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Evolution Lost

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We know the earth is about four and a half billion years old. We think life started about four billion years ago. Life began in water, it started with cells. These joined together, and evolved to get energy from the sun. And plants appeared. So did the first animals. We know that when the first jawless fishes appeared, plants were moving onto land. When fish diversified, land was covered in ferns and insects. Lobe-finned fish left water, spearing the dawn of amphibians. We know that when the first reptiles appeared, there were extensive forests and insects began to fly. As Pangea began to break up, gymnosperms were dominant, and the first dinosaurs and mammals appeared. When dinosaurs ruled, plants started flowering. Birds appeared from out of the dinosaurs but we know that these reptiles left suddenly. We know that our species appeared approximately 200.000 years ago, almost four billion years after life began. The human population has grown enormously. Two thousand years ago there were three hundred million people on earth, the same as now live in the USA. Our population doubled in forty years, a time frame less that the human lifetime. In 2010 there are just under 7 billion of us. We know we’ve changed the landscape more in the last fifty years, than ever before in human history. That the sixth of thirty million species we now share the planet with, are under more and more pressure. That we’ve caused some recent extinctions. We didn’t know that by 2010 we would cause almost 20% of the world’s vertebrates to be threatened with extinction. That all vertebrate populations, would decline by 30% over four decades. We didn’t know that we would cause 41% of amphibians to be threatened with extinction, along with 25% of mammals, and 13% of birds. We didn’t know that we would cause 22% of reptiles, and 15% of fish to be threatened with extinction, and that over 80% of fish stocks would be fully exploited or overexploited. We didn’t know that our pressure on ecosystems, would cause extinction rates to be a thousand times that of the average in the fossil record. That entire lineages would be lost forever. We didn’t know that with climate change combined with other threats. we are set to lose more than a quarter of all life on earth in this century. We didn't know, we know now.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: Greece
Language: English
Views: 173
Posted by: biologion on Nov 7, 2010

Evolution Lost

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