What’s Eremozoic?

This blog takes its name from a word coined by biologist E.O.Wilson, who suggested “Eremozoic” as a suitable term for the next era of the Earth’s development.   Multicellular organisms have evolved over a period of about 542 million years, and scientists divide this almost unimaginable timescale into three eras – the Paleozoic, (“ancient life”), the Mesozoic (“middle life”), and the Cenozoic (“new life”).  It is this last era in which we now find ourselves, a period which has produced the incredible diversity of living things with which we share this planet.

There have been several mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history, the fifth having wiped out the dinosaurs at the end of the Mesozoic era around 65 million years ago.  Most biologists agree that we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction event, this time uniquely due to the activities of a single species – Homo sapiens.  It is thus reasonable to suggest that the Cenozoic is drawing to a close, and we are entering a new era for life on Earth, fittingly named the Eremozoic (“lonely / desolate life”).

The human hammer having fallen, the sixth mass extinction has begun. This spasm of permanent loss is expected, if it is not abated, to reach the end-of-Mesozoic level by the end of the century. We will then enter what poets and scientists alike may choose to call the Eremozoic Era — The Age of Loneliness. E.O.Wilson, “The Creation : an appeal to save life on Earth”, 2006.

7 thoughts on “What’s Eremozoic?”

  1. ForgiveThoseWhoTrollAgainstUs said:

    Beautiful quote !

    The Ginkgo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba) made it through from the Mesozoic era to today. Not bad going. I wonder what its formula for success is.

  2. Thank you i never heard of the word eremozoic although i prefer the more common word of anthropocene!!

  3. Ah, it is to the poets perspective I am drawn…
    Thanks for your visit.
    Everyday we should learn something new.
    On a good day maybe two!

  4. E. O. Wilson is my wife’s favorite author. She reads a lot of science. Before she buys a book, she always checks the Appendix to see if E.O. Wilson’s name is listed.
    Do you think humans will actually survive to see the Eremozoic Era?

  5. I’m depressed now……

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