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Re: mammal mystery



In a message dated 97-02-17 13:00:41 EST, martz@holly.ColoState.EDU (Jeffrey
Martz) writes:

<< 99.99% of all species are extinct- I wouldn't say that means that
 life is endangered.  Species go extinct over time, and if you have a long
 lived lineage, the further along you go, the more and more species will
 have inevitably gone extinct.  That doesn't mean the lineage itself is
 dwindleing. You may have 20 children, but the fact that you have 20
 gazillion dead ancestors doesn't mean your line is dying out.>>

I think here we need a specific definition of what "successful" means in this
context. Is it longevity of lineage, fecundity and diversity of lineages, or
some combination (which?) of these?

<<       Also, applying the results of human activities to ecological changes
 and extinctions across all geologic time is a little innapropriate. >>

Why? Humanity is as much an agent of species extinction as, say, an impacting
asteroid.