The Mother of Mass Extinctions: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago with Douglas Erwin and discussant David Krakauer.
During the greatest biodiversity crisis in the history of life some 250 million years ago, over 90 percent of all the species in the oceans died off in just a few hundred thousand years. Douglas Erwin, author of the new book "Extinction! How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago" discusses his research in China, South Africa and the western US in search of the causes and consequences of this great mass extinction- Santa Fe Institute
Douglas H. Erwin
Doug Erwin is a Senior Scientist and Curator of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D. C., as well as a part-time Resident Faculty member of SFI. His research involves a variety of aspects of the history of life and evolution, including ecological and developmental aspects of the origin of animals, the causes and consequences of the great end-Permian mass extinction some 252 million years ago, and the evolutionary history of really old snails.
His latest project is a book on evolutionary innovation through the history of life, which will also explore the similarities and differences between economic and biological innovation. Various field projects have taken Doug repeatedly to China, South Africa and Namibia, and he has done geological field work in various other regions as well.
Erwin received an A.B. from Colgate University in 1980 and a Ph. D from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985. He is the author or editor of six books, including Extinction: How life nearly died 250 million years ago published in December 2005 by Princeton University Press. Doug has been Co-Editor of Paleobiology and is a member of the Science Board of Reviewing Editors and the editorial boards of a number of other journals. He has served in a variety of advisory capacities to the Smithsonian, NASA, NSF, the NRC and other agencies, and as Interim Director of the National Museum of Natural History.
David Krakauer is a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.
Dying out or termination of a species. It occurs when a species can no longer reproduce at replacement levels. Most past extinctions are thought to have resulted from environmental changes that the doomed species was either unable to adapt to or that caused it to adapt so thoroughly that it became a distinctly new species. The effect of humans on the environment, through hunting, collecting, and habitat destruction, has become the principal factor in plant and animal extinctions.
When he initiated the saying that 'cockroaches were almost extinct... etc', I think that kinda confirmed the fact he was in a state of intoxication anyway. I almost expected him to wobble even more across the platform. But the long pauses are sometimes peculiar and up to a point of being embarrassing.
"Οποιος αγαπεί τον εμφύλιο, δεν εχεί πατρίδα" - Whoever desires civil war is homeless - Aristophanes (446-385 B.C.)