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 Book: The Serengeti Rules

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Book: The Serengeti Rules   Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:34 am

Sean Carroll’s new (2016) book is about ecology.  Ecology of biomes, ecology of organisms.  How living creatures, and societies of living creatures, are largely self-regulating.  If a critter gets a bacterial infection, its body temperature goes up to kill off the bacteria.  If an environment gets overrun by, say, snakes, then the population of mongooses will explode until the snakes are in check and the excess mongooses die off.

So far nothing very revelatory.

Does make me wonder, however, if global warming might create more arable land leading to more food supply for the growing human population.  Or it could just as easily lead to a rapid die off of the overabundant species.

Hard to tell with these things.  Zero predictive power.  Only useful in explaining history.
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PostSubject: Re: Book: The Serengeti Rules   Thu May 03, 2018 6:13 pm

No-hum. Carnivores eat herbivores who eat plants. Not enough plants = decreasing herbivores = decreasing carnivores. Too many carnivores = not enough herbivores = too many plants. Everything’s connected, and self-regulating.

Example: reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone helped the Aspen forests, because the wolves ate the ruminants that ate the aspen shoots.

Not really revolutionary.
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