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Emory University

Extinctions: Past, Present, & Future

Emory University via Coursera


This course introduces you to the five mass extinctions of the pre-human past, their causes and significance to the history of life on earth, and the current mass extinction happening during our time. We’ll also explore the history of paleontology and geological study and review the key players that influenced the science today.

Regardless of your familiarity with the topic, you'll get portable handouts, lively demonstrations, and quizzes that bridge and enhance your knowledge.


  • Introduction to Extinctions: Getting Started with the End
  • Human Awareness of Extinctions: A History
  • Mass Extinctions of the Pre-Human Past
  • Extinctions of Pre-History & Near-Present (Pleistocene Epoch & Late Holocene Epoch)
  • Extinctions Since European Colonization & Going into the Future

Taught by

Anthony J. Martin


4.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 97 ratings

Start your review of Extinctions: Past, Present, & Future

  • This course walked us through extinctions in the past and talked about how we might avoid them in the future. I liked having links to articles that I could read (even if a couple of them were behind subscription walls). The only downside was that you had to pay for the course to "complete" it and I didn't want to do that. I was able to do everything except the weekly quizzes and the assignment at the end and I was okay with that.

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