Field of Science

Cabinets of curiosities #5: The Last of Their Kind

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop."
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

Presumably 99% of all the species that inhabited earth in the geological past went extinct, some during mass extinctions, most however slowly but inescapable, even if some described creatures or monsters and fossils apparently never existed.
A strange flightless bird became an icon of extinction - endemic on Mauritius today only fragments survive in our museums and as cruel aftermath his appearance became soon distorted by humans after his extinction.
The role of human induced extinction during the Pleistocene is still discussed - for example for the strange marsupial lion, for the recent past however it is well documented, especially for species confined on archipelagos or islands like in the Arctic or Japan or Tasmania.
But also species with billions of individuals were hunted down so efficiently that they went extinct in a geological blip.

Today at least we care and try to minimize the impact of our society on the environment and species richness; however it is clear that it is necessary to assign priorities, not only for animal, but also plant species.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS