Friday, January 17, 2014

17266--It's dead, Jim.

Brace yourself...

Africa's black rhino is extinct.  This should come as no surprise.  There were warnings.  Now, they're all gone.  I'm a bit saddened by their demise.  I liked rhinos.  They were impressively specialized animals: massive bodies, tough, strong, quick...

That's right, quick.  They could run you down like a speeding truck.  That's 0-60 way too fast.  They were also known to occasionally demolish trucks.  Or try to take down trains...and then get up and try again.  They were stubbornly territorial.

Unfortunately, that made them more prone to that charging behavior, if you noticed the pattern, rather than running away from the guys with the guns.  Humans are devilishly good at finding ways through armor...and around the adaptations that make animals impressive examples of specialization and aggression.  Lions, tigers and bears beware.  Your numbers are pretty low.

Human numbers are on the rise, but those were very low once, too.  There was a time when there were fewer than three thousand humans remaining worldwide.  Sure, that sounds like maybe humans were going to become extinct, but the fact that we weren't being hunted down by humans makes a big difference.  In all honesty, if there was something hunting our ancient ancestors, they probably killed it and ate it.  That's how humans roll.


Some sort of conspiracy?  You could say it's "boys being boys", but humans tend to work well together, especially when the goal is to attack someone else.  Conspirators get the added bonus of the warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging to a group.  Who wants to be left out of that?  If everybody's suddenly pointing a weapon but you, well...those warm and fuzzy feelings become fond memories of a better time.

In the dimmest of times, it was pointed out by the other creatures that humans were relatively slow, weak and squishy.   The human response was, "Challenge accepted!" 

How can I be sure of this?  That's how humans roll.  It's an old character trait that hasn't changed in a long time and isn't going anywhere soon.  As Colonel Hunter Gathers once ranted, "The minute God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched against one of them."

Somewhere in the world, one guy's telling another, "Finish your rhino burger and come on.  This list isn't going to kill itself."

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