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Stuffed with environmental drivel[edit]

I see masses of claims here that humans are responsible, or will be responsible for some huge extinction event, complete with quotes from self-proclaimed "experts" who were wrong in their predictions in the 1970s and will most likely be wrong in their predictions of doom today too. That's fine, people enjoy getting their knickers in a twist, particularly over the environment. But I think we need some balance here. If someone is willing to put together a good opposition to these claims that would be great. I know there is lots of literature out there on the subject. -- (talk) 02:03, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I concur. This is a VERY NPOV article, with human caused extinction bloated to more than 2/3 of it content, and the scientific information and understanding of the extinction process, particularly its normalcy throughout the historical and geological record, utterly, and inexcusibly absent. Recommend this entire article be renamed "Human-caused Extinction" and TRY AGAIN for the real McCoy. 18:15, 1 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Mmkstarr (talk) 04:00, 21 August 2014 (UTC) Now petitioning for the Threatened status to be applied to Homo sapiens.

Mass extinction thesis and its opponents[edit]

I have no scientific background but would like to contribute by referring to a research article which states (source: ) : HOW MANY SPECIES ARE THERE? Before you can estimate how many species are being lost due to human induced global changes, you have to have some idea of how many species there are. The problem is that no one knows exactly how many species currently live on earth.

The most commonly quoted estimate is somewhere between 30 and 50 millions based on Erwin’s (1988, 1997) study of tropical insects. This estimate is controversial and politically charged because the larger your initial estimate, the larger the estimated species loss. You also have to take into account that Erwin himself did not present this as a definitive number, but presented his estimate in an effort to spur further research. Let’s look at how this number was arrived at. Guate555Guate555 (talk) 08:37, 20 August 2008 (UTC) writes: "replaced opinion as an opinion: some people (not me) certainly _do_ believe" that the mass extinction thesis is false, and the result of poor reasoning based on faulty data.

I would not dispute that some people really do believe that: however we are not obliged to report every crackpot belief. The fact of human-caused mass extinctions is beyond reasonable doubt: the list of extinct species is simply too long for anyone other than the biological equivalent of a flat-earther to ignore.

Two matters remain to be thrashed out:

  1. Should mention be made of the "no-anthropogenic extinction" hypothesis, simply on the grounds that some people really do believe in it? (My own feeling is that, yes, it is reasonable to do this, probably as a footnote, in exactly the same way that one mentions that some people believe in creation ex nihlo when writing a page about tectonic plates or evolution. It is not reasonable, however, to include such beliefs in the main body of an article where the scientific evidence is laid out.)
  2. Does the extent of human-caused extinction qualify as a "mass extinction event", to be compared with the others in the past? On this, there is reasonable grounds for rational debate. Just how big does an extinction event have to be to qualify? How high is "high"?

My feeling is that this is not the appropriate entry in which to describe that debate, as there is the Holocene extinction event page for that purpose.

Last point: on what grounds is it reasonable to describe the view that humanity is causing;/has caused mass extinctions as "extreme"? Tannin

I agree. Facts are facts and solid scientific theories arent facts, but are substatiated by them, and therefore are more than just conjecture. I think though that people, despite thier childish denials, are right to protest if there seems to be an agenda present in the choosing of new theories for presentation- In other words, why not write them all in a heirarchy of most believed to least. The crackpots get a little bite at the end, but its still a solid article.

We have to think of many of these articles in the news style: The substance up top and the rest in decending order.

---Sv and dont forget to sign you comments so we know where they end.

Ps.: The article nevertheless looks like its ready to soon become a good one. as it is it is fairly weak, and issues of credibility for theories will evaporate when some real research gets into the article. -Sv

Removed the bit about (2013) in "Holoscene Extinction" because it seemed to be unsupported by the cited reference, and the 2013 bit was completely non-sequitur.

I changed the E. O. Wilson estimation of the extinction of all existing species to all existing plant and animal species. I don't have his book The Future of Life on hand, but Cite error: The <ref> tag has too many names (see the help page). this article</ref> quotes Wilson as specifying plant and animal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zincfingers (talkcontribs) 16:06, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Human extinction assured, just a matter of time[edit]

Are you people in such denial that you seriously believe humans will live forever? It is the ultimate destiny of all life to eventually die. Humans are the only beings that try, and laughably so, to deny this fact. It is only a matter of time until this entire universe ends, and humans too, and no amount of pathetic hope can prevent it.

