Why do animals even exist in this world, or maybe even the universe? What we are going to talk about might be the answer for that question, or at least give you a clear view about the uses of animals. No, we are not going to talk about the benefits they are giving to our tummies, but to the nature.
Naturally, animals are nature’s attendants. They live to serve the nature for at very least bringing balance to natural cycle. But the balance that animals bring to the nature is not only that, because they bring to many other ‘miracles’ we don’t usually see clearly.
But not all of us can see such kind of miracle with naked eyes, thus many questions why do they even exist. That’s why, we feel the need to explain some examples of how animals bring ‘miracles’ to the nature in a way that not any other species are able to.
Carbon Absorbing Whale
The presence of whales is important to the whole ocean ecosystem, including to phytoplankton. Their nature as sea mammals makes them have the urge to take breathe every now and then on the surface of sea water.
This activity brings nutrients from deep ocean into the surface, which will benefit phytoplankton floating in the surface. This simple cycle of nutrients has been happening for millenniums and proven its effectiveness by maintaining the earth in its current state nowadays.
This effective cycle of nutrients can even increase phytoplankton productivity in storing and converting carbon dioxide. From researchers’ calculation, even 1% increase in phytoplankton productivity is the same as working 2 billion trees.
In this case, instead of leaving carbon footprints, whales can completely nullify it and even help to store carbon. Researchers said that enhancement by whales can catch up to 37 tons of carbon dioxide for a year. Compare it to a single tree that can absorb about 48 pounds of it each year.
In many of our posts, we stated how important beaver’s dam to prevent flood. Not only for preventing flood, apparently the dams are important in many other cases.
Ben Goldfarb, in his newest book Eager explained that this animal is nature’s premier construction engineer. Goldfarb also said that beavers and their dams are more than flood-stopper animals. “The number of species that depend on these beaver habitats is virtually limitless.” as he said in an interview with National Geographic
“Classic beaver behavior, which every third grader can identify, is building dams. By doing this, they create ponds and wetlands that turn out to be important for many reasons. The first is biodiversity habitat, providing places to live for fish and wildlife,” Goldfarb continued.
One of the examples is how beaver dams support the lives of many creatures in American West, where the climate and environment is pretty dry. In that area, wetland just covers about 2% of total land area, even though it covers up for 80% of biodiversity.
This is why creatures like beavers which are able to create their own wetlands is very important in the area. Animals like frogs, salmons, and ducks depend highly on the presence of beaver’s dams in American West to live full cycle of their lives.
For long, corals are considered as the natural indicator of water conditions. They are delicate, sensitive creatures that can only be found in clear and clear parts of the ocean, and easily damaged by little changes in the environment.
Not only that, corals are also the home for many marine creatures. Have you ever watched Finding Nemo? In that movie you will notice that every single species of fish is living in or around coral reefs, even the school is around coral reef.
For us, coral reefs help to slow down ocean waves because they act as an underwater barrier for it. They also protect coastline from storms and erosion with their delicate toughness. All of those have been their job for millions of years.
That’s how important coral reef is, but not many people are able to notice it and destroy coral reefs directly and indirectly. Using sunscreen is one way that can destroy coral reefs indirectly because coral reefs are very sensitive to the chemicals in sunscreen.
The next animal that we are going to talk about is almost definitely a man’s best friend. Yes, dogs are one of the most favorite animals on earth, along with cats. There are so many things we can talk about with dogs, but in this article, we are going to talk about one specific miracle it can give us.
Scientists in United States just discovered that dogs can be trained to detect diseases in trees with almost perfect accuracy. The disease that they are trained to detect is called citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB).
The disease itself is known to be a deadly disease with no cure up to nowadays. The best way to prevent the whole colony from getting infected is early detection and get rid of infected individuals. This is where the dogs with such kind of ability is needed.
Timothy Gottwald, a plant epidemiologist who conducted the study, suggested that the dogs’ ability to sniff out the infected trees can prevent the outbreak to happen. Not only that, it will allow citrus industry in United States to keep their sustainability for another decade.
This is a story about Tang Zhengqing and his 7 ducks. Tang brings his ducks every day to rice paddies for more than 3 years because of specific reason. “In the past, I didn’t care where my ducks would be; But now I want to make sure they all go to my rice paddies,” he said to National Geographic.
The reason why he brings his ducks to rice paddies is to feed them with natural resources. But that’s not the only mission they carry. The are also brought there to guard crops from insects and their appetite also protect the rice paddies from weeds.
By using the service of the ducks, the farmers don’t need to use chemical insecticides and herbicides. Their rice paddy is protected naturally by the appetite of the ducks itself. This is one perfect example of mutualism symbiosis.
So, from this article, you should have learnt how animals are naturally nature’s attendant. This is just a small part of the whole cake, and that’s why we should learn to respect them.