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Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the too-tasty-for-life dept.

Science 180

sciencehabit writes "For millions of years, nine species of large, flightless birds known as moas (Dinornithiformes) thrived in New Zealand. Then, about 600 years ago, they abruptly went extinct. Their die-off coincided with the arrival of the first humans on the islands in the late 13th century, and scientists have long wondered what role hunting by Homo sapiens played in the moas' decline. Did we alone drive the giant birds over the brink, or were they already on their way out thanks to disease and volcanic eruptions? Now, a new genetic study of moa fossils points to humankind as the sole perpetrator of the birds' extinction. The study adds to an ongoing debate about whether past peoples lived and hunted animals in a sustainable manner or were largely to blame for the extermination of numerous species."

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Please, keep California in your prayers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511821)

A massive earthquake was suffered this morning in California, causing much fright and angsternation of people and pets alike and many things falling dangerously. No doubt many people turded their beds and awoke to already turded beds. The magnitude was not that great but it could have been much worse god willing and do not forget that the Richter scale is logaramithmic and so even an increase of 2 notches would have been 100 times worse! Someday there will be a 'big one' here and when there is please make sure you are prepared, guns and ammo are primary prep and will allow you to hunt for moas and if necessary jerky will help.

Re:Please, keep California in your prayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511913)

lol, over a 4.4? Come to NZ and experience 6 - 8's

Fault zone (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 8 months ago | (#46512459)

I'm shocked. There was an earthquake in one of the worlds most active fault zones. Hope your insurance is paid up.

Re:Please, keep California in your prayers (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 8 months ago | (#46512675)

Are you serious? We've had stronger earthquakes here in Oklahoma and there was damage to maybe two houses.

Re:Please, keep California in your prayers (0)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46513037)

maybe redirect ALL those prayers to Chile, with their 6.7 earthquake, which is more than 100's more severe than California's, and with probably 100 times less ability to deal with the effects.

when the big one hits, and the ocean waters come flooding in to make all-new beachfront property, you all will be electrocuted by your electric vehicles.

good riddance.

Re:Please, keep California in your prayers (2)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#46513419)

maybe redirect ALL those prayers to Chile, with their 6.7 earthquake, which is more than 100's more severe than California's, and with probably 100 times less ability to deal with the effects.

when the big one hits, and the ocean waters come flooding in to make all-new beachfront property, you all will be electrocuted by your electric vehicles.

good riddance.

The one in Chile a couple years ago was 8.8, so 80 times the strength of the 7.0 one that devastated Haiti. My wife has been through a 7.9 in Peru, about twice as strong as the 1906 San Francisco quake. People in Peru and Chile don't even get out of bed for a 4.4 quake.

Probably because they were big and meaty (4, Funny)

MarkTina (611072) | about 8 months ago | (#46511843)

and tasty!

I'm glad they are gone, as the Haast's Eagle would still be here if they were around ... and I'm not keen on walking about while a bird of prey with a 3 meter wingspan looked down on me as a snack!

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46511867)

and tasty!

I'm glad they are gone, as the Haast's Eagle would still be here if they were around ... and I'm not keen on walking about while a bird of prey with a 3 meter wingspan looked down on me as a snack!

You can only imagine what the Wings people would make of these birds...

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (4, Interesting)

Dave Emami (237460) | about 8 months ago | (#46512171)

"Can't get 'em,
They've et 'em.
They're gone and there ain't no moa."

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (2)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#46512589)

I remember that song, by Paul Walden

The B side was the legend of Hinemoa and Tutanekai

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512419)

Lunch?

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 8 months ago | (#46512147)

So when is someone going to clone a Moa so we can have tasty Moa burgers?

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 8 months ago | (#46513211)

So when is someone going to clone a Moa so we can have tasty Moa burgers?

What's the point? They just taste like chicken.

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46513841)

But Moa so.

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512273)

Still some Kakapo left .. they might be a bit stringy.

Re: Probably because they were big and meaty (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512463)

Not sure if mildly funny or just an asshole.

Re: Probably because they were big and meaty (0)

MarkTina (611072) | about 8 months ago | (#46513303)

Not sure if mildly funny or just an asshole.

Not sure if you have no sense of humour or just stupid. :-)

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (4, Interesting)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 8 months ago | (#46512619)

They were tasty, slow and us Maoris are big eaters.

