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Natural and Man-Made Extinction Factors Notes THESE ARE YOUR LAST SET OF NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Extinct: no members of a particular species are living. Most organisms that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct. Natural factors of Extinction have been documented and studied over the course of Earth’s history o Volcanic eruptions (and their side effects) o Global warming and global cooling (ice ages) o Changes in oxygen levels in seawater o Massive impact from an asteroid or comet o Competition for Resources: too many organisms fighting over the same food/water/etc. o Inability to Adapt: cannot change with their changing environment When species become extinct, the opportunity exists for another species to fill that ecological hole (Example) Dinosaurs go extinct, Mammals become dominant Not all extinctions that have occurred naturally throughout Earth’s history have had a negative impact. Some of these extinctions have often cleared the way for new kinds of life to emerge. Man-Made factors of Extinction have caused extinctions in more recent (current) times o Cutting down trees of the rainforest regions o Removing natural habitats to build things o Over-harvesting: planting in the ground until it is no longer fertile o Pollution: trash, dirty air, dirty water, etc. Scientists have evidence to support claims that humans have contributed to the extinction of many species throughout human history, including the woolly mammoth. Scientists have evidence to support the claims that many plants and animals are likely to become extinct in the near future as a result of the negative impact of human activities (tree-cutting, water and air pollution, etc.) on the environment. Scientists have evidence to support the claims that human effects on the environment could threaten some biological resources that organisms, including humans, may need for survival.