Capital error - equalling individual existence and a species' existence. Two separate processes; while the death of an individual is a process immediately noticeable to all involved, the extinction of a species is hardly noticeable for the individuals of this species usually. Dysmorodrepanis 22:00, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
All individuals are assured to die. Extinction is not a gaurenteed eventuality as individual death is. Consider the horseshoe crab and the Nautilus. Those taxa don't seem to be going anywhere, after being here since even before the dinosaurs! The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 05:22, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

It's not at all clear that the universe will ever "end" (ie a 'Big Crunch' to mirror the Big Bang). We don't really know whether there is enough dark matter and other weird stuff out there to prevent the universe from expanding indefinitely. However it does seem likely that in the absence of a 'Big Crunch' that would put a definite end to the universe, the relentless effects of entropy will eventually eliminate all possible sources of energy for humanity to exploit. When everything in the universe is a billionth of a degree above absolute zero and all matter is converted to low-energy photons...that would certainly be the final, inevitable end of humanity if we don't succumb to something else first.
The most magnificent radio show in the universe - and nobody there to listen to it... ;-) Dysmorodrepanis 21:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
By that time, we could figure out how to escape into a separate continuum that could sustain us even after our native universe has done all that. After billions more years of technological development, our descendants will most likely be able to create parallel universes, anew from their own respective Big Bangs, so why wouldn't they use these means to extend the generations unending? The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 23:08, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
But we might not go extinct per-se - we might evolve into something else first - that 'something' would inevitably go extinct. Does that technically constitute extinction? I'm not sure. What if we figured out how to transfer our minds into computer memory inside robotic bodies that were more convenient and long-lived than our biological forms? Our biological extinction might then happen voluntarily when the last person has their mind transferred - but we would still exist as recognisable individuals with racial memories. The very definition of 'extinction' is hard to pin down under those kinds of "science fiction" scenario.
Highly unlikely due to restricted resources. To go back to the original question, check chronospecies. You might also find Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men interesting, because for being 80 years old, it is still very good when it comes to the science. Some minor updates, and it is entirely plausible, technically. Stapledon's human succession starts off fairly tame at first, but after 3 or so human species it gets decidedly weird. Dysmorodrepanis 21:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
But aside from the end of the universe, we are such an adaptable species (especially with our technology to back us up) that it's hard to imagine any kind of gradual problem that we couldn't survive in some way. On timescales shorter than the end of the universe it would take a very sudden global catastrophy to make us go extinct - and even that would have to happen before we managed to establish stable colonies on other planets. That's not to say that there couldn't be major disasters that would wipe out 99% of our numbers - but to take us down to zero population - that's hard to imagine. SteveBaker 12:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Species change, and from some point on, even without the evolutionary lineage splitting (a la Morlocks and Eloi) it won't be the same species anymore. So although there are fair chances that the human lineage will continue for some time, the human species, like all species, is fair game eventually. The species as such is an evolutionary stage that does not exist (in vertebrates) for more than a few million years at best. Dysmorodrepanis 21:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

"Stable populations on other planets?" Star Trek is FANTASY. We will NEVER, EVER, EVER step foot on another planet, except maybe if we're VERY lucky, Mars. And even then, there will never be "colonies" on Mars. It would take more resources THAN EARTH HAS EVER HAD to support a colony-worthy expedition to another galaxy. It is impossible - we will die with the earth, and no amount of pathetic denial can, nor ever will, change that fact.

It may be a matter of centuries before an interstellar colonial mission could be launched, but that's a far cry from never. Why would be need to launch an expedition to another galaxy? There are between 100 billion and 200 billion stars in our own galaxy. Barring technological collapse, there's no reason why there won't be colonial missions launched to planets outside of our solar system within the next 1000 years. It would be quite a feat, but possible. The biggest obstacle would be that it would take a very long time, and would require a vessel capable of maintaining a self-sustaining environment. We won't be zipping about like Star Trek, the travel time would be over several lifetimes. As far as missions to Mars, the only thing lacking is the will to do it. There likely will be permanent outposts on Mars, it's more efficient than taking short stays there. There is sufficient water obtainable to drinking, or to be broken down for oxygen for breathing and hydrogen for fuel.--RLent 21:53, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
That's fairly well said. As for the part where "We won't be zipping about like Star Trek, the travel time would be over several lifetimes," that would be true if we traveled in ordinary space and not wormholes. If our descendants build ships capable of punching their own wormholes and then going through them before sealing them up again, they will thereby overcome the Speed of Light Barrier. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 23:08, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree, it is only a matter of time, this article should be changed to include all currently living species since they will all inevitably become extinct. Nonsense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