QED

Why this is surprising news is beyond me. The extinction of the moa has always been portrayed as a human event ever since I was a kid. Glad they found definitive proof but hardly something I needed to know.
What would have been newsworthy would have been the amazing coincidence of humans showing up and NOT having been the cause.

Re:Probably because they were big and meaty (1, Redundant)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 8 months ago | (#46512951)

I think it was because of the awesome omelets you could make with their eggs. No eggs hatching no chicks. (TIC)

Ran out of bird seed? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#46511855)

Easy to hunt. Nests vulnerable. Virus brought in by the humans (in a classical reverse of bird flu!) Competed for similar resources?

Possibly the eggs or feathers made great hats.

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (3, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46512023)

I hate people. Why do we have to ruin everything? This is why we can't have nice things.

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 8 months ago | (#46512299)

This is why our children are not being eaten by giant eagles.

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (5, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46512625)

Maybe if there were more giant eagles there would be fewer fat slow kids.

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#46513033)

whaddayatalkinbout?
they had nice things, nice tasty eggs.

without people nobody would have nice things.

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (2)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 8 months ago | (#46513151)

You say this yet here you are choosing to live with all the comforts that humanity provide. Perhaps you should go live in a jungle for a bit then tell us who provides the most "nice things".

Re:Ran out of bird seed? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 8 months ago | (#46512713)

Easy to hunt. Nests vulnerable. Virus brought in by the humans (in a classical reverse of bird flu!) Competed for similar resources?

Possibly the eggs or feathers made great hats.

My guess is that it's the same thing that happened to the dodo: rats and pigs (brought by humans) pillaging the nests.

Did past people hunt in a sustainable manner? (5, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 8 months ago | (#46511871)

One look at the current state of the world's ecosystems and a small amount of insight into human nature should answer that question easily.

Re:Did past people hunt in a sustainable manner? (2)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 8 months ago | (#46513217)

Betteridge's law of headlines: No

Nor did our ancestors farm sustainably.

One would think that by now we ought to have learnt our lessons and that we'd now be more careful. Alas, apparently we seem to be a very slow learning mob.

A new Study? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511879)

Really a new study? The Thousands of Moa bones removed from Maori middens wasn't a clue? Or the stories passed down about the Maori hunting the Moa also isn't a clue? No need a genetic study to prove it, Maybe these researches could do a genetic study on JFK and tell us who shot him?

Re:A new Study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511953)

Come to New Zealand, those same Maori now claim to be great conservationists.

Re:A new Study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512103)

Yea I know, I'm a New Zealander. Im still waiting for the conservation to happen.

Re:A new Study? (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 8 months ago | (#46512169)

700 year old Maori?

I think we need genetic studies done to find out about their longevity.

Re:A new Study? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 8 months ago | (#46513679)

They claim what? Land mostly.

Never (1)

m2shariy (1194621) | about 8 months ago | (#46511895)

Humans hunted something in a sustainable manner? Sure, if they could not exterminate it.

Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511933)

History is replete with examples of humankind's utter selfish stupid short sightedness. Is there really any doubt of this?

DIE YOU DENIALIST SCUM!! (-1, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | about 8 months ago | (#46511935)

Everyone knows that the reason ANYTHING goes exctint is:
1. George Bush.
2. Republicans.

TIME FOR YOU TO GO TO THE REEDUCATION CAMPS YOU DENIALISTS!

Tell me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46511955)

Something that wasn't obvious already...
We drove hundreds of species to extinction due to over hunting, this is nothing new.

Rats (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 8 months ago | (#46511957)

tend to tag along with people and disrupt indigenous species.

Re:Rats (1)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#46513601)

The Maori watercraft weren't large enough for rats to hitch rides unnoticed. That took European and Chinese ships with large, dark holds, bilges, and closed storage spaces.

Re:Rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46513639)

The Maori brought along rats, not the usual species but one that they used for food. They also had dogs that they used for food. Other than that, there is not a lot of protein to be easily found in NZ, at least until Captain Cook gave them pigs.

Re:Rats (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 8 months ago | (#46513689)

Like AC said, they brought rats here on purpose.

PETA Anyone? (2)

triffid_98 (899609) | about 8 months ago | (#46511969)

And by PETA, of course I mean People Eat Tasty Animals.

