Mass Reflection

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An episode of the podcast Generation Anthropocene titled “On the Precipice” discusses the fact that Earth is on verge of a sixth mass extinction and humans are the reason why. Host Miles Traer cites that humans are behind the biodiversity crisis today because of our superior hunting skills. Before getting into the current threat of mass extinction today, the five previous mass extinctions were outlined. The first mass extinction took place 450 million years ago at the end of the Ordovician period. This extinction took place because the planet’s climate changed from warm to cold and ice sheets developed. The second mass extinction which happened 375 million years ago, late in the Devonian period, occurred because there was a disappearance of oxygen from the ocean. The reason for this disappearance is unknown. 250 million years ago, the third and largest mass extinction, known as “the great dying” happened. The cause of this extinction were massive volcanic eruptions. These eruptions released gases into the atmosphere that warmed the planet and acidified the oceans. The fourth mass extinction happened at the end of Triassic period 200 million years ago. And like the previous one, it was caused by volcanic eruptions. Mass extinction number five occurred 66 million years ago when a meteor slammed into the Yucatan peninsula and decimated the dinosaurs. When the question of what marine life was affected by these extinctions, the answer was that animals that lived in water column
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