A new study has concluded that humans are the world’s greatest predators. According to field experts who’ve looked at more than 2.000 predator-prey interactions, human beings don’t just kill top carnivores at a high rate, but that they kill them at such a rapid pace that they make it difficult for these species to ever recover.
Indeed, humans have hunted many wondrous species until they drove them into extinction, one of the most recent cases being that of the Tasmanian tiger’s, a species which only died off completely sometime in the 1960s. There are people alive today who were alive when the world still had Tasmanian tigers, that’s how recent of an event that is.
And what have we learned? Absolutely nothing. Thousands of species are on the verge of extinction and humans are the only ones that can be blamed for the dangerously low population numbers of these animals. When looking at the numbers of everything from polar bears, to Siberian tigers, to elephants, one has to wonder if the term “shred of humanity” even has the meaning that we use it with.
But the destructive behavior has deep roots in our species. Humans are believed to have also driven prehistoric animals into extinction – saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths and giant sloths.
Chris Darimont, a conservation scientist from the University of Victoria, gave a statement saying that “Ultimately, humanity is feeling the impacts of our predatory dominance”.
However Boris Worm from Dalhousie University believes that there’s still hope for our species if we can bring ourselves to learn a thing or two from the animals that we hunt and kill. He said that “We have the unusual ability to analyze and consciously adjust our behavior to minimize deleterious consequences”.
He went on to add that this final point will prove to be critical if we are to continue coexisting with the other species on our planet, both on land, and in the sea.
Even when we’re not hunting down other animals, we are still killing them. The ever worsening human-caused climate change has ruined the habitats of many species, and many other species are going through physical and / or behavioral changes due to the same issue.
After examining the predator-prey interactions, the researchers came to the alarming conclusion that the rate of which humans kill adult fish every year is 14:1, when compared to all other marine predators, and the rate of which humans kill top land predators is 9:2, when compared to the rate at which these animals kill one another.
It’s important to mention that these aquatic and terrestrial predators only kill when they need to feed, and only have a limited number of foods that they can chose from, whereas humans have many other sources of nourishment and usually kill for sport. Sadistic as it is, the more difficult and dangerous their prey is, the more they enjoy it.
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