What's it called when a species evolves?[edit]

When a species never dies out, rather just evolves into a new species, what term is used to describe this? Like how Homo erectus never went extinct, it evolved into Homo sapiens; but since Homo erectus is no longer a species in existence, could it be described as extinct? 22:51, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Pseudoextinction. It's covered in this article too. —Pengo 00:23, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so. Do you mean speciation? Orangemarlin 00:23, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Speciation often accompanies pseudoextinction, but theoretically it's not necessary. Bendž|Ť 09:10, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Erectus never evolved into Sapiens. It did go extinct however. You sound like you don't really understand evolution. No entire animal species merely evolves into a new species all at once. An animal species can spawn new subspecies, but the parent species can still remain intact. From there, it's just a matter of whether the parent species goes extinct or not. (talk) 03:57, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

The terminology for a species evolving with splitting into seperate lineages is referred to as Cladogenesis, without splitting is Anagenesis.

Extinction rates[edit]

Per my obvious and essentially unanswered arguments above, about this editorial desire to obscure facts about the extent of extinction, I am going to revert, with citations, the goofy 1 in 1000 rate figure with the mathematically equivalent, and effectively recognizable, 99.9% figure. Should sensible objections exist, please make them plainly evident.Mmcknight4 (talk) 06:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Later in the article, it repeats the same claim but the figure is "over 99%". I'm reminded of the claim that 97.62% of all computer breakins are never detected, proven by the lack of all traces of the attack. Shouldn't we add the qualifier "On this planet" somewhere?. Also, doesn't the citing of projections of future extinction rates violate the Wikipedia is not a Crystal Ball rule? If I cite a source predicting the outcome of the election of 2010 based on a mathematical model, does that make it a fact? (talk) 08:05, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

How often does a species fo extinct?[edit]

That is, how accurate is this? It says that (at the time of this writing) 2345 species have gone extinct this year (53 just today). Obviously those counters are just estimates, but could this be true? How often does a species go extinct? --DearPrudence (talk) 22:22, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

I would hazard a guess that a species can only go extinct once24.255.124.230 (talk) 02:57, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Until they bring back the wooly mammoth. (talk) 12:09, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Food not earthquakes, valcanoes, asteroids killed the dinosaurs[edit]

I am not a scientist but a computer Systems Administrator but I have a theory just like everyone else does. I was watching a program on television called ‘Time Warp’, a great visual oriented program that slows down different events with a high speed camera (up to 6000 fps). On that session they were photographing a drop of water falling into a pan of water. The water drop carves out a depression, and then the cornet comes up and then the pillar of water and finally the concentric rings emanating from the center of the event. This is also the basics functions of the Chicxulub impact though it did not replicate the actual size and environmental scaling of the actual event.

Time Warp also did other demonstrations and one was dropping a drop of water into very shallow water. The physics of the demonstration was the same as the first demonstration, until the pillar of water was to rise from the center which was not much higher than the coronet and then the concentric rings occurred.

The Scientist that was assisting the demonstration team also had a high speed camera and had been experimenting with variations of dropping water into water to study impacts. He made the statement that when the water was shallow (no mention about size of the object or the depth ratio) you would get the depression being carved out and then the cornet but because of the shallowness of the water the pillar of water never develop much higher than the coronet. Even though the exact same physics would not coincide with the physics of an Asteroid impact exactly but would still follow the same basic physics. If an object hits solid ground it will dig out a crater, Coronet then pillar, and finally the concentric ring but the harder the surface of the impact the shorter the pillar. Without the tall column of water and debris raising up from the Chicxulub event high into the atmosphere there would not be the world wide firestorm (probably more localized than world wide and the main portion of the sea was on one side) that would have burned up everything (there has been no world wide charcoal layer, though there has been soot found at most KT Boundary sites, associated with the KT boundary or the Chicxulub Impact Event) which indicated no world wide firestorm or no world wide vegetation to burn. Also the acid rain which was supposed to have been world wide would have killed most of if not all of the frog, salamander and other amphibian species (which are extremely susceptible to acid/alkaline changes) that actually survived the extinction event as well as most of the fresh water species.

