The Sixth Extinction: Biodiversity and Its Survival

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Phoenix, 1996 - Biodiversity - 271 pages
2 Reviews
There have been five great extinctions in the long history of life on earth, the most recent 65 million years ago, when all dinosaur species perished in an astonishingly brief period of time. Each of these great extinctions was unimaginably catastrophic - at least 65 percent of all species living vanished in a geological instant; in the Permian extinction, nearly 95 percent of all species were obliterated. The agency for these extinctions, the why, is hotly debated - sudden climate change, asteroids, evolutionary inadequacy - but the patterns are remarkably consistent. Now, as Leakey and Lewin show with inarguable logic based on irrefutable scientific evidence, the sixth great extinction is underway. And this time the cause is beyond dispute: By the lowest estimate, thirty thousand species are wiped out by human agency every year - a rate that matches the patterns of the other five great extinctions with frightening exactitude.

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User Review  - mirrani - LibraryThing

Surprisingly entertaining book that discusses the evolution of the world itself, breaking it down by areas and locations, proving that species have a natural tendency to come and go and suggesting ... Read full review

THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Here's a sobering look at the human race's impact on its environment, from the authors of Origins (1977) and Origins Reconsidered (1992). In addition to his work in unearthing the remains of early ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Richard Leakey, the son of leading paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey, was Director of the National Museums of Kenya for twenty years and more recently has served his country in a more political role as Director of the Wildlife Service. He made the important discovery of the ¿Turkana Boy¿, a virtually complete skeleton, and his popular books include Origins, The People of the Lake and The Making of Mankind. Sean Barrett narrated the BBC Modern History series, People¿s Century and appeared in television productions of Twelfth Night and Father Ted.

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