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2011 ,    »  -   21 Comments
Ratings: 5.60/10 from 25 users.

ExtinctionsMore than 90 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct. As new species evolve to fit ever changing ecological niches, older species fade away.

But the rate of extinction is far from constant. At least a handful of times in the last 500 million years, 50 to more than 90 percent of all species on Earth have disappeared in a geological blink of the eye.

Though these mass extinctions are deadly events, they open up the planet for new life-forms to emerge. Dinosaurs appeared after one of the biggest mass extinction events on Earth, the Permian-Triassic extinction about 250 million years ago.

The most studied mass extinction, between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods about 65 million years ago, killed off the dinosaurs and made room for mammals to rapidly diversify and evolve.

The causes of these mass extinction events are unsolved mysteries, though volcanic eruptions and the impacts of large asteroids or comets are prime suspects in many of the cases. Both would eject tons of debris into the atmosphere, darkening the skies for at least months on end.

Starved of sunlight, plants and plant-eating creatures would quickly die. Space rocks and volcanoes could also unleash toxic and heat-trapping gases that—once the dust settled—enable runaway global warming.

New evidence suggests we might be heading into an abrupt climate change on Earth - one powerful enough to cause mass extinctions.

21 Comments / User Reviews

    John Krisfalusci
  1. John Krisfalusci

    And guess what? When we Humans, become extinct sometime in the future, there will be NEW life-forms to take our spot and move on from there. And maybe one day , looooong after we are forgotten, a new species will wonder what happened to us? It's a cycle really, just takes Millions and Millions of years in this case; for most of us cannot comprehend that simple idea! Just to let you know because at this point Religion has NO use! Trust me..^_^

  2. southab403
  3. southab403

    I really liked that this film looked into past extinction events, and learned of some of the newer research that can explain what and why they happened. I didn't appreciate why they had to put the "fear factor" into the film. OH MY GOD, this could happen to us and wipe us out! (Poor humans, us).

    Also, although not heavily played, the suggestion that we (humans) are somehow tipping the balance of glactic, planetary, and cyclic weather events by existing in our state of life on this planet in a way as to a be responsible for such a catastrophic event as suggested in the film, is a bit ridiculous.

    Otherwise, quite enjoyable.

  4. Christian Klinckwort Guerrero
  5. Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    Cientific based, no doubt. Good. But one thing, (comparing withh BBC) I do not like the fatalistic Hollywood (Disney) language

  6. Teddy Mcd
  7. Teddy Mcd

    If you suffer from cosmo-phobia -you might not want to watch this one. Nevertheless a great doc - easy to understand.

  8. Nicola-Jane Wiseman
  9. Nicola-Jane Wiseman

    "Could we survive a wipeout?" The dictionary definition of wipeout is 'complete destruction' so my best guess is, nope.

  10. Jack1952
  11. Jack1952

    This is a fascinating topic but you don't have to keep me interested by trying to scare the "h" out of me. I find films about ancient history and science compelling on their own merit and not how it might affect my life. Learning does not have to be coupled with entertainment...dubious entertainment in this case.

  12. dufas_duck
  13. dufas_duck

    Erase 95 percent of humanity....must warm the cockles of Ted Turner and Bill Gates...

    Their stated answer to AGW is to eliminate most of the human population and the remainder live as humans did in the 17th century but before we go, give them your money....

  14. Epicurus
  15. Epicurus

    no that is not their answer. they never said anything about "eliminating most of the human population".

  16. southab403
  17. southab403

    Hi Icculus,

    No doubt we humans are contributing to and accelerating a natural phenomenon which has happened thousands of times (namely global warming), but I find it a big stretch to compare the almost total destruction of the earth that happened due to a massive meteor strike or the vicious upwelling of the earth's core to our slow steady burning of fossil fuels.

    To me, we are part and parcel of the planet and contribute to it's evolution. Humans are making huge mistakes in our lack of oversight and greedy consummation of resources, but 'we' aren't going to kill off 90 to 99% of life on earth by the slow steady burning of fossil fuels.

    Life will evolve, with or without us.

  18. wald0
  19. wald0

    It's really not so "ridiculous" when one can prove CO2 to be a green house gas beyond any reasonable doubt in a high school labratory. The phenomenon of green house warming and the fact that it is occurring here on Earth has been scientific fact for over thirty years- consensus was reached in the seventies, do the research. Once it was understood that the absorbtion band for water vapor was found not to overlaop that of CO2 it was obvious warming would occur due to higher levels of CO2 caused by industrial and agricultural activity.Not even the denial machine that is American industry tries to deny that warming is now occurring, it is painfully obvious that it is- a record amount of high temps were set just this year in North America alone. They simply try to deny it is man made, which is "ridiculous" once you spend a few hours in a lab examinng the undeniable properties of CO2 and then look at how much our activity has increased CO2 levels.
    That said its no wonder after the massive propagamda efforts of those who stand to lose billions if CO2 is regulated that we have a public that thinks there is truly a legitimate scientific debate over global warming and its causes. Frank Luntz, a propaganda specialist that works mostly for the Republican right, admits now that he helped egineer the campaign against global warming and that the main stradegy they employed was to sell the idea that there was no scientific consensus. He also admits that many of those who worked on the tobbacco campaign that tried to dicredit the link between smoking and cancer were also involved in this attempt to manipulate public opinion on global warming. They used the same stradegy, sell the idea that there is no consensus and the science is not sound- even though it clearly is.