The iridium layer could have come from something more than the actual impact event, such as a portion of the asteroid being burned off as it blasted through the atmosphere (as well as from the burning up of sucker asteroids moving along with the main asteroid) and distributed across Pangaea or wind patterns from west to east would have spread much of the dust from the actual impact since it occurred on the western end of the Continental group there are also several other impacts other than the Chicxulub impacts that occurred which I will talk about later in this article. At this time the continents were grouped much closer together so that a smaller plume could have distributed the deposits seemingly more wide spread. A group of small sucker asteroids (most large astral bodies have moons or sucker asteroids, collected along their trajectory) following the main asteroid might also account for the irregular distribution of iridium as each of their trajectories might have differed.

Plate tectonics, weather, erosion, volcanism, and other large natural disasters (including seas being created and/or destroyed) also caused iridium layers and spherules may have been displaced which can account for any discrepancies in the dating and the closeness of the continents would have allowed the dispersion to look larger than it would if looking at the present continent arrangement.

The Chicxulub impact was not in the same environment that is always displayed when they do an animation of the Chicxulub event. The Continents had not really separated (no Atlantic Ocean at this time but the shallow enclosed Tethys Sea) very much and the sea that the Chicxulub asteroid fell into was a shallow continental shelf sea in the far west of the continents. The Chicxulub impact is actually on continental shelf and possibly did not even disturb the Methane Hydride layers. Maybe the Chicxulub event was not the whole cause of the dinosaur extinction or even a major effect at all.

If the scenario that is put forth where the Impact was in deep sea bed, which caused the Carbonate Layers to heat turning them into Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide (Which are heavier than air) which circled the earth and killed only the Dinosaurs and a few other plants, and some of the fish and animals picking and choosing who is to go extinct seems a little far fetched. This is like changing the extinction event to fit a theory rather than fitting the extinction event to the outcome of the event. If we look at the Lakes in Africa, that released Carbon Dioxide from reservoirs that were dissolved in the cold deep water layers, the event killed every animal in the area above and below ground, just those that flew above the Carbon Dioxide levels lived. Following their premise the Chicxulub Impact Event would have killed everything but all plants and fish that were not in the inland sea where the impact occurred.

According to paleontologist the Dinosaurs had been in decline for at least 10 to 3 million years prior to the Chicxulub Impact Event when most of the animals and many plants and fish became extinct. At this time there are dramatic changes going on. These changes include lowering of sea levels which a new study correlates Sea Level Changes and Extinction Events. Even though there are sea level changes in relation to extinction events I do not believe that these are the ultimate cause. When I look at the records there are extinction events with both ocean raising and lowering, but I think that this is all part of the real cause loss of food. Climatic change, such as the melting of the glaciers, lowering Oxygen levels, changing weather patterns as well as growing and birthing cycles. Some data point to an average rise in temperature of 8 °C (14 °F) in the last half million years before the impact at Chicxulub. In refering to a program that was presented on television (6 ° that could change the world) that 6 °C raise in temperature would cause the extinction of the human race what would 8 °C (14 °F) do compounded by lowered oxygen levels and climatic changes?

If the Methane Hydride layer at the bottom of the ocean was release (methane is lighter than air) it could have left a layer of good or better air close to the surface. An infusion of a massive quantity of Methane could leave indications geologically that could be construed as an oxygen decline. Bubbling up out of the oceans, along with an ocean temperature rise, it might not have killed but weakened the environment and resources. Ocean species that lived in areas of the ocean that did not release the Methane Hydride or no Methane Hydride occurred (where water still had a cooler temperature) or fresh water. Though many fresh water species also went extinct, these might linked to other causes. As a side note various fish species that go to sea then return to fresh clean water to spawn maybe caused by Methane Hydride residual in the seawater. The extinction occurred to about 60% of life terrestrial life, up to 90% of Ocean life. Many insect species even went extinct. The release of methane into the atmosphere does not mean that it poisoned and killed any dinosaurs but it at least weakened their environmental and resource systems.

