurs, were lost from Earth.  Also, many large, amphibious animals went extinct, making way for the dinosaurs to rule the planet!  A noteable fact about this period is that a significant amount of insects went extinct during this time.  Earth took a long time to regroup after this time of dying.

The Triassic-Jurassic extinction occurred between 199 and 251 million years ago.  This was the planet’s greatest extinction period, with seventy percent of land species and ninety-six percent of oceanic species being lost.   Additionally noted, one study states that eighty percent of all land quadropeds went extinct during this period. 

Probably the most announced extinction period is the end-Cretaceous extinction, also called the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction.  This occurred roughly sixty-five million years ago.  It is noteable because this time period saw the end of the dinosaurs’ reign of Earth.  There was the slightest level of survival for any massive land-dwelling animals, or any warm-climate sea life.  The planet was 43° Fahrenheit to 57° Fahrenheit warmer, at this time.

Studying scientists are speculating about an oncoming extinction period.  It is being revealed that a mass extinction may be upon Earth within the coming centuries.  Rising temperatures around the planet, the spread of greenhouse gases, accompanied by an extreme elimination of animal and plant species, and an overpopulation of humanity, all will result in a coming mass extinction.  Researchers are reviewing the evidence at hand, seeing that an alarming number of species are indeed declining, with human-enhanced global climate change leading to alterations of the planet’s atmosphere that will not allow for the continuation of terrestrial life as it stands, currently!

SEE THESE SITES!!!

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Earth’s-five-mass-extinction-events.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302131844.htm

http://geology.about.com/od/extinction/a/aa_permotrias.htm

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_mass_extinction

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302131844.htm

http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/ees123/mass_extinctions.htm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Earths-five-mass-extinction-events.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024083644.htm

http://thefutureofthings.com/news/1184/next-extinction-coming-soon.html

http://www.well.com/user/davidu/extinction.html

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