The History of Extinction
What many do not realize with the concept of extinction is that it is a phenomenon that has occurred all throughout history, and is even happening right now! The dinosaurs are often associated with the idea of extinctions, and while it may be a good example, it is an over-dramatic one as well. There are a few possible causes of extinction such as natural events, which would include a disaster, like the one present in the story of the dinosaurs, or due to human activity.
Image courtesy of Giphy.
Rate of Extinction
Extinction rates are usually rapid during times of ecological stress, like right now! The huge bushfires that are currently occurring in Australia are putting many native species at risk for extinction, as it is likely that many will die during the fire, and subsequently, due to habitat loss.
The concept of extinction seems to be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Sure, in cases of extinction caused by human activity (such as the example above), extinction is most definitely not ideal. Besides, there’s a lot of legislation preventing extinction of species whose numbers have been dwindling for years.
However, extinction is part of nature and its own cycle. When a species goes extinct, even if just in one area or ecosystem, it opens a niche for another species to be able to take over. Think about how different our ecosystems would have looked if the dinosaurs were still on top of the food chain!
Watch AP Bio live streams here.