extinct species



We explain what an extinct species is, what were the mass extinctions in history and examples of extinct and protected species.

The species are still going extinct even today.

What is an extinct species?

When we refer to an extinct species, we refer to one whose last individuals have died, that is, to a species that no longer exists, and of which only traces remain in the fossil record or in the studies that make it up. humanity have made her.

Extinction is a common phenomenon throughout the history of our planet, although it may not seem like it. There have been several episodes of mass extinction that have diminished the quantity and diversity of the life world, as well as others of lesser scope or local area, and isolated cases of species that have become extinct giving their place to others better prepared for the use of resources.

The most famous of the extinct species is that of the dinosaurs: lizards of enormous size that ruled the Earth until 65 million years ago, when they became massively extinct; probably that as a consequence of drastic and rapid changes in the climate or the temperature world, which according to some theories would have been produced by the fall of a huge meteorite.

However, species continue to become extinct even today, especially due to actions and activities of the human species such as the pollution massive environmental warfare, selective and uncontrolled hunting and logging, the introduction of alien species into habitats carefully balanced, etc.

Mass extinctions in history

The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction wiped out the dinosaurs, among other species.

Throughout the geological history of the planet, life appeared, proliferated and diversified, becoming more complex, but it also perished and became massively extinct. The main mass extinction events according to the fossil record were five:

  • Ordovician-Silurian extinctions. Occurred 439 million years ago, which ended 85% of life at the time.
  • Devonian-Carboniferous extinction. Occurred 367 million years ago, which killed 82% of life on the planet.
  • Permian-Triassic extinction. The worst of all mass extinctions, occurred 251 million years ago and wiped out 96% of the world's life.
  • Extinction of the Triassic-Jurassic. It took place 210 million years ago, as a consequence of the fragmentation of Pangea, and ended 76% of life at the time.
  • Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. Happened 65 million years ago, it wiped out 75% of biological genera, especially dinosaurs.

Endangered Species

The ecology speaks of threatened species to refer to those that seem likely to become extinct in the near future. That is, those species that classify, within the NUIC Red List of Threatened Species, the groups of Vulnerable Species (VU), Endangered Species (EN) and Critically Endangered Species (CR), according to an order minor risk to major.

The criteria for evaluating the status of a species in this sense are based on the number of mature individuals that the species possesses, as well as the rates of decline in the number of total individuals (biomass) recorded during the last 10 years or the last 3 generations of individuals.

Protected species

The panda bear is one of the species that organizations seek to protect.

There is a set of species protected by international ecology organizations, which expressly prohibit their hunting, capture, possession or even the destruction of their habitat, since they are generally species threatened with extinction. This is part of the efforts of numerous organizations conservationists who try to prevent the total and definitive disappearance of these species animals Y vegetables, thus defending the legacy of the biodiversity world, that is, the variety of animal species that exist on the planet.

Some protected species are the Panda Bear (Ailuropodamelanoleuca), the black vulture (Aegypiusmonachus), the Mediterranean seal (Monachusmonachus) and the Iberian lynx (Lynxpardinus).

Examples of extinct animals

The Dodo bird was hunted to extinction in the late 17th century.

Some extinct animals due to their contact with the human species are:

  • The Dodo or Dronte bird (Raphuscucullatus). A very docile species of flightless land bird, which inhabited the Mauritius Islands, and whose absence of predators it made it excessively vulnerable to the arrival of the human species, which hunted it to extinction in the late 17th century.
  • The Mexican Grizzly BearUrsusarctosnelsoni). A subspecies of brown bear that inhabited the Mexican states of Durango, Chihuahua, Sonora, and central Mexico, and whose last specimen was hunted by n utal H. A. Cluff in 1899.
  • The Japanese sea lion (Zalophusjaponicus)., Whose habitat was the archipelago of Japan until the bombings of the 2nd world war they wiped out the species. The last specimen of the species was captured in 1974.
  • The Java Tiger (Pantheratigrisprobe). A subspecies of tiger from the Indonesian island of Java, assumed extinct since 1994.
  • The dolphin Baiji (Lipotesvexillifer). Also called the Chinese river dolphin, it lived in the Yangtze River, thanks to which it was nicknamed the "Yangtze Widow." Its last specimen was sighted in 2007 and in 2008 it was declared extinct.
  • The Galapagos tortoiseChelonoidisnigra). An immense turtle of the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, capable of living hundreds of years, disappeared with the death in 2012 of "George", his last known living specimen.
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