Extinct and Endangered Animals
There are no more dinosaurs living on the Earth. They are extinct, which means there is no longer a certain kind of plant or animal living anywhere in the world. A species is a certain group of living organisms, like dinosaurs, humans, birds, and many others. Scientists believe many organisms, along with the dinosaurs, died out when a large asteroid collided with the Earth. The collision caused a mass extinction, which occurs at a faster rate over a very short time-period.
There are usually two reasons for the extinction of animals and other living things. The first is naturally, which may take place when animals do not adapt to natural changes in their environment. For example, if the habitat of a bird suddenly changes, and if the bird does not adapt, it could become extinct.
Examples of naturally occurring extinction may take place during a change in the climate. This took place during the Ice Age when the temperature of the Earth was much lower. During a natural extinction, the species may be eliminated by new predators that move into their environment. The food needed to survive may no longer be available.
Another example of this type of extinction was the wooly mammoth, a relative of the elephant, which died out 10,000 years ago due to climate change and the disappearance of its habitat.
The second reason for the extinction of animals is human interaction, which includes hunting and habitat destruction caused by people. An animal's environment may be destroyed by pollution or construction, such as the destruction of parts of a rainforest. Humans also overhunt sometimes wiping out an entire species. In addition, the moving of non-native species into an area where they are not usually found may lead to the extinction of another species.
Examples include the Dodo bird that became extinct due to overhunting and other animals moving into its environment. The passenger pigeon died out due to the destruction of its habitat, as well as overhunting. There are many animals that have become extinct, but when animals are in danger of becoming extinct, yet still survive, they are called endangered animals.
Endangered means a plant or animal is at risk of becoming extinct. This occurs when the population of a certain animal is so low, that they are in danger of dying out forever and becoming extinct. The reasons for an animal to become endangered are mostly the same as for those that have become extinct. There are many animals in the world today that are on the endangered species list. Some are so in danger of becoming extinct, they can only be found in a zoo.
Some of the endangered animals in the world as of 2017 include the black rhino, found in Africa, where hunting has led to the decline of its population with fewer than 5,000 of them still surviving. The orangutan found in the country of Malaysia is a highly intelligent relative of the ape family, but it too has been endangered due to the loss of their habitat and overhunting. The blue whale is endangered and threatened by climate change, habitat loss, and poisonous substances in the water. Finally, two other endangered species examples include the Bengal tiger, giant panda, mountain gorilla, sea lions, and others.
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