Corey L. Gulley 09/04/2010 BIO 100L Dr. Joanna Vance Why Big Fierce Animals are RareHow amazing is this big blue beautiful planet we live on? How fascinating is it to know that everything on our planet is divided into a group and those groups are divided and so on? Well for many years Scientists have been gathering and collecting information that would explain the how, where, why, what, and when of things. In the 1940s, an economist named Raymond Linderman discovered that ecosystems as units captured energy and transport it.
This is known as the energy-flow model of ecosystems. (Krough, 2009) The model basically explains how small plants, insects, and birds are common but it is rare to see a bear or a shark. (Krough, 2009) Here we will try to answer the question of why there is an abundance of smaller organisms than larger organisms that feed on them. When we think of big fierce animals, the few that comes to mind are lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! All are fierce animals and all are few in this world we live in. The question is why is this so rare?
In 1979 an author by the name of Paul Colinvaux wrote a book called “Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare”. The book is about ecology, or the interconnection of all the plants and animals in the world. (Colinvaux, 1979)Colinvaux refute the idea that modern ecology can be used to demonstrate that earth’s environment is being destroyed. Here is biology in its rare form. There are eating levels called trophics. As each trophic level is ascended, the amount of available energy drops by 90%. Since plants makes its own energy and other animals eat plants they loss 10% of energy each time they move up in the trophic. Krough, 2009) All fierce animals feed off of non-fierce animals who feed off of plants. Also you can take into account that humans sometimes hunt and kill fierce animals for sport or for fear of a fierce animal attacking their live stock or loved ones. The question has been answered to the reason why big fierce animals are rare. Energy is the biggest reason for this because each time trohic levels increase there is a decrease in energy. All the energy starts off with the plants through photosynthesis. From there it goes through the trophic levels where photosynthesis gets trapped.
Humans play a big part in the rarity of big fierce animalsby hunting and killing them for sport or fear. Big fears animals will always remain rare unless they began to added plants to their diet or humans decides to stop killing them for sport. Maybe we can even add humans to a big fierce animals list. Instead of humans being rare we would be the abundant. Colinvaux, P. A. (1979). Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist’s Perspective. Princeton, N. J. : Princeton University Press. Krough, D. (2009). Biology: A guide to the Natural World. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.