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Above, modern human encroachment on Neanderthal-dominated territory. Hypotheses for the causes include conflict, competition and inter-breeding with modern humans, and failure to adapt to climate change. The answer is most likely a combination of any of these.

Possibly the first appearance of smallpox, it began with the Huns. Through their conquest, it was passed on to the Germans, who infected the Romans, whose troops returned and brought it to the Roman empire. This pandemic continued until about 180 AD and killed Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Between 1096 and 1271, the Christian Church and Kingdoms of Europe led the Crusades, which were quests to wrest control of the Holy Land from Islamic rule. This resulted in the weakening of the Islamic Empire and the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire through the sack of Constantinople.

Graph above depicting increased recorded extinction rates (IUCN Red List), and inset graph showing CO2 and Human Population levels in the last 500 years.

Over the next 1.6 Million years, a number of large animals will naturally go extinct due to various causes considered natural (Stegomastodon).

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