The dodo bird. The quagga. The Caspian tiger. These animals are in danger of becoming extinct. When a plant or animal is extinct, there are no more of its kind in the world. Since they have died, and no new members of the species are blooming or being born, they are gone forever. Most extinction happens gradually over time. However, some plants and animals become extinct quickly, as in the case of the dinosaur extinction, which happened 65 million years ago.
You may hear people talk about endangered species. How are endangered plants and animals different from extinct ones? If a plant or animal is endangered, it is at risk of becoming extinct. There may not be many left, but there are still living things of its kind in the world!
What if extinction could be prevented at times? For example, animals are often forced out of their homes when people build on their land. By making sure that areas of our cities and towns are left for the creatures and plants, we are helping to protect them. We can also make choices to reduce the amount of pollution in our world, and cut down on the number of animals we hunt and capture, especially if these animals are endangered!