The Ultimate Apex Predators

shodou-calligraphy.gifHumans are the ultimate apex predator — we eat anything that moves and hardly anything wants to eat us.

Sharks got nothing on us.

So what does it mean in ecological terms when there are six billion+ apex predators roaming the planet?

Massive extinctions of other species for one thing as we munch our way down the food chain. As species decline, ecosystems unravel leading to more declines and maybe some blooms of things like weeds and jellyfish. And eventually (perhaps sooner than later) we run out of food and lose ecosystem services, both of which will contribute greatly to rapid increases in disease and death in humans.

That seems to be the logical and grim ecological prognosis.

However, like a car hurtling towards the edge of the cliff, we’re arguing about what CD to listen too instead of applying the brakes. [Or more likely, each of us is plugged into our own IPOD and oblivious to each other and anything else.]

I admit that writing about environmental issues can be depressing. I’m actually an optimist and believe we will jump on those brakes at the last minute.

One thought on “The Ultimate Apex Predators

  1. Making the connection between our being the top predator, and our numbering 6.5 billion is a great way to illuminate the impact of human population on the ecosystem.

    And you’re right that we’re distracted by far less urgent topics. I seem to spend much of my time now pondering ways to wake more people up to our ecological crisis. Yet it seems eyes glaze over…

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