What is extinction?

  • (noun): No longer in existence.
    Example: "The extinction of a species"
    Synonyms: defunctness
    See also — Additional definitions below


In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms (taxon), normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively. This difficulty leads to phenomena such as Lazarus taxa, where a species presumed extinct abruptly "re-appears" (typically in the fossil record) after a period of apparent absence.

Read more about Extinction.

Some articles on extinction:

List Of Elephant Birds - Relationship With Humans - Extinction
... It is widely believed that the extinction of Aepyornis was a result of human activity ... theory states that humans hunted the elephant birds to extinction in a very short time for such a large landmass (the blitzkrieg hypothesis) ... An alternative theory is that the extinction was a secondary effect of human impact resulting from transfer of hyperdiseases from human commensals such as ...
Extinction - Human Attitudes and Interests - Cloning
... In 2003, scientists attempted to clone the extinct Pyrenean Ibex (C ... p ...
Long-legged Bunting - Extinction
... The Long-legged Bunting was driven to extinction because of these invasive species and the destruction of their habitat ...
Somebody Else's Problem - Environment and Public Protection
... levels of destruction to the land and mass extinction rates ... “The background rate of extinction is somewhere between one and five species per year ... But today, the extinction rate appears to be anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times greater than that.” ...
Hypercarnivorous Tendency As A Probable Cause of The Cat Gap
... large carnivorous mammals diversified and then declined to extinction ... Hypercarnivory leads to increased vulnerability of extinction ... likely that their hypercarnivory led to their extinction in North America ...

More definitions of "extinction":

  • (noun): The reduction of the intensity of radiation as a consequence of absorption and radiation.
  • (noun): The act of extinguishing; causing to stop burning.
    Example: "The extinction of the lights"
    Synonyms: extinguishing, quenching
  • (noun): A conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus.
    Synonyms: experimental extinction
  • (noun): No longer active; extinguished.
    Example: "The extinction of the volcano"
  • (noun): Complete annihilation.
    Example: "They think a meteor cause the extinction of the dinosaurs"
    Synonyms: extermination

Famous quotes containing the word extinction:

    Man is an over-complicated organism. If he is doomed to extinction he will die out for want of simplicity.
    Ezra Pound (1885–1972)

    The problems of this world are only truly solved in two ways: by extinction or duplication.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933)

    I wish all men to be free. I wish the material prosperity of the already free which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)