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mass extinctions

A Seychelles magpie-robin at the protected Cousin Island Special Reserve in Seychelles. James Warwick/Getty Images hide caption

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James Warwick/Getty Images

Opinion: 1 Million Species Are At Risk Of Disappearing. Humans Should Act Now

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Paleontologist Peter Ward speaking on the TED stage. Andrew Heavens/TED hide caption

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Andrew Heavens/TED

Are We Headed Into Another Mass Extinction?

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Geophysicists announced this week that they have successfully collected key samples from the site of the asteroid strike that likely wiped out the dinosaurs. Joe Tucciarone/Science Source hide caption

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Joe Tucciarone/Science Source

Geologists Find Clues In Crater Left By Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid

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Earth has been many different planets in its long history — and could be more. Some imaginary views are shown here. Top (from left): a water world before large-scale continents had formed; a "snowball" Earth phase with extreme glaciation; and a world shrouded in smoke after a large asteroid impact. Bottom: Earth today; Earth losing its oceans as the sun becomes hotter; and a final scorched Earth. Courtesy of Don Brownlee, University of Washington hide caption

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Courtesy of Don Brownlee, University of Washington