  20. Epicurus
  21. Epicurus

    "The "Great Culling" of the human population has quietly begun. ... World power brokers like Bill Gates and Ted Turner openly discuss ... Thus, vaccine propaganda serves as the perfect filter for removing "s*upid ..."

    this is a random amateur journalist making extreme claims because he was too stupid to understand what Bill Gates meant by saying vaccines will help the worlds populations problem.

    ""A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal"
    - Ted Turner, founder of CNN, Turner is a billion dollar UN donor and is steering a large portion of it to population control."

    yes it would be what? he isnt saying lets kill a bunch of people.

    "Turner's wealthier pals are on board. Warren Buffett, the 1st or 2nd richest man in the world has discussed plans for a foundation to distribute his money to two issues: world peace and population control. His fortune is about $62 billion. Other billionaires Bill Gates and George Soros have been funding eugenics population control projects."

    no they are not funding EUGENICS PROJECTS. they are funding projects that will keep people in third world countries from having lots of children.

    Bill Gates explained this in the speech that every m*ron thinks he said he wants to kill half the world off. In countries with high infant mortality rates (babies dying young) and low life expectancy rates, people tend to have LOTS of children. This is a natural response by any animal to protect its genes and make sure they continue.

    by promoting vaccines and other medical programs in these countries you reduce the amount of people dying THUS you reduce the amount of births being had. THAT IS THE LOGIC. NOTHING ABOUT THAT MEANS THEY WANT TO KILL PEOPLE. NOTHING ABOUT THAT IS EUGENICS. if anything it is the opposite of eugenics as they are trying to help people who nature would otherwise kill off.

    "If you aren't getting memos from Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Nelsen Rockefeller, and George Soros instructing you and your family to avoid gmo foods & flu shots (for starters) then you're not part of the elite(!) The subject of this work of art is your family's future."

    this is a ridiculous claim. and maybe if you stopped copy pasting from a ridiculous conspiracy website with no credibility, you could spare yourself this embarrassment.

    "Top billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation (Los Angeles Times)"

    THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. Finally they are using their money for good, and people like you still try to find something that they can twist and run around screaming "the sky is falling!"

    "These members, along with Gates, have given away more than £45 billion since 1996 to causes ranging from health programmes in developing countries to ghetto schools nearer to home."

    again, this is a GREAT thing.

    so now lets take a look at your quotes.

    Eric Pianka also said:
    ""I have two grandchildren and I want them to inherit a stable Earth. But I fear for them. Humans have overpopulated the Earth and in the process have created an ideal nutritional substrate on which bacteria and viruses (microbes) will grow and prosper. We are behaving like bacteria growing on an agar plate, flourishing until natural limits are reached or until another microbe colonizes and takes over, using them as their resource. In addition to our extremely high population density, we are social and mobile, exactly the conditions that favor growth and spread of pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes. I believe it is only a matter of time until microbes once again assert control over our population, since we are unwilling to control it ourselves. This idea has been espoused by ecologists for at least four decades and is nothing new. People just don't want to hear it... I do not bear any ill will toward humanity. However, I am convinced that the world WOULD clearly be much better off without so many of us... We need to make a transition to a sustainable world. If we don't, nature is going to do it for us in ways of her own choosing. By definition, these ways will not be ours and they won't be much fun. Think about that.""

    doesnt sound like someone who wants to kill people off. just someone who recognizes a problem.

    Margaret Sanger died in the 1960's and she was a nut. she is of no influence today.

    and Dave Foreman is a random extremist activist with no power or political sway or even who cares what he says.

    i think you should stop scouring websites designed to promote a kingdom of fear.

  22. Stan Eicher
  23. Stan Eicher

    concept of Armageddon = fear of extinction


  24. mahonhouse
  25. mahonhouse


  26. Daniel Baxter
  27. Daniel Baxter

    LMFAO you think Warren Buffet is one othe richest in the world?? Are you mental? He and Gates owns pennies compared to the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Are you that gullable that you believe whats published in the Forbes rich list.

  28. Epicurus
  29. Epicurus

    those two are entire families, not just one person.

    and could you list the living members and the money they have?

    and i like how you responded to NOTHING ELSE.

  30. ned4775
  31. ned4775

    Did anyone notice the impact was shown impacting baca california although it was said the impact was the NW yucatan Penn.

  32. ned4775
  33. ned4775

    How could dinos evolve into birds if they we,re wiped out ?

  34. Sigi Maya
  35. Sigi Maya

    The Vatican is the richest institution on this EARTH, the Rothchilds and Rockefellers are connected through the Jesuits. The Jesuit Society is the CHIEF SOCIETY, among the SECRET SOCIETIES the Rothschilds and Rockefellers belong to.

  36. spawn
  37. spawn

    Don't imagine it as a sequential process, branch of dinos lead to origin of birds quite early than meteor crash. Earliest birds were seen before 100million years while the dinos got extinct before 65 m years. They coexisted.

  38. Fiala
  39. Fiala

    I'd rather trust God than you.

  40. Vanitas
  41. Vanitas

    I'd rather trust my imaginary friend too than a stranger on the internet. :D

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