Extinction occurs when a particular species completely disappears from the planet. Extinction has been going on since life began on Earth, but today, it is happening faster than ever before.
Species disappear because of changes that are caused either by nature or by the actions of people. Sometimes a terrible natural event, like a volcano erupting, can kill an entire species. Other times, extinction will happen slowly as nature changes the world. For example, after the Ice Ages, when the glaciers melted and Earth became warmer, many species died because they could not live in a warmer climate. Newer species that could survive a warmer environment took their places. Current practices that contribute to extinction are habit destruction, pollution, invasive species, moving species from the wild into captivity and many others. (Source: EPA / Photo: Flickr)

This critically endangered skink is getting its own tropical island

7 interesting facts about Lucy the ancient ape

Most Americans support the Endangered Species Act — but that might not matter

Earth's tiniest porpoise approaches extinction

Why the extinction of nearly 600 plant species in 250 years is a big deal

5 reasons why biodiversity is a big deal

Drone reveals 'extinct' Hawaiian flower growing on remote cliff

Why the loss of amphibians matters

Cells from a 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth have been 'revived'

How to stop worrying about cockroaches and learn to love our 6-legged overlords

'Extinct' Galapagos giant tortoise rediscovered 100 years later

For the first time, a mammal species is extinct because of human-induced climate change