Friday, January 20, 2012

Nature's Viet Cong

In Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, author David Quammen writes about one of the world's most despised insects:

"...the mosquito is taking a bad rap. It has been victimized, I submit to you, by a strong case of anthropocentric bias. In fact, the little sucker can be viewed, with only a small bit of squinting, as one of the great ecological heroes of planet Earth. If you consider rainforest preservation. The chief point of blame, with mosquitoes, happens also to be the chief point of merit: They make tropical rainforests, for humans, virtually uninhabitable

So as Europe was being stripped of its virgin woods, and India and China, and the North American heartland, the tropical rainforests largely escaped, lasting into the late twentieth century—with some chance, at least, that they may endure a bit longer. Thanks to what? To a concatenation of accidental and deterministic factors, no doubt, among which should be included this: 10 million generations of jungle-loving, disease-bearing, bloodsucking mosquitoes—the Culicidae, nature’s Vietcong.

1 comment:

creynolds said...

I will never look at a mosquito the same way. LOL that’s just perfect…