Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 01 Jun 2001 11:40:41 -0400

>I was doing a mental excercise one day. Tyring to explain to a
>layman why, say, the devil's hole pupfish is important when they
>will surely be dead in a million years, along with most everything
>else we recognize today. I was forced to conclude that it is
>important only to a very few people. If many of our beloved fishes
>go extinct then it won't have a significant impact on the local or
>global ecology (and if it did, a new system would emerge) and
>nobody would miss what they never knew was there anyway.
Actually, the devil's hole pupfish have somewhat better odds than that in
the big picture of things. Looking at the fossil record, the average species
life span is about 10 million years (based on the work of Raup and Jablonski
at the Univ. of Chicago). The d.h. pupfish are more at risk, of course,
since they live in that fragile hole in the wall-type pool. But ya never
know... evolution is nothing if not unpredictable!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL "where the poaching opportunities could be wild!"

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