Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some species must run, some drive

sea otter with gorgeous fur
happy to have survived the let's-wear'otter-fur craze
photo: Michael L. Baird, Encyclopedia of Life
We humans pretty well dominate this planet, to either the detriment or advantage of other species.

Animals that suffer from humankind's expansion, such as those considered threatened with extinction, tend to fall into several categories:
  • they require big areas to find enough food (i.e. prey, like wolves or jaguars),
  • they come from a really small area (lemurs, found only in Madagascar)
  • they specialize on specific resources (owls or parrots that nest in large tree cavities, orangutans need tall forest),
  • they have body parts that people like to eat or wear (elephant ivory, rhino horn, tiger bones and penises, tuna flesh, whale oil, otter and seal fur).
Often, more than one of these characteristics applies.

on the other side of the fence...some of us will eat anything
On the other side of the fence, some species have just figured out how to thrive in human-dominated landscapes.

Various livestock species, while not living freely, have trumped most species in terms of their biological fitness, since their genes are found across the globe.

Dogs, cats, rats, pigeons, mosquitoes, raccoons, among others, have also all benefited from living near people.

Dogs in Russia seem particularly good at it, and here is another example. Enjoy.

somewhere in Russia... (unexpected ending)

And have a look at 10 more Russian dash-cam videos, crazier than this one.