Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Extinction Reading List

(Updated 4th Oct 2008)

At the moment we are in the middle of the Holocene extinction event. It is an event that is long in human terms (tens of thousands of years to approximately a 100,000 years); nevertheless, it is a short extinction event compared to other extinction events. Consider, for example, that the late Devonian extinction event lasted 500,000 to 15 million years. 

I know next to nothing about this area, and I find it fascinating. 

What happens to species after extinction events? Who survives? What traits or attributes are common to survivors? What about weird, postulated extinction events? The doomsday equation. What is the fate of the universe?

Books to read

Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Dinosaur Extinction and the Transformation of Modern Geology by James Lawrence Powell

The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species by Scott Weidensau (The search for lost species. What happens when someone sights, what was once thought to be, an extinct species).

No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen

Extinct Humans by Ian Tattersall (Our extinct close relatives).

Related reading lists

Biology, Evolution, Disasters,