"When he was alive, Lonesome George was a captive reminder of biodiversity loss. One 2006 book called him 'the only one of his kind left on earth—a symbol of the devastation man has wrought to the natural world in the Galápagos and beyond.' After his death, Washington Tapia, a researcher with the Ecuador National Park Service, told the New York Times it was like losing his grandparents. But even for people less intimate with him did his life and demise serve as a reminder of the mass extinction of species currently underway—the sixth in earth’s history but the only one caused by humans." - Human Error: Survivor guilt in the Anthropocene
Wilson recently calculated that the only way humanity could stave off a mass extinction crisis, as devastating as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, would be to set aside half the planet as permanently protected areas for the ten million other species. “Half Earth,” in other words, as I began calling it—half for us, half for them. [more inside]
"Mountain of Dinosaurs" (1967) A Russian cartoon, directed by Rasa Strautmane. WARNING: things don't end well for the Dinosaurs. [via]
Some say volcanoes killed them. Some people say an impact. Some say both. Coulda been bugs, actually. Lots of theories, some better than others. Not like it's that uncommon in the grand scheme of things.
Earth Woes The Earth may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history, suggests the strongest evidence yet. More here.