Dodo, Moa, SSDD.

"Like many animals that evolved in isolation from significant predators, the Dodo was entirely fearless of humans. This fearlessness and its inability to fly made the Dodo easy prey for sailors"

Uh what? (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46511979)

The study adds to an ongoing debate about whether past peoples lived and hunted animals in a sustainable manner or were largely to blame for the extermination of numerous species.

The tragedy of the commons ain't new. We call it human nature. Some indigenous peoples had it right, for example native Americans on the west coast and around that area; they had fairly strict rules on land management and engaged in regular controlled burns. On the other hand, just go to the middle of the nation and you've got natives burning down forests to make more plains land for more buffalo. Not exactly a carbon sequestration strategy. I've heard before that Europe would have been completely deforested if the black plague didn't put a crimp in various ambitions. Hooray for disease, I guess.

Re:Uh what? (5, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 8 months ago | (#46512029)

The New Zealand Maori (of which I am a member) sometimes claim that our culture promotes sustainability and care for the environment. This has always been revisionist bs, but it was useful into guilting the pakeha into giving settlement money (which our tribal elites pocket). This study on moa is useful to show that *all* humans have and will be destructive to the habitat. Being hypocritical for the purpose of guilt-tripping another ethnic group is false and immoral. My fellow New Zealanders should not fall for this scam any longer!

Re:Uh what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512157)

Don't worry some of us don't, I am a New zealander (non-maori) and I hate you. Special funding, resources, jobs. Welcome to the "new" racism, because your better than us.

Re:Uh what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512329)

"because your better than us"

Well, he DOES write better than you do ...

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512557)

Apologies, I was making a point. We have so many special projects promoting Maori Culture that own history and identity is being forgotten. We have a Maori Parliament, special fund's and grants for Maori's (including University /polytechnic education), Special healthcare, Discounts also Bias for Maori's getting into employment (From the Govt to employ Maori's) Just because of Race.

Re:Uh what? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46512789)

Small price to pay. You stole all their land.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512949)

In some circumstances, yes land was stolen. And compensation for these past wrongs has been paid, via the Waitangi Tribunal.

But in many cases land was brought. And future generations then decided the deal that was made with their ancestors was unfair, and should be revisited. And so more compensation was paid, via the Waitangi Tribunal.

And in some cases the next generation has decided that this compensation was also not "fair", and they have gone back to the Waitangi Tribunal and got further compensation.

So you tell me, who is screwing who?

Re:Uh what? (5, Funny)

quenda (644621) | about 8 months ago | (#46513541)

But in many cases land was brought.

What!? The settlers brought land with them from Britain? How small was NZ originally then?

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512981)

Actually, the Maori were so fearsome as a warrior group that the white settlers couldn't subjugate them with all their technological might (guns). They had to signs peace treaties with the Maori in order to settle in NZ.

Re:Uh what? (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 8 months ago | (#46513775)

The whites stole the Maori land that the Maoris stole from some birds? Kind of sounds like maybe the Maoris should stop being sore losers and get on with joining the modern world.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46513435)

Sounds like you need species punctuation training. Odd, most Kiwis know what an apostrophe is for.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512423)

heh, tell us what choice we have...

  Maybe ask those tribal (asshole) elites who benefit at the expense of their people...

Guess thats what you get for being the last incestuous and cannabalistic race to be thrown out of the Cook Islands.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512599)

I was surprised to learn that the Maori have been in New Zealand for about as long as white people have been in America. Though they didn't find an existing population that had to be killed off before the space was available; that's a small but meaningful distinction.

Re:Uh what? (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 8 months ago | (#46512851)

The New Zealand Maori (of which I am a member) sometimes claim that our culture promotes sustainability and care for the environment.

I suspect that when animals are hunted like moa, rather than gathered like shellfish, then it was more difficult for the tohunga to spot that there was a supply problem that needed to be addressed before it became too late.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46513277)

I just read Mike King's History of New Zealand (great book by the way). He notes that sustainability became part of Maori culture before Pakeha arrived. The various tribes changed their ways after major food sources such as the moa became extinct, So when faced with adverse conditions (lack of food in this case) they changed their ways to suit. Wouldn't it be nice if modern cultures could do the same!

