Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment
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It makes sure too many animals don't take over a certain land.
Some insects eat others.. without spiders.. we'd probably have too many flies zooming about.
Without some animals as predators, other animals might eat up all of the fruits on a tree, or else all of the other vegetation other animals eat to survive.
Preadors are the motor of evolution. The organisms with the highest fitness will never get caught by predators, those with lower fitness will... That is how the species keeps evolving...
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
Animals that are unable to compete in the environment become sickly and they die due to lack of basic needs to sustain them. The predator helps to control this situation. Human beings have no real predators, other than themselves and have now over populated to the extent that we have those who are unable to compete with other human beings in the world and are now impoverished due to the fact. We often see this example but we never really realize it or if we do we ignore the situation.
I would not advocate the predation of the human species but it is a good example of over population due to the lack of predators. I enjoyed reading the responses posted to this question so far. They too are all correct and/or viable.
Ken Ramos, Aviation Ordnanceman USN Ret.
Western North Carolina
"If you see an explosives handler running...try to keep up with him!"
Ken's Nature Study
Predation is just one form of selection. There is also competition, sexual selection, kin selection, and niche specificity.
Predators have been shown to act as a controlling agent over multiple competing populations, keeping any one population from outcompeting the other.
From my point of view, predators are the most important selection factor. I am not saying they are the only one. But in nature, you will see examples of evolution due to the existance of predators at every step
"Important" is a big word, and I don't think I quite agree with you on that point. I'm of the opinion that the changing environment is the overall selective force that drives all others. Predation is a secondary life-strategy, following primary consumption. Primary consumption relies directly on the environment for resources. Take tropical rainforests for example. Primary production and biodiversity are immense in those ecosystems because the climate allows for mass photosynthesis with minimal dessication.
Looking into the evolutionary past of the American Northwest, we see that it too was at one time a rainforest, and that the native flora and fauna are, in a large part, remnants of that time. The biodiversity and production of the Northwest are much less than they were then, due to changing climate. The species that have persisted, did so by adjusting to the climate, not necessarily predation.
I'm not saying predation isn't a large force in evolution, in fact I agree that it is one of the most influential, but when you think about evolution, you simply cannot concentrate on one factor, especially to the point of excluding others.
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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