General, Research, Technology

How has artificial intelligence changed the way scientists think about the animal kingdom?

Some people are seriously concerned thattoday, many species of animals are on the verge of complete extinction. But in fact, the extinction of entire species is a natural process that has occurred at all times. According to paleontologists, 95% of all animals that have ever existed on our planet have already completely disappeared. But sometimes there are mass extinctions, during which thousands of animal species disappear from the face of the Earth at a time. For a long time, scientists were sure that after the mass extinction, there is an active emergence of new species of animals. But recently, artificial intelligence studied data on 170 thousand animal species that have become extinct over the past 540 thousand years. And in the course of studying this information, the computer came to very interesting conclusions.

Artificial intelligence may have turned scientists' view of mass extinctions

Animal mass extinctions

Scientists have always believed that after massiveof extinction, new species of animals appear due to the fact that "free places" simply appear for them. To test this theory, Japanese scientists allowed artificial intelligence to study data on how some species of animals died out and others appeared over hundreds of thousands of years. The computer was able to isolate 5% of the most important mass extinctions and animal births. These, of course, include the five largest mass extinctions in Earth's history:

  • Ordovician-Silurian extinction, which happened 450-443 million years ago and led to the disappearance of many marine life, trilobites and other ancient creatures;
  • Devonian extinction, which happened 372 million years ago, during which many aquatic inhabitants also died out, mainly due to a lack of oxygen;
  • permian extinction, what happened 253-251 million years ago and exterminated 96% of marine and 73% of land animals;
  • Triassic extinction, which happened 208-200 million years ago, which destroyed large amphibians and, allegedly, made way for the appearance of dinosaurs;
  • Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, which occurred 65.5 million years ago and killed many birds, lizards and dinosaurs.

Besides these, there were other mass extinctions,but not so large and significant for our planet. As a rule, representatives of different animal species exist for up to 10 million years. Then they disappear without a trace or evolve, which can also be considered the extinction of the original species. But after mass extinctions, the same number of new species of animals appeared on our planet. As mentioned, this had to happen due to the fact that a place was made available in the world for new organisms. But artificial intelligence has come to the conclusion that there is nothing in common between mass extinctions and nucleation. That is, new species of animals appeared not because of the emergence of a "free niche", but for completely different reasons.

95% of all animals that have existed on our planet have already become extinct. Image shows long-extinct trilobites

See also: Biologists threaten the "Sixth mass extinction" of plants and animals

Revolutionary discovery

Now scientists believe that new species of animalscould arise due to the fact that the surviving organisms mastered new habitats. Once all living creatures were in the water, but then extinction occurred and the surviving creatures began to get out onto land. And already on the surface, animals have an incentive to evolve and divide into new species. But this assumption still needs to be discussed by more competent scientists. If they decide that artificial intelligence is right, then evolutionary biology will be revolutionized.

Scientists seem to have a misconception about animal history

Some species of animals are disappearing even now.However, in most cases, their extinction is associated with human activities. We pollute nature very much, which caused the start of global warming. In 2019, the Australian authorities announced the complete extinction of the mosaic-tailed rats (Melomys rubicola) and the reason for this was the increase in air temperature on our planet.

The extinction of mosaic-tailed rats became known in 2019

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Based on everything written above, maybeit seems that a new mass extinction is inevitable and a completely natural process. But you and I are intellectually developed creatures and we may well avoid another natural disaster. Or do you think that nothing will come of humanity and that extinction will happen anyway? You can share your opinion on this in our Telegram chat.