Responsibility: The nature of dwarfs of mammals

Weight imbalances: The biology of humans, animals, pets and mammals. Credit: Itai Raveh

We often think that our world is an endless realm of vast plains, forests and oceans, full of wildlife featured in unforgettable shows like the BBC’s Planet Earth. But the world’s first census of wild mammals, conducted by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and reported today. PNASIt reveals the extent to which our natural world—with its iconic animals—has become extinct.

The new report shows that the biodiversity of wild mammals on land and in the sea is rising due to the combination of cattle, pigs, sheep and other mammals. A team led by Professor Ron Milo found that the mass of wild animals was about 630 million tons—30 times the weight of all land mammals (about 20 million tons) and 15 times that of marine mammals (million tons). 40).

A previous study, which was discussed extensively Weather Researchers at the Milo Laboratory in the Weizmann Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences have shown that in 2020, the total number of man-made objects – everything from skyscrapers to newspapers – will surpass all living things on earth, from redwoods to honey. In the new study, the researchers provide a new perspective on the rapidly increasing human impact on our planet, which is seen in the relationship between humans and mammals, and wild mammals.

“This study is an attempt to see the big picture,” Milo said. “The diversity of mammal species can hide dramatic changes affecting our planet. But the distribution of biodiversity around the world reveals a number of facts that would be difficult to understand otherwise. not. small numbers of other wild animals.”

To calculate the content of the warm-blooded species, the researchers collected the available statistics of wild animal species and the mean characteristics of hundreds. Research students Lior Greenspoon and Eyal Krieger led the translation of the collected data into biological estimates. The collected statistics provide information on nearly half of the world’s mammal species. The team calculated the remaining half using a machine learning mathematical model that was trained in the first half and which includes several parameters, including human body weight, geographic distribution, nutrition and animal distribution.

The research shows that human influence also has a significant impact on the low presence of mammals in nature. Many of the wild animals at the top of the biological chart, such as white-tailed deer and wild boar, have gone there partly because of human activities and are now considered pests in some areas.

The new study’s genetic statistics could help monitor the world’s wild animal populations and help assess the risk of disease spreading from animals to humans — a trend that many epidemiologists warn will continue. and cause an epidemic.

Six pounds per person

For humans, mammals are a source of inspiration, and often serve as icons that inspire conservation efforts. To better understand human impact on the environment, scientists in the Milo Lab are currently studying how mammalian cells have changed over the past centuries. “I think it’s important to understand, for example, when the average weight of a domestic mammal exceeds that of a wild one,” Greenspoon said. “A better understanding of human-induced changes can help set conservation goals and give us a better perspective on long-term global processes.”

“As we experience the fullness of nature, through movies, museums or tourism, we can be tempted to think that nature is an endless and endless process. In fact, the weight of all the rest of the country The wild. Mammals make up less than 10 percent of the human combined weight, which is about 6 lbs of wild animals per person,” Milo said. “In other words, our research shows, statistically, the extent of our influence and how our decisions and choices in the coming years will determine what is left of nature for future generations.”

Additional information:
Greenspoon, Lior et al, The global ecology of mammals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2023). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2204892120

Provided by the Weizmann Institute of Science

hintWeight: Livestock weight of mammals (2023, February 27) Retrieved February 28, 2023 from

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