Animals that no longer inhabit the planet are considered extinct animals. Modern day extinctions are still happening at a substantial rate as human civilizations are taking over vast amounts of territory and destroying the environment around them. Most extinction that occurs today is a result of manmade consequences more so than natural environmental changes. However, mass extinction events that took place millions of years ago were probably a result of natural ecological transformations. Although scientists are still not completely sure what caused these massive extinctions, evidence found in the fossil records suggest either an asteroid impact, weather changes or volcanic eruptions.
What is Extinction?
Animals are considered extinct when the last remaining member of their specific species dies out & there are no more left on Earth. Causes of extinction include disease, infertility, climate changes, extreme environmental changes or loss of food sources & the destruction of natural habitats. The extinction of a large number of species is called an extinction event. Five extinction events have occurred in Earth’s history.
What is the IUCN?
The acronym IUCN stands for The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It’s an internationally founded group that follows animal populations closely. The mission of the organization is to help preserve animal species and allow them to flourish in their natural habitats. It was established in 1948 and is still running today.
Causes of Extinction
Today, many scientists are continuing to debate and add to theories surrounding the exact causes of extinction. The most debatable theories have to do with mass extinction events happening millions of years ago- asteroids, volcanoes or some other type of environmental change seemed to have caused them. Extinctions that occur in our modern times are better understood and are usually easily identifiable.
What are Some Extinct Species?
Throughout the planet’s history, billions of species have been lost to mass extinction events, naturally occurring gradual extinction or human caused destructive extinction. Although not every species can be documented and recorded, some species have received a lot of attention due to their unique characteristics, such as size, strength or sheer number of populations that have died out. Furthermore, there are species that are dying out to this very day and are therefore receiving much attention.