Michael Benton, Infineon, Holocene discussed on This Podcast Will Kill You
The story of amphibians and kindred shouldn't be looked at in isolation because it's raised all kinds of questions about what the role of humans in conservation intervention some people have argued that kindred is the natural pathogen so maybe these extinctions population declines are naturals well yet that expression you're making. I'm also like i'm not. I don't buy that highly skeptical expression. Everyone because what it does is that i mean that viewpoint fails to consider or acknowledge the role that humans have played in the spread of kindred ed around the globe like diseases. Don't just pop up everywhere at once out of nowhere. Nope that's not yano and there's also some some kindred emergence and climate change seemed to be in some cases acting in conjunction with each other so yeah again and humans. This is human human induced climate changes. This human caused climate change. They fad anyway but the other reason that you can't tell the story of amphibian decline as one on single event is because it's part of a massive and terrifying trend. That's happening globally right now. We're in the middle of and the cause of the sixth extinction. I wanted to talk a little bit about extinctions. Let's make this a more depressing episode. I mean meet and what my favorite courses in college was called dinosaurs in disasters so this is really gone back to my my roots route okay so you might have heard this term. The sixth extinction or the holocene extinction used a lot quite a bit lately particularly in talking about climate change inge impacts or exploitation of natural resources and often along with the word anthropology scene but what is what is the sixth extinction basically sigli since the first vertebrates evolved there have been five massive extinction events and we can see these in the fossil record the first one took place four hundred hundred and fifty million years ago which is just incomprehensible amount of time. Yes and the most recent one happened at the end of the cretaceous period around sixty five million years ago. That's the one that wiped out all the dinosaurs and tara sores. Please you soars and all the other cool animals and based on the population declines minds and extinction rates of not just amphibians but many other species some researchers believe that we're in the midst of the sixth grade extinction event and the really the only debate that seems to be left is where to actually put the starting point of that because a lot of people believe that humans were responsible for the extinction of the prehistoric mega-fauna like the giant ground sloth and mastodons and all you know all of the amazing cave bears as an irish elk all. I love getting so sad talking about this. I wish i could time travel so much. What what makes a mass extinction mass extinction because animals do go extinct for various reasons occasionally and by looking at the fossil record paleontologist can estimate about how many species of a certain group of animals like but say mammals go extinct over a long period of time and that is what we would call a background extinction rate just a normal baseline level of extinction and it's when that extinction rate skyrockets beyond the normal background great that we call it a mass extinction particularly if there are multiple groups that are undergoing higher extinction rates at the same time so i'm going to borrow a metaphor from paleontologist michael benton he suggests you think of it as the tree of life as the tree grows you have little twigs or branches that may break off along the way just as part of the growth process part of the normal weathering and a mass extinction event is like a tornado coming through in ripping off an entire half of the tree or huge branches at random places that won't grow back the background extinction rate for for infineon's is hard to estimate since there are fewer fossils than there are for something like mammals but researchers think it's very low probably around one unfitting species going extinct every thousand years. Wow whoa oh that's oh dear. The extinction rate currently is estimated to be two hundred eleven times higher than the background rate or if you take into account endangered endangered species as much as forty five thousand times higher. Oh no yep assuming endangered species are very unlikely to bounce back going to go extinct immediately yeah right yep..