News ID: 202206
Published: 1028 GMT October 11, 2017

Sixth ‘Mass Extinction’ underway: Study

Sixth ‘Mass Extinction’ underway: Study
Previous mass extinctions have targeted newly evolving species. (GETTY)

A new ‘mass extinction’ is underway and is set to worsen the world’s current ‘biodiversity crisis’, new study claimed.

The new study, published in the Nature Communications journal, stated that the world is currently facing its sixth mass extinction, with newly-evolving species being targeted to worsen biodiversity, express.co.uk wrote.

The study stated: “These common trends observed in the fossil record have the potential to inform modern conservation efforts, given that the current biodiversity crisis is acknowledged as representing another mass extinction event.”

Previous mass extinctions have targeted newly evolving species which has severely limited the differentiation in animals.

Biodiversity refers to the differentiation between species, of species and across different animal ecosystems.

Changes in animal differentiation were analyzed across the Pangaea, a continent that stretches across all of Earth’s land masses.

Animals living between 260 million and 175million years ago were studied, with almost 900 being examined from prior mass extinctions.

The targeted period witnessed two mass extinctions and saw the creation of mammals, dinosaurs and turtles.

The Earth’s largest extinction 252million years ago saw 70 percent of land animals targeted.

Each extinction has seen animals with distinct features going extinct, meaning biodiversity levels hit incredible lows afterwards.

Researchers are using lessons from the past to influence new conservation methods to ensure that animal variability is maintained during the current mass extinction.

The lead researcher in the study, David Button, stated: "Much like in history, the past offers cautionary tales and context for our ongoing future.

“The lesson from the past is that mass extinctions have big impacts beyond just species loss.”

As well as animals showing a lack of biodiversity, the current mass extinction is being bolstered by a loss of habitat, pollution and hunting.

Previous studies have cemented the idea that the world is facing a ‘biological annihilation’ that will lead to a ‘frightening assault on the foundations of human civilization’.

Professor Gerardo Ceballos, from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, has previously warned humanity to step up conservation efforts to limit the damage caused by the current extinction.

He told The Guardian: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”

Additionally, his research team also added: “The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences.

“Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe.”

   
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