Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reports of death ...

... prove premature: Back from the dead: One third of 'extinct' animals turn up again.


  1. Yeah, although using what is effectively a classification error as fodder to deny there's a problem with extinctions still happening is problematic, since, after all, the other two-thirds listed as extinct remain that way.

  2. This gives me eternal hope for my website.

  3. Hi Art,
    According to the American Museum of Natural History, "scientists estimate that at least 99.9 percent of all species of plants and animals that ever lived are now extinct." Extinction would appear to be Nature's way. And, clearly, man could only have contributed to that 99.9 percent.
    That said, one should still treat Nature with the care born of reverence.

  4. That's all true, of course, Frank. And the average lifespan of a species is only a few million years. Assuming we don't make our own planet non-viable for our own habitation, we could look forward to a million years or more still.

    One of the truths around this is that right now there is an accelerated rate of extinction happening, almost an ELE (extinction level event), which has happened 5 times before that we know of. It's the amount of extinctions and the rapidity of their happening that is what is alarming and unusual. Extinction is rarely this sudden or thorough, except during an ELE. Are we causing the current ELE? That's still unclear, although we seem to be contributing to it even if we aren't causing it.

    And the truth is, of course, that everybody dies, including species, including stars. In the end, entropy wins, at least in this Universe.

    And we still need to treat what we see with reverence and care, I agree.