Every living element on earth obeys one universal biological law; everything dies. Human beings have been trying to find the solution to death for decades, but the answer to that question has evaded us continuously.
It is not only the living elements on earth that are subject to this law; the planet itself has gone through periods of death and rebirth in its 540 million years of existence. During these periods of rebirth, 50 to 80 percent of all life forms are wiped away, which automatically signals the end of the era.
These particular periods are what scientists refer to as mass extinctions. According to various doomsday reports, we are approaching another mass extinction period.
When is the next cosmic level event will occur?
Although it is unclear when this cosmic level event will occur, scientists have calculated that the event will take place in the year 2100. This date was deduced by estimating the effects of global warming on the earth. The rapid and consistent increase in the earth’s average temperature has already made it inhabitable for some species.
The big question now is how ready we are for the next wave of mass extinctions. This article has been put together to show us how past species survived mass extinctions and how we, as human beings, can do the same.
How to Survive Mass Extinction
Generally, surviving a mass extinction means evolving and learning how to cope with the prevailing conditions that come after this event. Surviving a mass extinction is something that has been done by life species over the earth.
Surviving a mass extinction is never a given; however, there are some things you can do to better your chances of being among the survivors.
1. Be Mobile and Agile
Small and more mobile creatures have been known to survive mass extinctions because they can move from place to place and survive.
2. Learn How to Grow Your Food
You can read up on greenhouse farming
3. Be a Generalist
You will have to survive in different weather conditions and on different food sources.
What Is Mass Extinction?
Mass extinction can be defined as a period where many living species at the time go extinct. Mass extinction has always been known to have a more massive effect on the species living above ground than those living in the oceans. This is because the causes of mass extinction mainly affect the earth’s surface and its atmosphere.
The causes of mass extinction are
- climate change (global warming and overheating of the earth’s atmosphere)
- massive geological tremors (volcanoes erupting continuously)
- external forces (asteroids and meteor strikes on the earth), and a whole lot of other factors.
Mass extinctions are always seen as the beginning of a new era. The population reduction will reduce the competition for resources, and they will be able to spread and repopulate.
To better understand the concept of mass extinctions, we have to look at the first five mass extinctions, and the stories the fossils tell about the periods.
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History of Mass Extinction
In the history of the world, mass extinctions have happened five times. The first one happened about 460 million years ago, and the others came millions of years later. The next mass extinction may soon be upon us if we rely on the statistics of science and technology organizations across the world.
We want to look at the last five mass extinctions and compare the events then to what we are experiencing in our reality today.
1. The Ordovician Mass Extinction
The Ordovician mass extinction is the first mass extinction experienced by the earth.
It happened about 450 million years ago when life forms just started to take proper shape on earth. Life is believed to have first formed about 4 billion years ago.
The Ordovician mass extinction was caused by earth tremors that caused a continental drift and later resulted in climate change.
The ocean decreased significantly, leaving the earth cold and unhabitable for species, and then after a few millennia, the ocean level rose, and species couldn’t adapt fast enough.
Our world today is witnessing a constant rise in ocean levels. If the increase is steady and continuous, will we be able to adapt fast enough?
2. The Devonian Mass Extinction
The Devonian mass extinction happened about 390 million years ago.
This period saw almost 80 percent of all living species wiped out. As far as mass extinctions go, the Ordovician extinction and the Devonian extinction followed quickly.
The evolution of land plants caused the Devonian extinction. Aquatic plants adapted to land growth, and that left fewer autotrophs to create oxygen for sea species. There was a massive death in the oceans.
Since the plants now lived on land, there was more oxygen, and the greenhouse balance was disrupted.
3. The Permian Mass Extinction (also known as the Great Dying)
The Permian Mass Extinction is the most brutal extinction that the earth has experienced.
This period happened about 250 million years ago and saw 96% of the earth’s species wiped out.
Both land and aquatic animals were affected, and the Paleozoic era came to an end.
It is believed that volcanic eruptions and meteor strikes caused the Permian mass extinction. These activities led to climate change and disruption in atmospheric conditions.
4. The Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction
The Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction happened about 200 million years ago, and it was a string of extinctions that happened over 20 million years.
60% of the earth’s life form was lost during this period. This string of extinctions was due to rising sea levels and an increase in the ocean’s acidity levels.
5. The Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction (also known as the K-T Extinction)
This extinction is the most recent in history.
It happened 65 million years ago, and, indeed, an asteroid impact caused this extinction.
This led to a drastic change in climate and the extinction of dinosaurs. This period saw about 75 of earth’s life form wiped out.
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Mass extinction is a natural phenomenon that happens periodically in history.t is the earth’s way of pressing the reset button and getting the planet comfortable for the surviving species.
Surviving a mass extinction is possible because our ancestors did it about 70,000 years ago. The number of human beings dropped to a few thousand, and they were able to flourish and reproduce into what we now see today.
Human beings will be ready because if we have to survive another mass extinction, we will!
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