Re:Uh what? (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 8 months ago | (#46513785)

Probably bs just like the native americans here in the states claiming to be all sustainable and crap. they did their best to conquer but lacked the technology so they failed.

Re:Uh what? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 8 months ago | (#46513819)

So you're suggesting modern cultures wait until all the abundant resources run out before making any changes?

Re:Uh what? (4, Interesting)

taniwha (70410) | about 8 months ago | (#46513505)

I've always thought that what happened in NZ sort of just proves human nature (not pakeha or Maori, just humans) - the Maori showed up with well developed cultural systems for managing fisheries, having island hopped through the Pacific for maybe 1000 years before they came to NZ - what they didn't have was rules, or experience managing moa, or forestry and as a result burned a lot of it down to get at those tasty moa - basically the same thing the Europeans would do when showing up somewhere new - exploit it like crazy - I'm sure if the moa had lasted longer, maybe if NZ was a bit bigger, people would have figured out how to manage moa - numbers would get low, a tapu would be proclaimed, after a while it would be lifted and the moa population would have stablised ..... by the time people figured it out it was probably too late

Re:Uh what? (2)

kenj123 (658721) | about 8 months ago | (#46512189)

I'm skeptical that the 'tragedy of the commons' is solvable with privatization. If somebody owned the land and was trying to maximize output, they would probably kill all the birds and raise yams or something that had a better ROI. Mankind needs to come up with some better policies on what the planet should look like in the future. I've heard the author talking about the 6th extinction quite a bit in the media lately. They have talked indirectly about extinction triage, and it needs to be addressed more practically. I propose that organisms involved in the oxygen replenishment system get top priority.

Re:Uh what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512643)

There was a seminal case study written over 20 years ago titled something like "A Case for Privatization: Africa's Elephants". It purported to show that areas that instituted a privatization scheme--whereby local tribes in Africa were given private property ownership over the elephants on their land--had far healthier elephant populations with significantly less poaching than elsewhere.

This was supposedly because the tribes with ownership had a vested interest in protecting _their_ elephants for the long-term, whereas elsewhere protection of the elephants was left up to a small number of government rangers under-funded for the task. The central governments were too far removed from the problem, but local tribes knew their territory, knew their elephants, and were interested in protecting their own income stream derived from ecological tourism.

There's been a huge amount of back-and-forth regarding the issue, but that paper was the genesis of the modern discussion. If you're going to have an opinion on the matter, it might be worthwhile to read the literature of both proponents and opponents, rather than entertaining vague, throw-away notions and gut feelings.

Another similar model is fisheries. America and other countries have had stellar results with quotas. Here the model is that fisherman are given a property right (a legal right) to a specific portion of a yearly catch limit. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individual_fishing_quota

Fisheries that use this system or something similar are darlings of the conservation movement. In many cases you can effect a complete turn-around, from being on the brink of species collapse to a fishery that appears to be sustainable in perpetuity. The property right together with a catch limit creates something more than the sum of its parts. It reorients the way everybody acts and behaves, sometimes in completely counter-intuitive ways.

A property rights system is one of the most amazing tools modern society has to improve sustainability. Of course, it's no panacea. And zealotry will get you nowhere. I'm not a fan of spectrum property rights, for example. But understanding how and where it works should be something every college kid is forced to learn.

Re:Uh what? (1)

kenj123 (658721) | about 8 months ago | (#46513229)

"the tribes with ownership had a vested interest in protecting _their_ elephants for the long-term"
I would say we have very different views of short and long term. The instant the tribes men that own the elephants or the fishermen who own the fish have the access to gmo versions of elephants or fish they will replace the old with the new. The long term goal of privatization is to maximize ROI. Privatization might work as a stop gap but its not going to save the natural world as we know it.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512477)

The group in your first example simply reached an equilibrium. They certainly brought to extinction many animals before reaching that state. The plains Indians may have just left equilibrium by the time the colonists showed up, but could have lived in equilibrium for centuries.

The real question is, how cognizant of their equilibrium were they? It's not enough to worship animals and talk-the-talk about living in balance. If you don't have a deep understanding of the ecology with the ability to make predictions about the sustainability of existing and novel practices, then it's just natural processes all the way down, often following a punctuated equilibrium mode.

Re:Uh what? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46513225)

The real question is, how cognizant of their equilibrium were they?

