"The smell is potent for a quarter mile, and lasts for weeks."
June 19, 2017 1:01 PM   Subscribe

 
Well, thank goodness for the perspective.
posted by Etrigan at 1:30 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


So this is basically Gaia's grease trap?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:14 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


And I thought the smell of tens of thousands of rotting salmon was bad.. At least at the end of salmon-spawning season we mercifully benefit from heavy rains which flood the creeks and wash much of what's left along the banks out into the ocean..
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:43 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


about 6500 animals drown each year, dumping 10 blue whales’ worth of meat into the river.

Land megafauna are such puny creatures.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:28 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


Funny but 6500 wildebeast seems a lot more impressive to me than 10 blue whales... analogy fail from mt perspective.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:37 PM on June 19 [4 favorites]


Funny but 6500 wildebeast seems a lot more impressive to me than 10 blue whales

Degree of difficulty: getting the whales across the Serengeti.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:28 PM on June 19 [11 favorites]


The comparison to buffalo is interesting. It is hard to imagine how different the landscape here would be if it were still occupied by the historic herds. At least some of the Serengeti wildlife is still able to follow those seasonal routes, even if the numbers have been reduced from what they were.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:39 PM on June 19


Poor beasties :-(
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:08 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


Analogy Fail From Mt Perspective

One of Dawkins' earlier works.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:09 PM on June 19 [8 favorites]


The comparison to buffalo is interesting. It is hard to imagine how different the landscape here would be if it were still occupied by the historic herds.

There is some thinking that massive Bison herds never existed; that their numbers were kept in check by Native American hunting until European diseases rolled through and wiped out the local population and the resulting short lived Buffalo population explosion is what settlers saw when they finally arrived 100 or so years later.
posted by PenDevil at 1:22 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Wait someone tell PETA all those poor animals getting hurt, they should put up fences.
posted by sammyo at 4:44 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


There is some thinking that massive Bison herds never existed; that their numbers were kept in check by Native American hunting until European diseases rolled through and wiped out the local population and the resulting short lived Buffalo population explosion is what settlers saw when they finally arrived 100 or so years later.

Do you have a link for this? I actually thought that bison hunting on any scale greater than 'steer a few off a cliff' was only possible after the introduction of horses and firearms to North America.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:46 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I've seen theories that Passenger Pigeons underwent a huge population explosion when native peoples stopped harvesting tree nuts and grain crops due to mass die offs. The giant migratory flocks were caused by ecological upsets, they weren't natural.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:57 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Emma Rosi is my former labmate and was also the first author of the awesome "Baltimore streams are full of meth" article that was published in August. I love the range of things she works on.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:54 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Does she ever drink anything that she hasn't personally boiled?
posted by Etrigan at 10:44 AM on June 20


Do you have a link for this?

1491 - "Among these phenomena was a population explosion in the species that the Indians had kept down by hunting. After disease killed off the Indians, Kay believes, buffalo vastly extended their range. Their numbers more than sextupled. The same occurred with elk and mule deer. "If the elk were here in great numbers all this time, the archaeological sites should be chock-full of elk bones," Kay says. "But the archaeologists will tell you the elk weren't there." On the evidence of middens the number of elk jumped about 500 years ago."
posted by PenDevil at 11:09 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Quirks and Quarks just aired an interview with David Post, one of the study's authors:

Mass drownings of wildebeest nourish Serengeti river ecosystem
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:56 AM on June 24


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