The Significance of Mass Extinctions

Topics: Evolution, Extinction, Coral reef Pages: 3 (785 words) Published: July 1, 2012
Question 1
How significant are mass extinctions to living organisms?
Mass extinctions are very important events to the living organism. When mass extinction happens, it will create huge impact toward the world, negative or positive. For the conservation biologist, they usually think this is a great loss. On the other hand, from the evolutionary perspective, mass extinction could be something good and bad at the same time. Mass extinction would end a lineages and the unique genetic vitiation will be eliminate (Jablonski, 2001). The result of this factor is the loss of the species and it might have some value toward the humankind, such as the medical or economic value. Also, if the extinct species still exist, it might make a different in the world, such as human no longer the most intelligent species in the world.

The next point would be the good side of mass extinction. Although the mass extinction could kill more than 50% species on the world, but that is not the end for the world yet. In additional, the mass extinction opens a new chapter for the evolutionary process to take place. As Darwin suggest, the theory of survival of the fittest is the one who can could compete and able to adapt to the environment will survive. The mass extinction could wipe most of the species out, but for those species escape from the large-scale disaster, they will survive and become stronger or evolve in order to survive. Over the period, it reshapes the evolutionary landscape in term of the survivability and the reshape of evolutionary opportunity as well. For example-the dinosaur, many scientists said they were once the greatest predator in the world, but they cannot survive and extinct from the world. The dinosaur were once the dominant groups among the species, after they were gone there will be new dominant groups rise and replace them after a certain period.

Question 2
Why are reefs so important?
Many US coral reefs exist before the European colonized the nearby...
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