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alien biodiversity

Inin inin at aol.com
Sat Oct 29 02:22:01 EST 1994

 Biodiversity: What would Aliens write about the Earth?
 H. S. Walter - UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1524.
  I have been asking myself (to keep my brain stimulated and to avoid
 ecofatigue) what an alien research team assigned to explore the earth
would decide to report on. What aspects of the living earth would it find
 interesting, important, worthy of in-depth study? Naturally, the team
would decide do complete an exhaustive study of humans. But the
researchers would probably be fascinated by many other organisms as well.
So, here is the challenge: the alien-compiled "TERRA REPORTS" contain 100
short essays on life on earth. They exclude humans or parts of organisms.
Please, feel free to analyze and reason which 100 species and higher taxa
and/or ecosystems are most likely to have been selected by our ever so
curious visiting scientists from space. Please, send short messages and
justifications. My training is in vertebrates and biogeography; I am
definitely weak in other areas of global biodiversity and need help. Below
are a few of the species and communities that I feel should be reported on
by our colleagues from somewhere within the galaxy. Please send your
contribution to me and I will sort the answers and report back to you
weekly as "Terra Reports No. 1", "Terra Reports No. 2", etc. Have fun.  

Please, send your contribution to Walter at geog.sscnet.ucla.edu. Thanks.
 (1) Higher Plants
  redwoods and other species with extreme longevity
 (2) Dolphins and Whales
  Intelligence, communication under water
 (3) Funghi
  Ability to utilize other organisms
 (4) Parasites
  A species/taxon with the most incredible life cycle
 (5) Social Insects
  Complex organization (ants, bees, what?)
 (6) Octopus
  Intelligence, deep sea life
 (7) Dogs
  Unique pet of the galaxy(?)
 (8) Rain Forest Ecosystem
  Richness, complexity
 (9) Life in caves, ocean hot vents, hot springs
  Extreme physical environment success stories
 (10) Bacteria and Viruses
  Extreme survival capabilities (which ones?)
 (11) The most beautiful life form on earth (?)
  Suggestions, please.
 End of file "Terra Reports".


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