NEW YORK, NY – One Australian academic’s research brings some startling information to light!
Mass extinction is usually a term that strikes fears – or at least sends shivers down the spines of people. Society today has become so involved in material good and technology, that sometimes the big picture is lost. We share this earth with countless numbers of species, all of who play a delicate role in keep the earth the way it is. Could we be on the verge of a mass extinction? Is the reset button about to be hit?
According to palaeobiologist Dr. John Alroy, we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event comparable to that which killed off the dinosaurs. Alroy, of Macquarie University, says it’s caused by a range of human behaviors and activities, along with climate change.
In addition, the Aussie predicts major changes to the rules of evolution as we currently know them, which could have devastating consequences for future biodiversity.
Alroy studied data from nearly 100,000 fossil collections worldwide, tracking the fate of major groups of marine animals throughout the fossil record, and especially during the Earth’s most massive extinction event, 250 million years ago. He concluded that while we’ve assumed the rules governing diversity of these major groups to be invariant, they have actually changed over geological time.
As a result, he says, the major extinction event currently underway will be much more severe than most – indeed, he says, there have been only three mass extinctions on the level of the current one in the last half billion years.
“The main implication is that we’re really rolling the dice,” said Alroy. “We don’t know which groups will suffer the most, which groups will rebound the most quickly, or which ones will end up with higher or lower long-term equilibrium diversity levels.”
“What’s worrisome is that some groups permanently become dominant that otherwise wouldn’t have,” he added. “So by causing this extinction, we are taking a big gamble on what kind of species will be around in the future. We don’t know how it will turn out. People don’t realize that there will be very unpredictable consequences.”