Size Matters When It Comes to the Odds of Extinction


Photo Courtesy of National Newspaper

Scientists have come to the conclusion that a major factor as to whether an animal  becomes extinct or not is their size. Also called the  ‘Goldilocks’ Zone’, animals likely to survive over time are not too big and not too small. The smaller animals are at risk due to pollution and logging, whereas the the larger animals are at risk because of humans, according to

“The largest vertebrates are mostly threatened by the direct killing of humans” stated a group led by Professor Bill  Ripple at Oregon State University. “Whereas the smallest species are more likely to have restricted geographic ranges-an important predictor of extinction risk-and be habitat degradation,” as reported by BBC NEWS.

An example of this might be the Hammerhead Shark, also known as a Sphyrnidae. It is one of the most recognizable sharks out of about 440 species because of its wide T-shaped head and wide set of eyes, according to, this animal is under threat from Illegal fishing by humans.

“Surprisingly, we found that not only are the largest of all vertebrates are at risk of extinction, but also the very tiniest ones are also highly threatened with extinction,” stated  Professor Ripple, such as the elephant, which has been going extinct for a long time now. They are dying out due to poaching and habitat destruction.”

Researchers believe that by 2020 elephants will be extinct, reported BBC News. This research adds to the existing evidence that animals are dying out on such a scale due to the fact that a  sixth extinction is considered underway. People are the ones hunting These endangered species.They’re not dying out because of natural causes, added the source.

Amongst  5,000 species of frogs, 200 species have already become extinct with hundreds possibly on the way. More research has been done on the matter, and it all comes back to what Professor Ripple said. The “Goldilocks Theory” supports what experts are saying has led to the extinction of many of these frogs: logging, and environmental changes,

Animals, big and small, are becoming extinct because of logging, pollution, poaching, habitat destruction and other “man made” reasons. And if any of this continues, animals that have been around for more than 2.6 million may be extinct by 2020.

“All creatures are deserving of a life free from fear and pain.” stated Farmhouse Sanctuary founder Maura Cummings;. This sanctuary, which is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, started rescuing animals in March of 2016 after they rescued 5 Indian runner ducklings. Now, it is planning on becoming a full on sanctuary along with their all vegan cafe. In the near future they plan to start rescuing more and more animals.