Since events are made like a tree where many previous events support the following events. Much of the extinction of those species that do not fit into any other category is probably relegated to the inter-relationship of species (either poisoning of the waters from carrion, disease or loss of food source). The large amount of carrion that would have been occurring in the ocean and on land would have poisoned many a drying water hole or diminishing streams and rivers. Some species that are fresh water can also exist in salt water and could have brought into the fresh water environment, bacteria that could harm or kill other species.

If enough of the Methane Hydride is released all at once it could have filled the atmosphere combining with the high moisture level in the atmosphere, a heavy cloud layer of Methane and water which would have dramatically increased the global warming that had been occurring for the last 10 million years. Most of the animals that lived close to the surface or below would have been better able to survive the environmental changes (temperature and diminished oxygen levels would have less effect directly as apposed to environmental changes and those that could not adapt to them) and diminished resources. While the ocean fish and plants, land plants and animals that were large and/or in the areas where the methane hydride had higher concentrations, the effects of diminishing resources in their environment if not poisoning would cause the most damage. Even when the methane hydride washed out of the air (Methane can stay in the atmosphere up to 11 years), it would have left various weakened species as well as accelerated the climate change that had been occurring for the last10 million years.

There is also the fact that for some distance below the K-T Boundary there are no fossils. This in itself would lend anyone to believe that the extinction event occurred prior to the Impact event. Except for The Signor-Lipps Effect states that evidence of extinction my come before the actual extinction but how long before the event would the effect take place? If there were an instant mass extinction by an impact event there should be some evidence (i.e. massive amounts of dead carcasses all together or even by themselves are not found). Why do we find dinosaur fossils prior to the impact event but not at the impact (it killed and then destroyed all the dinosaurs evidence) layers?

If plants, animals and ocean species are killed off by this impact event why are there is no interruption in some of the insect and frog species that would have been affected by a worldwide impact event and acid rain. The fact that, many other large object impacts events have occurred on earth without an extinction event occurring, makes this event suspect. The fact that Impact events occurred near the same time as an extinction event occurred does not necessarily link it. The likely hood of an impact event that caused the mass extinction (of only a select 60% percent of the species on land, in the sea and air) even the size of the Chicxulub (110 mi) event seems not very likely or at least not with fire raining, acid raining event that has been described. I feel that it is very unlikely the killer was the Impact Event. There are several other, larger impacts events occurring about the same time as the Chicxulub event among these are the Boltysh crater, a 24 kilometers (15 mi) diameter impact crater in Ukraine (65.17 ± 0.64 Ma), and the Silverpit crater, a 20 kilometers (12 mi) diameter suspected impact crater in the North Sea (60–65 Ma). Other craters that may have formed in the Tethys Ocean, have been obscured by tectonic events, like the relentless northward drift of Africa and India. Maybe the impacts turned the climate changes around allowing the cooling of the environment rather than being a killer a seed of life.

The heating up of the atmosphere had many causes. The Caribbean large igneous province flood Basalt eruption from 139 to 69 million years ago with a total volume, which has been estimated approximately 4 x 106 km³. The Brito-Arctic province, the first occurred ~61 million years ago with 2 x 106 km³ in total volume. Then the Deccan Trapps right at the 65 million year mark with a present volume of directly observable lava flows estimated to be around 512,000 km³. The estimated are the original lava flows were as large as 1.5 million km², approximately half the size of modern India. These events caused massive amounts of gases to be vented into the atmosphere as well as the heat being vented raising the temperature. The Flood Basalt Events are not Antipode to the Chicxulub Event there for probably not antipodally related but occurred at the same time range as the extinction and Chicxulub event occurred.

The Flood Basalt Eruptions did not cause the extinction event but the heating of the atmosphere was their part in the extinction event. Due to the flood basalt eruptions just prior to and during the extinction event (all having occurred at least in part within 5 million years of the extinction event) would be releasing large quantities of fresh water, locked up in ice caps and glaciers into the Ocean. This would slow then stop the Ocean Conveyor. This would allow the deep-sea water to heat enough to release the Methane Hydride layers. No matter what the methane layers had to have released. The temperature of the atmosphere would have trapped a large amount of water in vapor and clouds.

