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eBook Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare ePub

eBook Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare ePub

by Paul Colinvaux

  • ISBN: 0045740151
  • Subcategory: No category
  • Author: Paul Colinvaux
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin; 1st edition (April 1980)
  • Pages: 224
  • ePub book: 1397 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1802 kb
  • Other: doc rtf azw lrf
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 123

Description

Colinvaux, Paul, 1930-.

Colinvaux, Paul, 1930-. Prelude - The science that reasons why - Every species has its niche - Why big fierce animals are rare - The efficiency of life - The nation states of trees - The social lives of plants - Cycles: a lesson from farming - Why the sea is blue - The ocean system -. - The regulation of the air - The curious incident of the lake in the Now Time - The succession affair - Peaceful coexistence - What hunting animals do - The social imperatives of space - Why there are so many species - The stability in nature - The people's place - Postlude.

The title of this book, "Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare," captures pretty well its essential character. Colinvaux is a talented writer, able to convey a subtly humorous tone while remaining focused on the facts of ecology. Somewhat surprisingly the book is not just about big fierce animals, but a wide-ranging tour of ecology and ecological thinking. The character of the book, though, is straightforward, relentlessly clear-headed, and also a bit whimsical. Colinvaux is a talented writer, able to convey a subtly humorous tone while remaining focused on the facts of ecology

Colinvaux tells us why every species has its niche, why big fierce animals are rare. He discusses the efficiency of life, the nation state of trees, the social lives of plants.

Colinvaux tells us why every species has its niche, why big fierce animals are rare.

com: Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist's Perspective (9780691023649): Paul A. Colinvaux: Books. Basically, because big fierce animals are apex predators and require a lot of biomass at lower levels of the energy pyramid to sustain them. The laws of thermodynamics are such that energy is lost (goes to waste) at every step along the food web, so there is not enough energy in the food web to sustain as many top predators as there is to sustain plants, herbivores, and lower-level predators.

Redirected from Big fierce animals are rare). Paul Colinvaux (September 22, 1930 – February 28, 2016) was an ecologist and professor emeritus at Ohio State University. Colinvaux was born in London, England. He attended University College School ("UCS") in London, where his activities included rowing in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. After graduating from UCS, Colinvaux earned a commission in the Royal Artillery.

These are a few of the intriguing items Colinvaux takes on in eighteen thoughtful essays (the come-on title refers . Scientists do not like their simple observations to be understood by others,"" notes Colinvaux.

These are a few of the intriguing items Colinvaux takes on in eighteen thoughtful essays (the come-on title refers to just one) that rose to the surface when this eminent zoologist and textbook author spent a quiet year as a Guggenheim Fellow. He doesn't stop with life's pyramid as it was, he chases its future.

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Comments

Camper Camper
Paul Colinvaux’s “Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare” could have also been called “The Nature of Nature”, “An Introduction to Ecology” or “Why Things are the Way They Are”. Chapters of the book include subjects such as “The Efficiency of Life” The Social Lives of Plants”, “Why the Sea is Blue” and “The Regulation of the Air”. If that sounds off-putting; like a dull textbook only geeks would suffer through you would be surprised that this is a quick enjoyable read. For example, “Why the Sea is Blue” and the following chapter “The Ocean System” are a combined 15 small pages. This is a book anyone can enjoy and learn from.

Writing 10/10: The book is a delight to read and one of, if not the most well written books I have ever read along with “The Beak of the Finch” by Jonathan Weiner (an excellent book on Peter and Rosemary Grant’s continual trips to the Galapagos Islands in search of recorded “real “speciation or “macro-evolution” by way of natural selection). While the former may be technically better written, I would choose this any day because of the conciseness along with the sometimes hilarious humor and totally enjoyable and stimulating content. Colinvaux English roots help to infuse the book with style and humor. My favorite chapter to highlight the excellent writing and humor would have to be “ The Social Imperatives of Space” For example: “As with other seminal ideas, the idea of the territoriality of birds has been used to support some queer propositions.”…“We can learn what Howard found by following his observation of just one of them, a little English finch with a yellow head known colloquially as the yellowhammer”.

Content 10/10: One can also learn much about the natural world. Colinvaux extensively uses niches of differing and very similar forms of live to explain that nature isn’t so much about violence, “kill or be killed” and “this is my territory” but about survival; minimizing risk for predators, laying down spatial rules for the best chance of survival for the species as a whole and how this (and everything else) is actually in-line with Darwin’s rules of fitness. It’s all perfectly logical the way nature works even as the revelation might be very hard to come by. All the more reason to read the book; as I’m sure you will have many revelations of “why” from questions you might not have even known, or thought of, to ask.

Overall: 10/10
Chilldweller Chilldweller
I gained important insights into population ecology when I first read it years ago. And I have enjoyed reading it again.
Nahn Nahn
This book is awesome. It is a bit dated, makes me wonder what they've learned since it was written in 1978. But is definitely a fun read.
SING SING
A very good read and for any ecology or science teacher, it is flat out wonderful.
Kikora Kikora
For the nature lovers. Great book! Learn about the animals and learn about fantastic places hard to visit.
Dead Samurai Dead Samurai
This was a great deal. The book has been going out of print on and off for a while now, so this was a great find at a great price. The shipping time was quick. I received it in about a week at the latest after purchasing it. The book definitely fit its description of it.
Galanjov Galanjov
This modest sized book, written in 1978, is remarkable. Colinvaux uses a discursive, almost charming style to explain ecology theory and its basis, and why the science has rejected some perhaps more intuitive ideas. It covers a lot of ground, while being a pleasure to read.

A fine example of how the book works is the discussion of why the deeper ocean has only small plants. Colinvaux points out all the advantages large plants would have, including collecting sufficient nutrients in a deprived environment (just as earlier he discusses how tropical life manages to be so abundant despite nutrient poor soils - also why the tropical soils are nutrient poor). The actual explanation for no large plants is that they could not maintain their position in the face of winds and currents, which would impact both the collection of nutrients and the ability to reproduce. The exception that proves the rule is the Sargasso sea, where very large algae exist. A gyre keeps them relatively stationary.

If one looks at the number of species in an environment, there is a downward gradient as one proceeds from the Equator to the poles. My intuitive explanation was that the abundance of life decreases along the gradient. However, the ocean gradient from the more fecund in shore to the deeper continental shelf is positive, not negative. The explanation is that what keeps the number of species in check over time is extinction, and the deeper ocean actually provides a relatively stable environment. Of course, Colinvaux in earlier chapters covers other factors. Why do climax forests in temperate zones tend to include only 1 or 2 species, while the tropics are so variegated? The solution is that predators (think bacteria, insects, small mammals) are limited by seasonality, not present in the tropics - there a totally dominant plant would be the victim of species which evolved specifically to best attack that plant, leaving rivals alone.

It is likely that since the book was written in 1976 some things it concludes are incorrect, and I look forward to learning what they are. With the increasing import of alien pests, our temperate climax forests are at increasing risk. While the book’s discussion of agricultural productivity and the benefits of CO2 concentration is good, a more nuanced discussion is available in another remarkable, short book: “Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Can Improve Agriculture”, by R. Ford Denison, published in 2012.