Thursday, October 18, 2007
Amphibians Face Extinction
Scientists were shocked to find that an entire class of organisms are at the brink of extinction. These are the amphibians. Amphibians have a harder time with global warming than mammals and other organisms, because their bodies have permeable skin that absorbs water and oxygen, and their lives depend on clean and fresh water. About 122 species of amphibians have already gone extinct, with 5,734 known species. But scientists believe that both figures could be underestimates because of all the unknown species. The latest threat, being a rapidly spreading fungal disease, is is predicted to wipe out about half the amphibian species exposed to it within six months. Chytridiomycosis, which damages the skin, is caused most by climate change and polluted water.