Download Animals: Creatures That Roam the Planet (Natural Resources) by Julie Kerr Casper PhD PDF

By Julie Kerr Casper PhD

In the course of the process hundreds of thousands of years, animals have tailored to varied environments on the earth. even supposing animals have advanced over geologic time to Earth's consistently altering environments, and even if the extinctions of sure species are common, in no different time within the planet's historical past has the extinction fee climbed as excessive because it is this day. explanations of this extraordinary extinction fee comprise destruction of flora and fauna habitat, pollutants, overfishing, and poaching. "Animals" illustrates those pressing concerns in a fashion obtainable to heart and highschool readers.

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As life evolves and adapts, biodiversity increases. There have, however, been periods in the Earth’s history when biodiversity crashes and much of the life disappears. When more than 50% of the Earth’s species vanish in a short geological time period of a few million years, this is called a mass extinction. Some scientists have suggested that there is a cycle of mass extinction with a major die off at a predictable interval. Most agree on six major extinctions during geologic time: (1) Late Cambrian, (2) Late Ordovician, (3) Late Devonian, (4) End Permian, (5) Late Triassic, and (6) End Cretaceous.

When scientists study the distribution of organisms today and relate them to the environmental variables that control those distributions, they can use this ­present-­day knowledge to reconstruct past environments by using fossilized remains that resemble modern organisms as paleo­ environmental indicators. A paleoenvironment is an environment that existed on the Earth in ancient times. Scientists study fossils, along with biostratigraphy (layers of rock of different ages with fossils embedded in them), to reconstruct these past environments.

A transform fault is where two plates slide past each other going in opposite directions. 35 36 animals The three types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform. The idea that the continents move is an old one; Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, proposed the theory of continental drift in the early 1900s. He believed that at one time the Earth had only one supercontinent, called Pangaea. Over geologic time, as shown in the illustration on page 37, this continent was thought to have broken up, and the individual pieces moved away from each other.

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