Popular Science

"Survival of the laziest" may help some species avoid extinction

Scientists are still working out why some species are more likely to die out than others.
toy dinosaurs

Dinosaurs had some bad luck, but sooner or later extinction comes for all of us.

Though they say “‘tis impossible to be sure of anything but death and taxes,” a bit of financial chicanery may get you out of paying the taxman. But no amount of trickery will stop the inevitability of death. Death is the inescapable endpoint of life.

And this is as true for species as it is for individuals. Estimates suggest 99.99 percent of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. All species that exist today – including human beings – will invariably go extinct at some point.

know there are key: the five times over the past half billion years or so when more than three-quarters of the planet’s species have gone extinct in short order. Unfortunately, we are also now getting a good firsthand view of what extinction looks like, with the over the last century.

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