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(BBC)   Two hundred thousand years ago, the world's most powerful predator arrived: Humans. So why haven't animals evolved effective defenses against us? Here's why   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 200
    More: Interesting, fishing fleets, megafauna, history of life, Baja California, evolutionary arms race, scientific papers  
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34277 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Feb 2012 at 6:47 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-17 10:49:37 PM
Some have.

Cute puppies and kittehs, for example.
 
2012-02-18 12:15:00 AM

crypticsatellite: Some have.

Cute puppies and kittehs, for example.


Yeast is pretty happy with us as its slave.
 
2012-02-18 01:22:48 AM

GranoblasticMan: Yeast is pretty happy with us as its slave.


There's another defense not considered.
Instead of trying to become too big to hunt, you can become too small to be worth the trouble.
 
2012-02-18 01:32:38 AM
It's because we got a version of the Konami code:

hurvitz.org

/cue sprach Zarathustra
 
2012-02-18 01:38:32 AM
Because Jesus. That's why.
 
2012-02-18 02:18:16 AM
They may have evolved to a tiny extent, but technology tends to outpace evolution by orders of magnitude.

Not all species are incapable of evolving quickly enough. Look no farther than antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
 
2012-02-18 04:13:06 AM
It's rather hard to evolve a defense when humans decide to go after a population en masse. When humans go after a population simply to kill as many as possible as fast as possible, there's no real time to evolve any sort of defense. And given how humans go after populations, well armor plating is not the sort of thing you can evolve.
 
2012-02-18 04:33:39 AM
Short answer: It hasn't been long enough yet.
 
2012-02-18 06:04:04 AM
Look at the Gypsy moth, it adapted rapidly (grey to black then black to grey). Yet throughout all, it was still a moth.

Evolution/adaptation (there is a difference) doesn't respect time. The conclusion misses the mark. The assumptions made in the article and in this thread are not feasible and do not consider history. We are taught that this is what causes micro-evolution.
 
2012-02-18 06:53:55 AM
God bestowed us with dominion over the animals... duh.

They cant out evolve God's will. Sheesh.
 
2012-02-18 06:54:00 AM
inb4 creationist maniacs.
 
2012-02-18 06:54:23 AM
Let me guess, because f*** you that's why?

/tldr
 
2012-02-18 06:54:50 AM

Edge.bot: inb4 creationist maniacs.


Ha ha, too late.
 
2012-02-18 07:01:25 AM

abb3w: GranoblasticMan: Yeast is pretty happy with us as its slave.

There's another defense not considered.
Instead of trying to become too big to hunt, you can become too small to be worth the trouble.


or just try becoming useful like cats and dogs. or tasty and docile. that works too because then we want to keep you around. yes not so good for the individual but definitely good for the species. e.g. sheep.
 
2012-02-18 07:03:18 AM
For most of the time, humans weren't populous enough to matter.

DAILY selective pressure didn't start on animals from humans until about ten thousand years ago, in some places much later than that. Plus, in some places it wasn't ever all that effective in the first place. (Lookin at you Australia)

Being big was negated by flint napping and stone tools which allowed spears and effective arrows.

Humans (those wonderful ecological and balanced first Americans) wiped out the giant ground sloth, North American Mastodon, Whooly Rhino and a bunch of others. Same thing happened much earlier in Europe and Asia.

Agriculture caused a bunch of changes, domestication of stuff beyond dogs and a few herbivores, and put a lot more pressure on the remaining hunt-able animals because suddenly there were lots more humans.

Note that most of the changes in breeds humans take advantage of now is changes in two types:

1. behavior where the software is easy to change.
2. neoteny where a ceasation of development in the brain or sometimes slightly the body

Those are one or two gene flips, not whole new construction of stuff to deal with humans.

There's very little evolution can do against a fast developing culture, economy, and technology-having species like humans.

That's why we'll have a short stay on Earth, we'll push it out of the envelope where we can live too. Animals will come back, we won't. If something like us comes along, it won't be us.

Note however, there are things on this planet that evolve very fast. Eventually, one will stumble on something that uses us to be successful in a massive way. That might turn out OK for us, but it probably wont.
 
2012-02-18 07:04:05 AM
Well that was a really long-winded way of basically saying, "Because tools."

/Article never really answers the question, just slops examples around
//Leaving disappointed
 
2012-02-18 07:04:51 AM
Wonder Monkeys? Wonder Apes for crying out loud. The Lord God saw fit to make us apes, not monkeys. Get it right, BBC.
 
