Why Are Big Fierce Animals Rare Essay

Why Are Big Fierce Animals Rare Essay-65
In addition to this, it is advisable to note that the amount of energy in the food web continues to decline (Colinvaux, 1990). In this case, the available space for a big fierce predator on top the web is minimal.

In addition to this, it is advisable to note that the amount of energy in the food web continues to decline (Colinvaux, 1990). In this case, the available space for a big fierce predator on top the web is minimal.

Colinvaux covers this broad range of topics in a clear, readable style, so that the book is of value to the layman who is simply interested in nature, as well as to the ecological specialist. Or, for that matter, why are big fierce animals rare?

The questions raised are often deceptively simple, cast in childlike directness. But the answers are frequently complex and sometimes surprising.

Nonscientists particularly will find useful the summary of crucial experiments that showed well-cultivated corn plants using only 1.6 percent of the energy supplied by the sun.

The mystery is solved with the knowledge that one of the key materials to plant growth, carbon dioxide, is a rare gas, present in the atmosphere in an average concentration of only about .03 percent by volume.

One of the most provocative sections of Colinvaux’s book is the title essay, “Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare,” which discusses the Eltonian pyramid, named for Charles Elton of Oxford.

During a visit to the Arctic island of Spitzbergen, Elton observed how the foxes fed upon the summer birds of the tundra, which in turn fed upon tundra plants or insects and worms.

Why Are Big Fierce Animals Rare According to Colinvaux, big animals are rare because the energy that is available in every step of their food chain is degraded (Colinvaux, 1990).

The heat that the body system converts into energy is lost during the animal’s food chain.

In this wide-ranging collection of essays, Paul Colinvaux, professor of zoology at Ohio State University, looks at various aspects of the science of ecology.

Each chapter is devoted to a separate theme and a review of research on the subject, ending with a summary of man’s current knowledge.

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