We, the thinking animals, are outsmarted by the African
Anteater as depicted in a nature film. The anteater on
the African savanna mainly feeds on termites whose mounds
dot the savanna. The hungry anteater spends two minutes
scraping a hole in the outer shell of the mound and spends
one minute licking up termites with his lengthy tongue,
then he leaves and goes to another mound. In this way he
never decimates the termite population and leaves food for
other termites. The mound also provides a home for birds
and even small owls. The mound Is well insulated
and provides safety from prairie fires.
Compare that to the behavior of the thinking animal. Many
of us have seen the mammoth ocean trawlers dumping their
equally mammoth nets onto the trawler’s decks. Species
that humans don’t eat, already dead, are dumped back into
the ocean. The ocean floor is often scraped and scoured
eliminating future generations of ocean life. Cod fishing
on the grand banks is defunct. It has gone the way of the
passenger pigeons, by the same cause. Nature, deemed by
man, as mindless, manages to preserve and insure life’s
continuity. Nature preserves what has taken millions of
years for her to build. It preserves the ecosystem, while
the thinking animal talks preservation, but does little.
So the question is, is man smarter than the anteater?
Humans have the habit of exterminating creatures without
knowing what purpose they provide in nature. The only
good thing petroleum ever did was to provide the oil that
replaced whale oil once used to light homes and other uses
of oil. Prior to the use of fossil fuels to replace whale
oil, we were hunting whales to near extinction. Now we
know that whale fecal matter provides needed nutrients for
the rest of the creatures of the sea. Then, there is the
small wasp without which we would not have brazil nuts.
Are we smarter than nature’s anteater?