Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stop the Presses!

They found a rat in the jungles of Brazil!

I know, who would have thought it was possible?

Yes, yes, I know, it's a rare rat, and no-one has seen one in years.  And the more varied and bountiful nature is, the more beautiful and resilient she will be.  But come on.  It's a bloody tree rat.  Here's a hint: if there's one rat, there's a million of them.  They literally breed like rats.  I've been in rain forests.  There is no shortage in the number and variety of creepy crawlies, snakes and rodents.  Calm down and have another mojito.

This reminds me of the people who spend whole summers in the swamps of the American Southeast looking for a woodpecker that's supposed to be extinct, but may have some vestigial populations.  The question that ran through my head while I listened to the breathless reporting on NPR was "Don't these people have something better to do?".

If a species that's supposed to be extinct still survives in some small niche, then they're best left alone.  They've been able to survive whatever it was that wiped out their brethren.  We just need to make sure we don't do anything that will upset whatever balance allowed them to survive.  We certainly shouldn't be spending time and money searching them out and researching them.

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