You need to remember that they lived in this region for at least ten thousand years. They were well cognizant of the issues regarding overfishing, overharvesting of shellfish, or failing to set fires yearly in the land of poison oak. If they weren't, they would have eliminated their natural resources long previously. There was enough food for them to grow their population much larger, but that wasn't one of their primary values.

Re:Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512493)

Orly?
http://unews.utah.edu/releases/06/feb/birdbones.html

Just a thought (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#46511995)

I know when other people are around, I cannot use the bathroom. Just too caught up in knowing there are other people around. What if the birds had the same problem and since the people never went away, they just died.

debate? (5, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46512047)

The study adds to an ongoing debate about whether past peoples lived and hunted animals in a sustainable manner or were largely to blame for the extermination of numerous species

There's actually a debate?

The noble savage is a character of the imagination.

Re:debate? (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 8 months ago | (#46512309)

Not really. We had Macho Man Randy Savage. He was both noble and a Savage. When Q'uq'umatz was going to destroy the world, at the end of the Mayan Calendar, Macho gave his life to wrestle the world away from the grip of the great creator snake. What can be nobler than that?

Re:debate? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 months ago | (#46512817)

The noble savage is a character of the imagination.

North/Central/South American tribes were slash and burning their way through the forests long before the European world showed up on their doorstep.

The theory is that Europeans actually promoted forest growth as they drove out the native Americans and broke the cycle of man made forest fires.

Re:debate? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 months ago | (#46513173)

Yeah.

It's just like today. No difference.

Fuck humans.
If Slashdot had UTF-8 support: â"

Re:debate? (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 8 months ago | (#46513795)

better than animals in my book. unless you are an animal then please do that only with other animals.

Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512179)

Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.

Re:Man (0)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 8 months ago | (#46512799)

It's a Madhouse!

Scummy Humans (1)

MXB2001 (3023413) | about 8 months ago | (#46512275)

If in doubt always blame the humans. We need a good nuclear war. Sheesh.

Global Warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512283)

Right around the rotisserie!

Tastes like chicken.

Maybe they need to jack up our taxes because we should all feel guilty.

Waahhhh

Prehistoric pals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512291)

Oh great, now creationist-conservationists can blame us for the extinction of the dinosaurs too!

humans and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512293)

Their dogs. I bet the dogs on their own could have done the job.

"We didn't kill them all..." (1)

Eloking (877834) | about 8 months ago | (#46512295)

Oblig by George Carlin : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

We hunt cows and chickens sustainably (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512301)

That's why we started animal husbandry to begin with. Animal wifery was started for a much different reason.

Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (2)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512335)

Really, every other major predator can chow down to their heart's content, screwing sustainability with long, hard strokes, and they get a pass, because they are furry and noble-looking in posters.

But humans? Nay! Once you become self-aware you have to be sustainable, stewards of the Earth, resurrect the mammoth, replant forests, self-flaggelate for our unending sins, yadda yadda.

Here's a hint for you - humans are animals. Eat-Fuck-Kill. That has been our mantra ever since we first banged two rocks together. Now it is Eat (Vegetarian) Fuck (only our spouses, with condoms) Kill (never, unless the government says it is OK). $It's all our fault, for any value of $It.

I wish I was a wolf.

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46512483)

You're correct in that we are all animals and we share a history of surviving due to our past proficiency as killers, eaters, and, well, fuckers.

What has not escaped my attention is our obligation to care for and about our environment now that we are self-aware.

Perhaps we are the one species destined to rise above our savage origins to successfully micromanage the very environment that spawned us. If we're not, in another 200,000 years or so, the next big-brained alpha will have a run at it.

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (0)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512517)

So...if I get a lobotomy and am not self-aware I can eat/fuck/kill all I want? Sign me up! Maybe I can just do it at home with a bottle of whiskey and a power drill?

I could probably even manage to keep my current job if I use a sharp 7/32" bit...

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46512653)

Obligatory:

I'd rather have a bottle of good whiskey in front of me,

than a frontal lobotomy.

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512701)

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap* Well played sir.

Re: Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512555)

Ever seen a morbidly obese wolf?
Ever seen a wolf or other animal that hunts massively more than it can eat just to let most of it rot away?

No.

You are writing absolute bullshit.

