Jim_Callahan: Land mammals are only really viable in large sizes during ice ages and under artificial conditions. So... yes, but so what?The fact that most successful mammalian wildlife is human-sized or smaller isn't exactly a shocking new development. Nor is the fact that humans and our products have a massively higher population density than our wild counterparts, that's kind of the entire goal of technology.
Jubeebee: Jim_Callahan: Land mammals are only really viable in large sizes during ice ages and under artificial conditions. So... yes, but so what?That's not even close to true. Bison are huge, and there used to be 50+ million of them. There were 3+ million African elephants 150 years ago. Single herds of reindeer used to be a million strong as well. Large land mammals have a long history of evolutionary success.Large, wild land animals are really shiatty at coexisting with humans, though, because we use a lot of the same resources and they are delicious.
brantgoose: We no longer are a few million or a couple of hundred million people scattered in a vast wildness. There is no wildness. There is no place without air pollution or floating jetsam. There are seven billion of us, headed to peak out at or above 9 billion (early population predictions in the 1940s and 1950s were bang on in 2000 A.D.)In short, we have changed the world. That's what this graph of bio-mass shows. That's what climate change shows.And it will get much, much worse before it gets better.
Jim_Callahan: I will accept bison as a counter-example, but reindeer run in the same weight range as humans (a 250 pound reindeer is a really massive one), so I think we're using a different definition of "large" there. My proposition was that humans are really about as big as land mammals tend to be viably in nature in large quantities, most of the exceptions being things that run at relatively low population densities like pigs and bears.
spman: You want to coexist with herds of wild animals roaming around everywhere? Good luck with that, let me know how it turns out.
Jim_Callahan: Land mammals are only really viable in large sizes during ice ages and under artificial conditions. So... yes, but so what?
jxb465: draypresct: I really doubt that the biomass of mice is as negligible as this graph makes it seem.In fact, I'd expect the biomass of mice to outweigh all the animals shown in the graph (including humans) together.Actually, mouse, rat and other rodent populations are often estimated to be about the same as humans, give or take a couple billion. Considering the average human weighs considerably more than the average rodent, I would say that their total biomass is rather insignificant compared to yours, er, ours.
draypresct: In fact, I'd expect the biomass of mice to outweigh all the animals shown in the graph (including humans) together.
wildcardjack: The biomass of ants outweigh all of humanity's buildings.
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