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The Sixth Extinction (First Year Reading Pick, 2019)

The 2019 selection of Stevens' First Year Reading Program.

The Sixth Extinction: Species Affected by Homo Sapiens

Panamanian Golden Frog, by Brian Gratwicke, CC BY 2.0

Chapter 1: The Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki)

The Panamanian Golden Frog, photographed here by Brian Gratwicke (CC BY 2.0, image via Wikimedia), have been nearly wiped out due to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a species of chytrid fungi (pp. 4-22).

The Great Auk, woodcut, public domain

Chapter 3: The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis)

The Great Auk, seen here in a woodcut (public domain, via Wikimedia), was killed off by humans in the mid-19th century (pp. 47-69).

Coral reef off the coast of Australia, photograph by Petra Lundgren, Juan C Vera, Lesa Peplow, Stephanie Manel and Madeleine JH van Oppen, CC BY 4.0

Chapter 7: The Coral Reef (Acropora millepora)

The coral reef, seen here in a photograph titled "Colonias de Acropora millepora en la Gran Barrera de Arrecifes de Australia" by Petra Lundgren, Juan C Vera, Lesa Peplow, Stephanie Manel and Madeleine JH van Oppen (CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia), has been badly hurt by the increased acidity of the ocean (pp. 125-147)

Little brown bat, hanging in a cave, public domain

Chapter 10: The Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)

The little brown bat of North America, seen here in a photograph by Moriarty Marvin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain, via Wikimedia), has seen a great reduction in population due to the fungus Geomyces destructans, a species of fungus introduced somehow from Europe (pp. 193-216).

The Sumatran rhino, photo by Willem v Strien, CC BY 2.0

Chapter 11: The Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

The Sumatran rhino, photographed in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, Way Kambas, Sumatra, Indonesia, by Willem v Strien (CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia), has been brought close to extinction by deforestation and poaching (pp. 217-235).

Skull of a Neanderthal, discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, photo by Luna 04, CC BY 2.5

Chapter 12: The Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis)

The Neanderthal species of human, seen here in a photo by Luna04 (CC by 2.5, via Wikimedia, discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints), was wiped out by early Homo sapiens (pp. 236-258). 

Melting Ice Caps