No other animal than the human is so massively detached from the food-chain and the hunter-prey relation. Wild animals have to hunt/gather to eat. They don't farm, don't have meat factories (that includes fish trawlers who are nothing than death stars to the maritime wildlife.

If there isn't enough prey, the hunter simply starves to death. If there number of hunters shrink the prey is able to blossom. That enables the hunters to have more offspring once more.

Humans are the only creature to be not affected by biological feed back loops. That's why humans on a large scale (as a species, not the single individual) are a deadly disease on planet earth.

Re: Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512731)

Boy, somebody musta peed in your Cheerios this morning.

Here's a great link about how humans have developed their inner wolf. Cheer up champ!

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XKMDXZHQ26YX/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2XKMDXZHQ26YX"</a>

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 8 months ago | (#46512617)

Thing is, is that we (humans) have broken our Darwinian evolution template ... we (humans) can take and plunder and consume not just other animals, but all sorts of resources that also affect other animals in a negative fashion - straight up extinction, denial of use of breeding/nesting areas, wiping out food sources, etc. For a while, we (humans) can "get around that" by becoming better at taking the resources to consume, but eventually they will all be consumed.

On top of that, our opposable thumbs along with our brain power and creativeness have allowed us to create all sorts of nasty stuff that has a negative effect on our environment and all the other life forms that depend on it.

So... either we need to voluntarily reduce our population to about 1% of what it is today (but please make plans for the bodies first!) or we need to be stewards, 'cause if we (humans) don't then in a few hundred years it will be too late.

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512929)

<quote><p>So... either we need to voluntarily reduce our population to about 1% of what it is today (but please make plans for the bodies first!) or we need to be stewards, 'cause if we (humans) don't then in a few hundred years it will be too late.</p></quote>

Too late for what? The earth / Mother Nature doesn't give a damn. Humans went extinct? Shit...25 other species of critter snuffed today, and maybe another few evolved into being. 4 billion years of stewardship vs our several hundred? See the George Carlin links above; they really are enlightening.

Humans aren't important. You and me are not important. We're walking compost food.

Re:Do WOLVES hunt in a sustainable manner? (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 8 months ago | (#46513627)

Very few wolves build boats to colonize islands, nor are they nearly as effective of hunters as people are. The wolf doesn't have to worry about sustainability because it's too inept to fully destroy its own food chain.

Read Jared Diamond's Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512401)

He discusses, in his view, that the idea of native or aboriginal humans living in perfect harmony with nature is a myth.

I have a better headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46512403)

Why Does SlashDot Insist On Posting Fucking Stupid Stories?

That picture is wrong. (3, Informative)

Jason Pollock (45537) | about 8 months ago | (#46512453)

The Maori didn't use bows and arrows.

Re:That picture is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46513027)

The Maori didn't use bows and arrows.

I know. I read the caption below the picture.

I thought this was, you know, settled science (4, Interesting)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#46512539)

New Zealand is so isolated that other than three species of small bat, no mammals whatever evolved in NZ until the day the Maori landed. So we have a Colorado-sized pair of islands inhabited by an assortment of species too ridiculous even for Australia, and with no adaptation to the presence of animals. There's the giant earthworm that glows in the dark:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n... [nzherald.co.nz] ...the three-eyed lizard...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org] ...the living bug zapper...
http://www.waitomo.com/waitomo... [waitomo.com] ...and the 12-foot tall ground-dwelling bird - no animals to run from, remember, that was unfortunately delicious:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

The Maori had no weapons more advanced than clubs, but that was all they needed. Think of it as the world's first, biggest, most environmentally-insensitive tailgate party, after which the species was no moa.

Re:I thought this was, you know, settled science (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 8 months ago | (#46512735)

<quote><p>
<a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&amp;objectid=10793961">http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n...</a> ...the three-eyed lizard...
</p></quote>

However, it later evolved into the one-eyed lizard, which became ubiquitous, much to the dismay of the female homo sapiens.

Easy one... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 months ago | (#46513629)

...they were delicious!

Well... duh? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46513851)

You introduce a carnivore to an isolated environment where a species or group of species' survived that went extinct everywhere else because of carnivores they could not outrun, outsmart or outbreed, and just survived because no such carnivores existed where they survived.

Take a wild guess what's going to happen.

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