Over ours and the Earth’s history, there have been five events of mass extinction. Almost 250 million years ago, the largest one killed almost 90 percent of species, especially marine ones. Now we might face the Sixth Extinction- and it might be our fault.
We know that dinosaurs were wiped out 66 million years ago by the most well-known extinction. But now we might be entering another extinction caused by people. People hunt, spread diseases, fracture habitats and kill animals. And because of that, this might be the biggest extinction ever.
“Humans are unbelievably good at being predators,”
says Brian Swartz, a professor teaching global ecology at College of Moorpark, despite not being a part of the study. All previous extinctions were caused by big events, natural and environmental catastrophes. Now, humans are responsible for this disaster.
“Recovery from a mass extinction takes millions of years.”
A team of professors and scientist from Stanford University set out to find out and understand how this mass extinction may differ from the first five ones.
Now, marine animals are first at risk, due to their size. Their study shows that whales are the first ones in danger.
The catastrophe is bigger because creatures like whales are at the top of the food chain and losing them will have enormous impact in their ecosystem.
No one can say what the impact on sea and ocean life will be if the Sixth Extinction happens and big animals start disappearing because it would be the first time this event will happen, but the final results won’t look good.
The smaller sea creatures will suffer a lot from the extinction of bigger animals because they occupy the first slot in the marine food chain, and their ecosystem will be completely destroyed.
There is no doubt that humans are responsible for this catastrophic event, this being the first time in history our influence has emerged into the deep blue ocean.
Of course, there is still hope. The researchers say this vision of the future may be averted with the right actions, by changing the way we hunt, fish and also by trying to stop the process of pollution.
Are you worried about the Sixth Extinction? Can you think of any other ways to prevent the extinction from happening? Let us know!
Image Source Wikipedia