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What Do You Understand By Mass Extinction?

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Shane Richardson Profile
Mass extinction is difficult to define without getting into very in depth and technical scientific detail. However in general, mass extinction is the rapid extinction of a significant amount of different types of life all around the globe from a wide range of different environments, habitats and areas.

It cannot, for example, solely be the rapid total wipe out of a particular species as caused by something which would only affect either a small area or a particular group of animals as this is not wide ranging enough. Similarly, the spread of a human killing disease would cause mass extinction even if every human on the planet were to die as this would only be one species. Mass extinction is usually a result of a global major catastrophe which will affect humans, animals, insects and plants.

Some people only consider natural events as a cause of mass extinction, however, human causes are beginning to enter the minds of some as a new kind of possible trigger for mass extinction. Nuclear war has become a threat in the modern day world and many people worry more about this kind of mass extinction than any other kind. In addition to this, you have the possibility of things such as significant cooling/ warming of the earth, global change in sea levels, asteroid or comet collision with earth etc.

There are thought to have been a number of examples of mass extinction in the past, although it is difficult to conclude the exact causes of these. Even the mass extinction which is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs over 60 million years ago is still being debated; some believe it was caused by an asteroid of around 6 miles wide colliding with the earth supported by the belief that some birds have survived through from this period; whereas some believe it was a change in temperature and atmospheric conditions.
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Anonymous answered
(biology) a sharp decrease in the total number of species in a relatively short period of time

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