2012-02-18 07:04:58 AM
Our predation is driven primarily by technology. Asking why whales didn't develop defenses against harpoons is like asking why scribes didn't develop defenses against the printing press.
 
2012-02-18 07:06:53 AM

WhyteRaven74: It's rather hard to evolve a defense when humans decide to go after a population en masse. When humans go after a population simply to kill as many as possible as fast as possible, there's no real time to evolve any sort of defense. And given how humans go after populations, well armor plating is not the sort of thing you can evolve.


And it wouldnt do any good. T72 tanks evolved armor plating in plenty of time for the Gulf War. If we want it dead, its dead. That goes for pretty much anything.
 
2012-02-18 07:08:47 AM
Because any time the animals are preparing to make a giant evolutionary leap forward they notice that we still build things like the Creation Museum and they think "eh, no rush."
 
2012-02-18 07:10:12 AM
Bring it.

i265.photobucket.com
 
2012-02-18 07:13:42 AM
Cylons. Where do you think Bob Dylan and CP/M came from?
 
2012-02-18 07:13:50 AM
We continual hunt the largest animal of any specifies as some sort of treasure or prize. We still lose regularly to viral evolution all the time, it seems to be the one thing that we cannot get our heads around, we cannot hunt and have extreme difficulties killing. Every few years it changes how it works to effectively infect/kiss us better.

parasitic/viral I would say are the best hunters of humans out there, whether it's the intention or not.
 
2012-02-18 07:13:52 AM
OK, that was stupid.

/wonders if that guy understands evolution even slightly
 
2012-02-18 07:16:12 AM

ByOwlLight: Well that was a really long-winded way of basically saying, "Because tools."

/Article never really answers the question, just slops examples around
//Leaving disappointed


1stgenwhtrash: Wonder Monkeys? Wonder Apes for crying out loud. The Lord God saw fit to make us apes, not monkeys. Get it right, BBC.


This. And this.
 
2012-02-18 07:20:39 AM

abb3w: GranoblasticMan: Yeast is pretty happy with us as its slave.

There's another defense not considered.
Instead of trying to become too big to hunt, you can become too small to be worth the trouble.


Came to say this. I've actually seen this happen, particularly with fish. As the generations pass, the popular fishing holes change as the largest of the school get harvested off, kind of a natural cycle of fishery management almost.
 
2012-02-18 07:22:05 AM

FenixStorm1: We continual hunt the largest animal of any specifies as some sort of treasure or prize. We still lose regularly to viral evolution all the time, it seems to be the one thing that we cannot get our heads around, we cannot hunt and have extreme difficulties killing. Every few years it changes how it works to effectively infect/kiss us better.

parasitic/viral I would say are the best hunters of humans out there, whether it's the intention or not.


"There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die."
 
2012-02-18 07:23:55 AM
The best defense against extinction in the human age?

Be docile and taste well.

Cows and chicken will thrive as long as humans are in charge.
 
2012-02-18 07:26:24 AM

profplump: Our predation is driven primarily by technology. Asking why whales didn't develop defenses against harpoons is like asking why scribes didn't develop defenses against the printing press.


To be fair, most people don't even understand the basics of biology let alone evolution. It's baffling to many that an evolved biological trait for cultured behavior could result in change faster in a population than morphological adaptation. Unless you're a virus.
 
2012-02-18 07:27:07 AM

jafiwam: Note however, there are things on this planet that evolve very fast. Eventually, one will stumble on something that uses us to be successful in a massive way. That might turn out OK for us, but it probably wont.


Infectious diseases come to mind. For most of our history we had very few tools to fight them (i.e. we were limited to our evolved natural defenses), and they regularly adapted to us to continue using us as hosts. And we still have trouble fighting certain classes of infectious diseases.

Arguably many infectious organisms that require human-to-human transmission have adapted to us by being not terribly dangerous; there's some correlation between how well a disease can survive/spread outside of the human body and how deadly that disease is. For example, the collection of diseases that make up "the common cold" are clearly successful as a population, despite being destroyed quite readily by almost every human that infect. This is due in no small part to the fact that they don't make us sick enough to die or even stay in bed, so they can reproduce and get passed around before they are destroyed in their original host. Even if we had an effective technological treatment for the cold, unless it took effect faster than our natural defenses we'd probably never both deploying it.
 
2012-02-18 07:27:17 AM
Because the animals know they can just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves?
 
2012-02-18 07:27:35 AM

EnviroDude: Look at the Gypsy moth, it adapted rapidly (grey to black then black to grey). Yet throughout all, it was still a moth.

