The Secret Lives of Plants

Scientists plan to develop a three-dimensional map of Earth's vegetation. By knowing the extent of forests from existing maps, as well as the heights of the canopy from the new instruments, researchers will then be able to estimate how much plant matter -- and therefore how much carbon -- is present. As trees grow, they …

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DiCaprio’s “The Ivory Game” Exposes the World of Illegal Ivory Trade

"Ivory game," a Netflix documentary from executive producer Leonardo Di Caprio and directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson exposes the underground world of ivory trafficking. The directors filmed the movie undercover for 16 months with a team of intelligence operatives, conservationists, and wildlife activists.  The team followed poachers and tracked the illegal trade from Africa …

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Sixth Mass Extinction:  The Holocene Extinction

The Holocene extinction is the extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch (since around 10,000 BC).  The extinction includes families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has recorded 875 extinctions occurring since 1500 but the vast majority of extinctions are …

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Fifth Mass Extinction: Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction Event

The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event occurred 65 million years ago.  In this extinction 17% of families, 50% of all genera, and 75% of all species became extinct.  This extinction is believed to have been caused by an asteroid impact at the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan plateau.  Before this extinction, mammals were few and small, most …

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Third Mass Extinction:  Permian-Triassic Extinction Event

 The Permian-Triassic extinction event occurred 251 million years ago. This is the worst recorded extinction period, also known as the Great Dying.  During this period, 96% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct.   All types of life forms were affected including marine life, plants and terrestrial invertebrates and vertebrates.  Due …

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Second Mass Extinction: Late Devonian Extinction Event

The Late Devonian extinction event occurred around 375 to 360 million years ago.  During this mass extinction 19% of all families, 50% of all genera, and 70% of all species went extinct.  At this time, there were two major continents Euramerica and Gondwana that started to merge to create the supercontinent Pangea.  This extinction event …

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