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Changes in the environment

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Extinction

A species becomes extinct when there are no more individuals of that species left. An extinct species has gone forever.

Here are some of the things that can cause a species to become extinct:

  • a new disease

  • a new predator

  • a change in the physical environment, such as a change in the long-term temperature or rainfall patterns

  • competition from another species that is better adapted, including competition from humans

For example, dinosaurs became extinct millions of years ago. This was probably due to changes in the environment. But many species have become extinct more recently because of competition from humans.

The dodo

lithograph of now extinct dodo

The now extinct dodo

The dodo was a flightless bird found on the island of Mauritius. It became extinct in the seventeenth century because of human activities. Humans disturbed the dodo's habitat and also brought new predators to the island, like pigs and dogs.

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