Evolution and Biodiversity
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Please read Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. This book
documents ongoing biodiversity loss and argues that we are in the middle of a 6th mass
extinction, comparable in scale to the 5 mass extinctions that have occurred in the past.
Like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book sounds an alarm to do something about this
devastating loss of life on the planet.
As you read the book, please summarize the main point or focus of each chapter. These
responses should be concise, no more than a few sentences for each chapter, but written out
in complete sentences, typed using 12-point font, and double-spaced. You just need to
respond to the 13 chapters, not the prologue or epilogue.
In addition, you will note that each chapter of Kolbert’s book examines the loss of a
particular species. Please identify one species that either recently went extinct or is
currently endangered that Kolbert did not include in her book. Then write two paragraphs
– one describing the species, and a second describing why it is going or went extinct. If you
use outside sources, you should cite them, as always. You can use any style you want, but
be sure to be consistent (that is, don’t mix and match different styles).
Please upload your chapter summaries/reflections as well as the two additional paragraphs
on the date noted on the syllabus.