Danilo Cedrone, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/Wikimedia Commons

Extinction of large sea creatures could collapse ecosystems

Humans selectively fish out the largest species from Earth’s oceans, causing their populations to dwindle. If that weren’t alarming enough, the extinction of those animals—think great white shark, bluefin tuna, and blue whale—could ripple down the food chain and spell extinction for entire ecosystems. This is the conclusion of a new study published online today in Science, where researchers compared extinction threats in today’s oceans versus ancient oceans. The upside: There’s a chance to avert what would become the next mass extinction event entirely by protecting larger swaths of oceans, much like President Barack Obama did last month.

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