Almost everywhere we went, humankind erased a world of wonders, changing the way the biosphere functions. For instance, modern humans arrived in Europe and Australia at about the same time – between 40 and 50,000 years ago – with similar consequences.
In Europe, where animals had learned to fear previous versions of the bipedal ape, the extinctions happened slowly. Within some 10 or 15,000 years, the continent had lost its straight-tusked elephants, forest rhinos, hippos, hyenas and monstrous scimitar cats.
In Australia, where no hominim had set foot before modern humans arrived, the collapse was almost instant. The rhinoceros-sized wombat, the ten-foot kangaroo, the marsupial lion, the monitor lizard larger than a Nile crocodile, the giant marsupial tapir, the horned tortoise as big as a car – all went, in ecological terms, overnight.
All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena
Humans and Biosphere
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My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension. Flesh eating is unprovoked murder.
A tree is a plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years.
A variety of plant species have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches to compete for sunlight. In more general sense, tall palms, tree ferns, bananas and bamboos are also trees. The roots branch out under the ground to anchor the tree and to extract moisture and nutrients from the soil. Above ground, the branches usually bear leaves, which capture light.
Trees reduce erosion and moderate the climate. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants. Some trees provide edible fruit.