Evolution: Extinction

The word extinction may bring to mind such colossal events as the Permian-Triassic extinction event, or even the K-T extinction event, which wiped out the dinosaurs, and it may be hard to believe, but human activity is producing the next great extinction event, not just from pollution and global warming but from the unintended introduction of invasive species (think snakes on a plane for real) to ecosystems in which the local flora and fauna have not yet evolved mechanisms of protection against them.

Luckily, we don't have to become fatalistic about these gloomy prospects. The study of evolutionary relationships is helping scientists come up with ingenious ways to fight back against many of these invasive species and help save the local varieties.



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