Evolution/adaptation (there is a difference) doesn't respect time. The conclusion misses the mark. The assumptions made in the article and in this thread are not feasible and do not consider history. We are taught that this is what causes micro-evolution.


Arguable evo/ada does respect time. Generational differences require..generations. Which require gestation and sexual maturity. Animals which have severely short gestation and maturation periods simply evolve faster due to pressure; in your example of the insects, they fit the bill. Large numbers of eggs, short life cycles.

Humans on the other hand, take 9 months and 10-14 years to reach sexual maturity, and in modern times,often don't procreate until 20+. That's a hell of a generational cycle for evolution.
 
2012-02-18 07:28:54 AM

Bastinado: OK, that was stupid.

/wonders if that guy understands evolution even slightly


You've clearly established your own qualifications to make such an assessment.
 
2012-02-18 07:29:27 AM
An interesting point is that they say we KILL more large animals, not that we hunt and kill more large animals. Since cows are large animals and goats are not makes the article pretty self serving since America produces more beef than any other country yet more goat is eaten worldwide than beef. Hmmmmm
 
2012-02-18 07:32:36 AM
liquorlocusts.com

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: FenixStorm1: We continual hunt the largest animal of any specifies as some sort of treasure or prize. We still lose regularly to viral evolution all the time, it seems to be the one thing that we cannot get our heads around, we cannot hunt and have extreme difficulties killing. Every few years it changes how it works to effectively infect/kiss us better.

parasitic/viral I would say are the best hunters of humans out there, whether it's the intention or not.

"There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die."


Yep.
 
2012-02-18 07:32:57 AM
I would say that the ability to communicate and work together (speech and language) makes the human race the best predators on the planet.
 
2012-02-18 07:35:25 AM
I wish deer would develop the ability to not run out in front of cars late at night.
 
2012-02-18 07:40:02 AM
a1.ec-videos.myspacecdn.com

/doesn't get how humans have survived either
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-02-18 07:44:38 AM
catusr: I wish deer would develop the ability to not run out in front of cars late at night.

I have seen cautious squirrels. There is hope.

abb3w

I remember an article from a few years ago saying we have effectively selected for small-tusked elephants.
 
2012-02-18 07:46:34 AM
Came for a monolith, got that and a bonus Cows With Guns, leaving happy.

Also, in before the quote-mining biblebot arrives.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-02-18 07:47:09 AM
The first photosynthetic proto-plants were probably even better killers than humans.
 
2012-02-18 07:47:38 AM
Invention is faster than evolution. I remember this from biology class way back when. The dinosaurs' cycle of thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws (repeat until somebody gives up eating somebody else) took MILLIONS of years. If we need thicker armor and/or sharper claws, it takes us at most a few months to invent them.
 
2012-02-18 07:48:20 AM
"Thank you for coming. I have purchased the Springfield YMCA. I plan to tear it down, and build a nature preserve where I will hunt the deadliest game of all - Man."
 
2012-02-18 07:51:35 AM
It seems to me that as quickly as a species can evolve, the human intellect can adapt faster. So if a species begins to evolve some sort of defense mechanism, the human species will adapt to that mechanism and find a work-around. Even if a species were to become smaller and therefore a less valuable resource, it is relative: We merely harvest more.
 
2012-02-18 07:51:36 AM
Because what animal can develop armor plating and horns that shoot fire and/ or projectiles in only 6000 years?
 
2012-02-18 07:53:38 AM

Terrydatroll: An interesting point is that they say we KILL more large animals, not that we hunt and kill more large animals. Since cows are large animals and goats are not makes the article pretty self serving since America produces more beef than any other country yet more goat is eaten worldwide than beef. Hmmmmm


I THINK the article was trying to make that point regarding wild species, not domesticated ones.

It's an effect seen in commercial fishing, where they have to move to nets with smaller mesh, since they've taken the larger examples of some fish. It's even more pronounced in your apex predators like swordfish.
 
2012-02-18 07:56:28 AM
It's OK, when the next bubonic plague comes around we will be writing articles wondering how humans didn't manage to evolve a defense for that.
 
2012-02-18 07:58:59 AM
Extinction is their defense.

When we die out from starvation and super swine flu, they'll start over.
 
2012-02-18 07:59:03 AM
Humans are animals. So by definition everything we do is part of nature. No?
 
2012-02-18 07:59:51 AM
because brains think of ways to catch stuff quicker than stuff breeds a change to avoid the trap.

Lsherm: It's OK, when the next bubonic plague comes around we will be writing articles wondering how humans didn't manage to evolve a defense for that.


we did, it`s called penicillin. Archaeologists get it all the time.
 
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