The video “When will the next mass extinction occur?” is a short informative film about Earth’s history of major mass extinctions that occurred since the beginning of time. It provides an insight as to how life on Earth continually changed and how this change is relevant to modern species.

Three Questions the Video Answers

  1. Have you ever wondered if dinosaurs were the only species to undergo a mass extinction?
  2. Would you like to know what other extinctions have occurred on Earth?
  3. Have you ever been confused by early hominoids causing the extinction of large mammals?

Key Terms

Mass Extinction: Many species become extinct at the same time due to a sudden environmental change such as those caused by a change in climate, asteroids, volcanic eruptions, and human activity.

Early Hominoid: An early member of the family of primates that includes humans.

Asteroid: Rocky bodies in space that are much larger than meteorites. They can be the size of a large metropolitan city such as Toronto.

Loose Ends

1) It is believed that the rise of early hominoids caused the extinction of large mammals due to the sophisticated tool making and hunting techniques that became a survival mechanism. However, it may have been the case instead that 150, 000 years ago, large mammals could not adapt to the sudden changing environment and climate.

2) When massive ice sheets formed, species either migrated or adapted. An example of this is the polar bear. Today, due to a warming climate on Earth that is causing the ice sheets to melt, polar bears are finding it hard to adapt to the dramatic change in their environment. Therefore, this species is in danger of becoming extinct.

Self-Test Questions

Shared by: Kendra Albert and The Editor

Item Credit: Borths, D'Emic, and Pritchard

Reuse License:

Copy/Paste Text Attribution

Copy/Paste HTML Attribution