There is also evidence indicating a lowering of the ocean levels (here is a real curiosity the glaciers and ice caps are melting but geologic evidence seems to indicate the ocean levels were lowered. This might be due to the mass loss of the Methane Hydride layers, lowering the level of the ocean floor (water levels depend on the amount of water available and the size of the collection bowl the liquid is held in) and levels of moister in the atmosphere (a heavy cloud layer). Life that was not affected did not exist at this time everything was affected, only a few made it through the changes.

What probably occurred is that the environment changed so dramatically that those that could not adapt died out while others were weakened and/or over come by Methane and became prey and carrion. A small band of life was able to make it through, omnivores, insectivores and carrion-eaters (on land those that ate everything and those that ate carrion are the winners) survived the extinction event. The ocean is different only those creatures that were deep water creatures or interacted with them. Perhaps those who lived did so because of the increased availability of their food sources and less predators. They could adapt or the environmental changes did not effect their environment or resources. The food chains for many creatures probably broke or at least diminished as well as their environments were changing, though the interior was arid lush forests, swamps and savannas along the coast gave way to a dryer more arid climate. Plants, animals and ocean creatures needed to adapt to their new environment. If you cannot evolve then you go extinct and the environment was changing so much that many creatures were unable to adapt to their new environment or resources.

When a species starts to be weaken by environmental changes they become susceptible to disease and plagues which they are not able to defend against. These diseases could have been around for millions of years and like us they were able to fight off these infestations until their environmental system weakened their systems enough they could not defend themselves against these infestations. These infestations would have affected almost any creature that existed only causing real damage or extinction in those that could not adapt and stay strong.

To put the extinction event pivoting on a single event that did not sanitize the earth but just picked and chose the creatures to go extinct without explanation is not a good working hypothesis. The release of the Methane Hydride Layer, Sea Level changes, Climatic changes, Asteroid Impacts, Flood Basalt eruptions all pull together to change the environment. These changes had been taking place over the last 10 million years prior to the extinction and near the end their would have been a tip over point where all the changes would pickup momentum and the extinction would have accelerated. The event is a culmination of numerous events (some we probably will never be know until we get a time machine to go back in time and see for ourselves) but the ultimate cause is environment. The fact that everything over 50 lbs. went extinct lets one see the real issue, FOOD. Omnivores, insectivores and carrion-eaters are the creatures that are left show that only those that could eat anything or rotting flesh lived. Major environmental changes which caused plant and animal birthing and flowering cycles to be disrupted there by causing a FOOD shortage so the dinosaurs starved to death and nothing else.

If everything else has been ruled out, no matter how improbable what is left is the answer. Nothing occurred that did not have a preceding or interconnecting event that initiate and/or helped the next or concurrent event along. To try to associate a global event to a single event shows a myopic view of the world and science. I am not saying that this or any impact event does not have any effect on the environment but that they are only part and parcel of the event and not the whole event. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Losguy (talkcontribs) 20:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

More like all the above; lots of things killed the nonavianic dinosaurs. (Modern birds still taxonomically count as dinosaurs, and what we're used to calling dinosaurs were genetically birds even if they didn't look like today's birds. That was in Natural History Magazine.) The KT Boundary Impact did happen, and it partially caused the start of the following (3rd or 4th already, I just no humans evolved near the end of the 4th Ice Age, but an age can be very long) ice age. The Sun being blocked out for a while caused a difficulty for photosynthesis, which caused most plants to die, and the effect trickled up the food chain. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 05:16, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
The purpose of the talk page is to discuss what is written in the article, not advocate original research points of view about the topic of the article. Get your theory published, have neutral third parties with scientific credentials agree in writing in credible publications that your theory has merit, and then that can be cited as a source. (talk) 08:13, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Went/gone v became extinct[edit]

To me "went extinct" and "gone extinct" sound wrong, is this just a case of US English (fine if it is). I'm not sure of the grammatical rules but "became/become extinct" sounds better. Booshank (talk) 08:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe the terms relating to "go", as in to go extinct derive from the common perception that evolution is a progressive course. We are all heading toward some end, whether that's extinction, evolution to a new species, whatever, there is a perception that evolution, like time, is linear and progressive. I believe that's why we use terms related to motion. I didn't know that similar terminology wasn't used elsewhere, so it may well be a development of the American dialect. Boneyard90 (talk) 01:56, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

