15 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 French Encyclopedists Disparage Wildlife in the New World

We formerly remarked, as a singular phaenomenon, that the animals in the southern provinces of the New Continent, are small in proportion to those in the warm regions of the Old. There is no comparison between the size of the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the camelopard, the camel, the lion, the tiger, &c. and the tapir, the cabiai, the ant-eater, the lama, the puma, the jaguar, &c. which are the largest quadrupeds of the New World: The former are four, six, eight, and...
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Buffon states that mammals of North America are smaller and its Native Americans less developed than European life, owing to the continent's lack of resources and cold climate. Reptiles and insects thrive, however.

03 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Competition Causes Death

Biologists have persistently overestimated the importance of physical causes of premature death rather than biological ones. In virtually any account of evolution, drought, frost, wind, or starvation looms large as the enemy of life. The great struggle, we are told, is to adapt to these conditions. Marvels of physical adaptation—the camel's hump, the polar bear's fur, the rotifer's boil-resistant tunare held to be among evolution's greatest achievements. The first ecological theories of sex...
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Animals die from competition with other animals, few die of natural causes.