2020-11-16

How long can most species survive before they become extinct? US media:It depends on the animal

By yqqlm yqqlm

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, November 15th, a new media special report, the US media said that majestic blue whales have been in the sea for about 4.5 million years, and Neanderthals have been extinct for tens of thousands of years. However, do those animals represent all species? How long does a species usually last before extinction?

According to a report on the American Fun Science website on November 8, we now find that the answer may be completely different from usual ideas. Due to habitat destruction, climate change and various other factors, the rate of extinction of plants and animals from the earth may exceed the other five points in history.

Reported that some experts believe that we are in the sixth mass extinction. However, even in a relatively quiet period in the history of the earth, the answer to this question varies with species. According to an article in”Plants, Humans and Planets”, mammalian species survive for an average of 1 to 2 million years.

The report also stated that, however, this average does not apply to all geological periods and all mammals. According to a 2013 paper in the journal”Comprehensive Zoology”, during the Cenozoic (65 million years ago), the average survival time of mammals was 3.21 million years, and large mammals survived longer than small mammals. The age of invertebrate species is even more striking, with an average survival of 5-10 million years.

However, reports believe that these figures are controversial. Experts differ on how long the species will survive before extinction. The fossil record records when species were born and extinct. However, because the conditions for the formation of fossils must be very complete, and the environmental conditions are not always perfect when species are born and extinct, so the error is very large. So these statistics on life expectancy are not particularly useful. Stewart Pim, a well-known extinction expert and conservationist at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, said that he is more inclined to explore the rate of extinction by year, month and day.

The report pointed out that the mortality of this species is called the estimated background extinction rate, which is also controversial. Pim believes that 1 in 1 million species will go extinct every year. That means if there are 1 million species on the earth, one species will be extinct every year.

Pim said that about 90%of the existing species (mostly insects) may not be named. If researchers don’t know that a species exists, they don’t know when it will become extinct. Another complication is that it is difficult to tell the exact time of the extinction. Just because researchers have not seen a certain species for years does not mean that they are permanently extinct. If the species survives both in the wild and in the zoo, it is even more difficult to judge.

Experts agree that the extinction rate of modern species is extremely high. Pim said:”Species are doing their best to adapt quickly to survive, but in the end luck will run out. Species don’t adapt fast enough and they will become extinct.”