Scientists will tell you that diversity is not limited to humans. There are more invertebrates on this planet than vertebrates. Shocking, yes, to us lay people. Scientists have known this for quite a while. We believe that the pretty and large mammals are the really important ones on the Mother Earth.
Size doesn’t indicate importance. Science has described at least 990,040 species of invertebrates. The estimate of vertebrates is around 42,580 species. Quite a difference. One of the difference is that invertebrates are smaller and have many small niches to settle into.
In truth, if humans were to disappear tomorrow, scientists and conservationists believe the world would go on without much change. Gaia, the totality of life on Earth, would set about healing itself and return to the rich environmental states of 100,000 years ago. But if invertebrates were to disappear, it is unlikely that humans could last more than a few months. Most of the fish, amphibians, birds and mammals would crash to extinction about the same time. Next would go the bulk of the flowering plants and with them the physical structure of the majority of the forests and the terrestrial habitats of the world. The soil would rot. As dead vegetation piled up and dried out, narrowing and closing the channels of the nutrient cycles, other complex forms of vegetation would die off, and with them the last remaining vertebrates.
The remaining fungi would enjoy a population explosion and then would also perish. Within a few decades the world would return to the state of a billion years ago, composed primarily of bacteria, algae and a few very simple multicellular plants.
All of the life here on Mother Earth is interdependent on each other and even though the human ego and want of power adds blinders to our eyes. In reality, we do not own nature, we are the stewards of Gaia and if we do not follow the basic laws that benefit all, life as we know it will end.
No one owns the World. Not governments or countries. Not the East or the West. Not the scientists or the nay sayers. Not the conservationists or the lay people. Gaia belongs to all, to humans, birds, flowers, trees, ants, frogs, bacteria, viruses and fungi. All of these forms of life form our lives as we know them.
And all the time it took to realise the causes of the decline in the bee population. The refusal to believe in climate change. The fact that our oceans are becoming more acidic. Melting glaciers. Ivory trade. Still relying on fossil fuels. It’s a long list. I often despair at the human race.
Brava! Keep telling it like it is, my dear, thoughtful, sweet and intelligent Earthling Friend!