[[image:space/showimage/200410126-001.jpg width="206" height="275"]]
external image 9780385468091.gifThe Sixth Extinction is a novel (picture on right) written by one of the world's most famous paleoanthropologist, Dr. Richard Leakey, and co-authored by science jounalist and author Roger Lewin. In this novel, Dr. Richard Leakey and science writer Roger Lewin argue that a Sixth Great Extinction of life on Earth is currently occurring. After examining The Five Mass Extinctions that have taken place before, and drawing parallels between these evolutionary crises and mankind's destruction of 50,000 species per year in the present due to several factors, they have drawn up one massive conclusion: life on Earth is in the midst of a Sixth Extinction.

The Five Mass Extinctions
There were previously Five Mass Extinctions recorded, and these occurred through different time frames. These all occurred millions, if not billions of years ago, and were caused through natural climate change, etc (FIND REASONS)

The Sixth Extinction
Compared to the previous Five Mass Extinctions, the Sixth Extinction is different because it isn't being caused by natural phenomenoms; it "is the next annihilation of vast numbers of species. It is happening now, and we, the human race, are its cause". (Richard Leakey) According to Dr. Richard Leakey, between 17,000 and 100,000 species vanish from our planet annually. "For the sake of the argument, let's assume the number is 50,000 a year", he says. "Whatever way you look at it, we're destroying the Earth at a rate comparable wit hthe impact of a giant asteroid slamming into the planet." When asked the question why, he simply used his staggering statistics that he assembled and stated "Factors such as increased population growth, rise in the reliance and use of fossil fuels, and the exploitation of the natural environment and ecosystems." All this threatens the entire complex fabric of life on Earth, including the species responsible for it: Homo Sapiens.

The sixth extinction can be divided into two distinct phases:
Phase 1: When humans began to migrate and disperse to diffrent parts of the world 100,000 year ago.
Phase 2: 10,000 years ago, when humans began using agriculture to survive.

These two phases help explain the reasons that the sixth extinction may occur in the near future, both of which happened after homo sapians arrived into the world. Here are a few reasons why homo sapians have encouraged the sixth extinction:

- They disrupt the ecosystem by overhunting other species, which never experience contact with human before.
- And perhaps they spread microbial diseases that affected other organisms.

Reasons for the Sixth Extinction:

1) 50,000 species go extinct annually
2) Global Warming
3) Changes in the Environment
3) Human migration causes other species to become extinct
4) Agriculture as an acceleration
5) Human population growth