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April 5th, 2013 (10:15 AM).
I agree with your 3 principles, but I maintain the optimism, arguing upon the same principles, that Mammoths can find a new niche. Invasive species are all about adaptation in a difference in space. I don't see why we should immediately disregard the possibility of adaptation through time.
It's not unnatural, because that word doesn't mean anything. Many ecological processes are subject to stochasticity, basically chaos. Mammoths are large mammals with low birth rates and long generation periods meaning the loss of any one animal is significant. A bad year in terms of famine or disease could wipe out subpopulations that are not replenished. This is a difficulty faced by all large mammals, whether you're dealing with elephants, lions, it whales.
Natural selection is not the survival of the fittest, which is a common misperception. There is no progression from less capable to more capable species.
Adaptivity must be contextuallized in terms of space and time. If the conditions that caused the mammoths to die out in the first place are gone, then they would be more adaptive now than they were when they went extinct. And like I said above, bad luck plays a factor. The scenarios you describe are possibilities, but I would not say a definite no because ecosystems are complex systems and I would not make your conclusions with little context.
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