"Went extinct" and "gone extinct" grammatically suggests the active participation of the species itself. It's a passive process, as far as I know -- with the possible exception of Lysistrata and her peace-loving sisters. (talk) 12:11, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

White Lemuroid Possum[edit]

I really don't think we should use the source for this possum's supposed extinction by Global Warming. The Courier Mail quotes that it only takes several hours of temperatures over 30C to kill the possum, when one can see that the temperature record for the Cairns area shows no rise (with a maximum mean of 31C) and essentially the same temperatures from the beginning of the record on the web (1942). From the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia:

Thus the source seems heavily biased and swept up with the Global Warming craze.

Thanks for discussing on the talk page. The article in question states that the white lemuroid possum lives only above 1000m, in the "Carbine range near Mt Lewis, three hours north of Cairns". This is hardly comparable to the weather in Cairns. Also "maximum mean" is not the same as "consecutive hours above 30 C". Also, the article states this is the only reason for its extinction, meaning there are no other reasons presented.
The main issue, however, is that your analysis of the weather records is considered "original research". So thanks for voicing your concern with the accuracy of the article. If you can find a reliable source which agrees with your view, then you may wish to make note of it in the article itself, rather than just deleting what is otherwise generally accepted. —Pengo 00:57, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I found a good source that they are not extinct, it was added to the article. Also "white lemuroid possum" is not a species, "lemuroid possum" is, and it is not even at risk for extinction -- this info was also added, with a source.--Hq3473 (talk) 13:43, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Predation, competition, and disease[edit]

The section on Predation, competition, and disease seems to be entirely about introduced species. Would Predation, competition, and disease from introduced species be a better title for the section? Or, perhaps, just Introduced species?--Brambleshire (talk) 02:44, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

extintion is love..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Protesting against hunting and habitat loss[edit]

Do people really care that we are wiping out EVERY species living on Earth??!! I wish people would get their brains together and stop hunting and destroying many environments.

Yeah. Some even go extinct BEFORE we evev discover it! Mannix Chan (talk) 03:17, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Passenger Pidgeon Hunted to Extinction[edit]

The numbers of passenger pidgeons were estimated to be in the billions. In order to hunt that many living members of a species to the point of extinction would require superhuman effort. Imagine a line of hunters spaced 10 feet apart stretching from Canada to Florida who would then march westward from the Atlantic ocean to Colorado killing every passenger pidgeon that could be seen. Then, maybe, hunters could have killed off the passenger pidgeon to the point of extinction.

I think the statement "The Passenger Pigeon, one of hundreds of species of extinct birds, was hunted to extinction over the course of a few decades" needs to be re-evaluated in a serious way. Most likely, the passenger pidgeon was made extinct due to the deforestation of America. I highly doubt even a concerted effort by hunters could have caused the extinction of the passenger pidgeon. There has never been definitive proof this statement is correct. Furthermore, given what I know about biology, I can see this statement is only someones opinion and not fact.

Even as a child I remember reading these words in the history books. Now, as an educated and experienced adult, I can see this statement is continuing the repeating of an outright falsehood. This statement needs to removed from Wikipedia with a more plausable cause of passenger pidgeon extinction put in its place. (talk) 18:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Deforestation was certainly one of the factors that led to the extinction of the passenger pigeon but not the only one. The last known wild individuals were killed by hunters. The extinction of the passenger pigeon was ultimately due to the effects of widespread clearance of its mast food , with the proximate causes being Newcastle disease, extensive hunting and the breakdown of social facilitation. Peter Maas\talk 15:13, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


I don't often suggest edits, but it's clear to me that the sentence "Libertarians have sometimes expressed skepticism that extinction of species will have significant negative effects." does not belong in this article. I am not a libertarian, but that sentence is screamingly biased, slanderous, and irrelevant. I'm erasing it. I don't know what if anything ought to replace it, but whatever does probably won't single out people of a specific political creed and attribute some scientific stance to all of them.

