Our planet seems to be in desperate need of our help. Researchers predict that the sixth mass extinction is nearing. However, what else is there to do in order to prevent it? Specialists also say that, this time, it is large marine creatures those which will be affected first.
As researchers have recently been more and more concerned about the oceans’ faith, they have discovered unexpected facts. The findings point out that, if a sixth mass extinction is approaching, it will first hit the large marine creatures, such as whales. Researchers are puzzled by the discovery, as such a thing has never happened in the history of the Earth. According to previous studies, it was always the bigger species those which survive the most.
Recent statistics show that the animals which measure at least ten meters long are threatened more than those that are small. The risk for large mammals to die off first is of eighty-six percent. Species which measure less than a centimeter have much less chances of going extinct.
Researchers also base their statistics on the status of the blue whale. It measures about one hundred foot long and it one of the Earth’s largest animals. However, the species lost about ninety percent of its individuals in recent years.
Jonathan Payne (Stanford University) is the leader of the study. He stated that there is a proportion between the size of the animals and their endangerment status. It seems like the bigger they are, the most prone they are to become extinct.
The researchers also analyzed fossils and compared the last mass extinction to the current situation. The results of the analysis showed that the extinction affected large animals on land, such at dinosaurs, but the marine creatures were not affected more than small species on land.
Other researchers in the scientific community are also impressed by the findings of the new study. They don’t know how to react or how to deal with the situation, as there is no record of a similar case in history. The situation took Boris Worm by surprise. He is a marine life expert, and didn’t participate in Jonathan Payne’s study. However, he states the following:
“We have had mass extinctions before. This one is totally different than what has happened before.”
Researchers know that nature is unpredictable, and this could mean that the animals could be spared for some time. However, history provides them with scarce examples.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia