I Heart Indies

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making the Most of What's Left

A Boston Terrier, Shaved, Slicked with Vaseline,
and Painted Green, Could Make an Acceptable Frog Substitute
Scientists have discovered that the biggest mass extinction on record, the Permian extinction, which occurred 250 million years ago, and wiped out 90% of lifeforms, had virtually no effect on the lifestyles on the ocean floor.  I know you're as relieved to hear this as I am.  To be clear, 90% of the marine species were gone for good, but the lifestyles they represented were filled by other organisms.  Only one lifestyle was lost: unattached and partly-buried in the sea floor, feeding on pieces of food that landed on the ocean bottom.  If you call that a lifestyle.

Anyway, the point is, even though nine out of ten species disappeared, it was business as usual on the ocean floor.

This is terrifically cheering news, people, and points out something the environmentalists never considered: the animals themselves don't notice when others die out.  An ostrich never looks at a turtle and asks, "You notice you haven't seen any dodos lately?"  Sure, some organisms are interdependent, so if, say, there's a mass extinction of bees due to insecticides, we may have a lot fewer flowers, but a daffodil's never going to think, "God, I'm so full of pollen I'm about to burst!  Where's that dang bee?"  And if frogs die out, which seems a possibility, mosquitoes aren't going to think, "Wow, life is sweet since all the frogs disappeared!  Now we can reproduce at will!  Buzzzz."

Granted, a wolf or coyote or something - assuming there's any left of those - might think, "I am so hungry I could eat a moose!  Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I saw a moose."  But then he'll either find something else to eat or else die, in which case none of the animals will miss him.

So the only ones who will actually miss extinct animals, think about them, feel regret - are humans.

Fortunately, this is easily remedied.  A can of white spray paint and voila, your ordinary brown bear is now a polar bear, or close enough.  Add some black touch-ups and presto!  A panda bear.  Basically any bear can be substituted for any other bear.  Some animals will be harder to replace, I know.  Frogs, which I mentioned earlier, the entire class, is under threat.  Not many people will miss them, I suppose, except when they wonder why there are so many more bugs, but again, this is why God gave us pesticide.  If you absolutely have to have a frog, get a Boston Terrier, one of those dogs with bug eyes, shave it, paint it green, and slaver it all over with Vaseline.  It will look nothing like a frog.  But you can pretend it looks like a frog, and when enough time elapses you've forgotten what frogs look like, it will look like a frog.

Problem solved.

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