Christ almighty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Rather than profanities, ask "which libertarians"? Citations required! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

User:Arthur Rubin please explain your comment "there can be only one {{main}} per section..." and cite a wp reference link please.[edit]

User:Arthur Rubin please explain your comment "there can be only one {{main}} per section..." and cite a wp reference link please. (talk) 18:27, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

A section should only refer to one "main", because it's poorly written otherwise. Each section should discuss one major or minor topic. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:42, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

"Most extinctions occur naturally, without human intervention"[edit]

The lede currently contains the sentance "Most extinctions occur naturally, without human intervention: it is estimated that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct." The first part is written in the present tense, implying that this is (still) the case now. Is this true? Is the current natural extinction rate greater than that caused by humans? Wardog (talk) 12:14, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I could only access one of the two cited refs, and it didn't suggest most current extinctions occur naturally. I'm almost certain this was just an error in the wording of this Wikipedia article, so I changed it to "Most extinctions have occurred naturally, without human intervention: ...". Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 13:59, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

See also[edit]

There used to be a section in the see also that linked to articles of lists of previously thought to be extinct species, and Relic species. These pages no longer exist. Why? I can't find them at all. They were vital, very important and should not have been removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Westvoja (talkcontribs) 20:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Panthera tigris balica.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Isn't this paragraph a contradiction in itself?

The gene pool of a species or a population is the variety of genetic information in its living members. A large gene pool (extensive genetic diversity) is associated with robust populations that can survive bouts of intense selection. Meanwhile, low genetic diversity (see inbreeding and population bottlenecks) reduces the range of adaptions possible.[20] Replacing native with alien genes narrows genetic diversity within the original population,[17][21] thereby increasing the chance of extinction.

As long as there is no selection against the already present or the introducd genes, wouldn't interbreding actually enrich the gene pool and therefore increase the genetic diversity? And if there is selection against one or the other isn't that actually evolution and therefore what is usually deemed natural?--Inugami-bargho (talk) 06:33, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Symbol: [edit]

It should be included somewhere, right? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:29, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Extinction/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Mchcopl (talk · contribs) 14:24, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

I believe that this article meets the standards of Wikipedia's Good Article criteria. Discuss: Mchcopl (talk) 14:24, 21 May 2012 (UTC)!

Given you seem to have accidentally started the review process yourself, I feel it's safe to quick fail this. I recommend you look through this article to add more citations before it comes back as well. --Lenin and McCarthy | (Complain here) 17:22, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, I followed the instructions on the WP:GA page on how to do this. And it said to make this page, and that if I didn't review it yet I could make the page then review it later. Mchcopl (talk) 21:29, 21 May 2012 (UTC)!


Why is cloning dinosaurs in there as a "proposed target". Proposed by whom? Mammoths, dodos, things with a (relative) abundance of DNA material left behind are viable, not dinosaurs though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

External link[edit]

I removed Recently Extinct Animals as it diverts to an individual's home page. If the individual wants it back can he please give an accurate link? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

State consistently whether extinction is or isn't defined to include pseudoextinction[edit]

Is pseudoextinction a special case of extinction, or are they mutually-exclusive in a given case?

The pseudoextinction section suggests the former as it begins with:

Descendants may or may not exist for extinct species.

Which implies that a pseudoextinct species (which by definition must have existing descendants) can indeed be considered extinct.

But, inconsistent with that, there are phrases elsewhere that appear to assume that a species can be pseudoextinct and not be considered extinct:

"pseudoextinct, rather than extinct"
"Pinpointing the extinction (or pseudoextinction)"

So which is it: is a pseudoextinct species also considered extinct, or not, or is the answer controversial, or, worse yet, context-dependent? The word pseudoextinct can be read literally (or at least etymologically) as "falsely extinct", so how can it be that a "falsely extinct" species is also (truly) extinct? :-) But are there any good citations on one or both sides of this question?

DavRosen (talk) 16:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)i eat them

Needs a section[edit]

Hi, this is my first time looking at this article. I noticed that humans are mentioned under the "causes" section although it seems somewhat unorganized. I think there should be a separate section devoted to human activities such as poaching. Poaching (and/or human activities) should have its own section I think. --Turn685 (talk) 09:45, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Capitalisation of conservation statuses[edit]

Please see the ongoing discussion on Talk:Conservation status#Capitalisation of conservation statuses.
Coreyemotela (talk) 14:22, 1 June 2014 (UTC).