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SNS: Killing the Killers

SNS: Killing the Killers


In This Issue
Week of 1/2/2017    
Vol. 22 Issue 1

FEATURE: Killing the Killers

  • The Brain Ladder
  • The Role and Meaning of Apex Predators
  • Why Should We Care?
  • The Problem
  • The Solution

Quotes of the Week

Takeout Window

  • NBC Announces Trumps Selection for Secretary of State
  • New startup maps out environmental health risks. Too bad, Seattle.


  • Russia’s Invisible Hand, Part II



There are two top predators on the planet.

But I am already getting ahead of the story.

On land, animals have no requirement for streamlining, as they would in water, which covers three-quarters of the planet. On land, it is possible to build a house, grow food, make roads, have fingers and toes, store things in buildings, write on paper.

In the ocean, you must do the same things, generally, but all in your head: your house is the sea, with no walls; your map and the roads are solely in your brain. There is no agriculture possible, so all your food comes from mapping, memory, and hunting.

On land, you see. Your brain has evolved visually. Underwater, you see almost nothing, so your brain has evolved to use sonar – the echoes of sound – to see=hear the world, “seeing” it through sound.

Mammals who evolved on land are localized, digital, tribal, visual.

Mammals who were on land but returned to the sea live in an oceanwide environment, digit-free, very social, and acoustic.

If you were a Martian coming to Earth for the first time, you might ask:

a. Who is in charge here? And
b. Over what? And
c. Who is the smartest animal on this planet?

While humans are clearly “in charge” on the planet, it turns out that the story is more complicated than that. Humans are the top predators on land, for example, but orcas (killer whales) are the top predators in the sea. And the sea is three-quarters of the planet’s surface area.

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