ranking biological success

Vincenzo Nardi-Dei vinz at pclsp2.kuicr.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Wed Jan 5 02:36:20 EST 1994

I have read

> Yesterday's NYT had an article on "The Importance of Being Invertebrate"
> citing the enormous numbers of insect species relative to all other phyla.
> They also reprt that there is around 55 times as much invertebrate biomass
> as human biomass on North America. It struck me that neither of these was
> quite fair since number of species may reflect only propensity to speciate
> and since weighing the biomass of several phyla (all the creepy crawlies)
> against one subspecies (Homo sapiens subsp sapiens) was a stacked choice.
> What are the accepted measures of "success" of various biological entities?
> Total free energy consumed? Total nucleic acid complexity? Just curious.

It remainds me when at the elementary school the teacher used to get
angry if someone of us tried to make the addition of pears to apples.


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