Extinction ‘Gene’: Why Some Species Are More at Risk

In the tree of life, we often envision evolution working like a patient gardener, pruning species that don’t quite fit, bit by bit. But that’s not how extinction works in practice. Throughout our planet’s history, mass extinction has occurred five times — most recently 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs finally died out — taking out vast amounts of life all at once, usually due to a catastrophic and sudden climatic change