A very odd story has appeared in Science Magazine. Elizabeth Pennisi writes that humans are overrunning the earth. The evidence is that they weigh a whole lot more than wild animals.
A new estimate of biomass “concludes that wild land mammals alive now have a total biomass of 22 million tons, and marine mammals account for another 40 million tons.” This might not matter, except that humans weigh, much, much more.
“Humans. . . weigh in at 390 million tons, with their livestock and other hangers-on such as urban rats adding another 630 million tons. It is stark evidence of how the natural world is being overrun, researchers say. ‘I hope it will be a wake-up call to humanity that we should do all we can do to conserve wild mammals,’ says lead author Ron Milo, a quantitative biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science.”
A wake-up call to exactly what? You be the judge.
By the way, white-tailed deer are the wild species that weigh the most. Other animals, like elephants, are heavier individually, but there are fewer of them. H-T to R. J. Smith.
This image of a white-tailed deer from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service is in the public domain.