, 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.
, new species arise through the process of speciation
—where new varieties of organisms arise and thrive when they are able to find and exploit an ecological niche
—and species become extinct when they are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition.
The Dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purpose of becoming extinct and that was all he was good for. -- id.
Becoming extinct has its compensations. It's a good deal like beating the game. I would go so far as to say that becoming extinct is the perfect answer to everything and I defy anybody to think of a better. Other solutions are mere palliatives, just a bunch of loose ends, leaving the central problem untouched. --id.
"EXTINCTION: The end of the line for creatures that cannot or will not adapt to an increasingly hostile environment, which is why the future belongs to cockroaches and MBAs." -- Rick Bayan, The Cynic's Dictionary
Since after extinction no one will be present to take responsibility, we have to take full responsibility now. -- Jonathan Schell|Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth, 1982, ISBN 0-39452-559-0
The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again. -- William Beebe, The Bird, 1906
Extinction is forever. -- popular slogan. Category:Themes