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August 03, 2020 - Big Think

Why are there so many humans?

Why are there so many humans?
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Something curious happened in human population history over the last 1 million years.

First, our numbers fell to as low as 18,500, and our ancestors were more endangered than chimpanzees and gorillas. Then we bounced back to extraordinary levels, far surpassing the other great apes.

Today the total population of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans is estimated to be only around 500,000, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Many species are critically endangered. Meanwhile, the human population has surged to 7.7 billion. And the irony is: Our astonishing ability to multiply now threatens the long-term sustainability of many species, including ours.

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