There have been five mass extinctions in the past. This book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History shows that we are currently going through the sixth one. And that we, humans are responsible for this undergoing mass extinction event. And, that there is still hope and more importantly, evidence, for improvement.
This book starts with history and slowly comes to the present. It includes amphibians, mastodons, auks, corals, forests and agriculture, and also why we, homo sapiens, made the Neanderthals and homo erectus extinct, among others. A chapter by chapter summary of the book is available on Wikipedia.
Here are some excerpts.
|The trunk in elephant-like animals evolved five times separately!|
|Georges Cuvier: The father of paleontology|
|Darwin and his guru, Charles Lyell|
|We humans are the worst.|
|"Long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic."|
|Back to school.|
|Human impact on world geology.|
|Ocean acdification and mass extinctions.|
|Are we living in the twilight of the corals?|
|Speculating why more species live in the tropics.|
|Who would have thought some species can migrate so much in response to ecological changes?|
|Climate change and borders.|
|We, and all other species are cold-adapted.|
|Insects are everywhere, and outnumbering everyone.|
|Islands on land: indeed.|
|Humans: contributing to extinctions since prehistoric times!|
|Neanderthals: cultured or not?|
|In little parts, we are all Neanderthals.|
|From The Madness Gene, the second to last chapter.|
A very eye opening and overall knowledge expanding book.