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Geographical distributions of terrestrial or aquatic taxa that are broken up by oceans can be explained by either oceanic dispersal or vicariance in the form of fragmentation of a previously contiguous landmass. Oceanic dispersal may be the most important factor in the distributions of animals. Present distribution patterns of animals are largely a result of shifting landmasses. Distribution of animals is limited by various environmental conditions which the most restrictive barriers are the separation of the land by water, high mountain ranges and deserts. Extinction is a gradual process driven by the interactions among species and between species and their physical environment. Mass extinctions affected most different taxonomic groups present at the time such as invertebrates and vertebrates including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Over 99% of species that ever lived are now extinct, but extinction occurs at an uneven rate. Major extinction events include Ordovician-Silurian extinction events, Late Devonian extinction events, Permian-Triassic extinction events, Triassic-Jurassic extinction events and Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction events.
Saving Sea Turtles – Extraordinary Stories from the Battle against Extinction
The Last Tortoise – A Tale of Extinction in our Lifetime
Empire of Extinction examines the environmental catastrophe resulting from Russia's expansion into the North Pacific, causing Russians and other Europeans to recognize the threat of species extinction for the first time. This book demonstrates the importance of the North Pacific both for the Russian empire and for global environmental history.
Over the last half billion years, there have been five mass extinctions on Earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the next one, which is predicted to be the most devastating extinction since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. In The Sixth Extinction Elizabeth Kolbert combines on-the-spot field reporting from Central America, the Andes and the Great Barrier Reef with the history of scientific study, to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species whose fates exemplify this enormous change.The Sixth Extinction is a passionate investigation of the most terrifying extinction in history. We are witnessing not only one of the rarest events in life's history, but one that is likely to be our most lasting legacy.