The earth has experienced five mass extinctions since life first formed on this planet four billion years ago, with the result that 99.99 percent of every species the earth has ever seen is now extinct. Most scientists agree that we live now in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event, one potentially caused by human activity. What makes some species, like the passenger pigeon, honeybee or black rhinoceros, so vulnerable to extinction, while other species, like cockroaches, rats or coyotes defy countless, deliberate efforts to eradicate them?
Luke Strotz studies these conundrums of the natural world at the University of Kansas Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He speaks with Monday Buzz host Brian Standing now by phone from Lawrence, Kansas.
The Conversation | What makes some species more likely to go extinct?
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