mA

by john

the wonderful series Life on Earth (1979) produced by John Sparks and narrated by David Attenborough is a wonderful example of what happens when great people work together and make something wonderful. the science is sound, the music melodic, the pictures picturesque and the sound engineering astounding.

the many and varied sounds of animals and motion pictures of their movements, behaviours from high up in the sky to deep underwater are captured with technical prowess. extreme closeups and good storytelling. an orchestra playing a different soundtrack for each animal. to think that they travelled a million miles to capture all this footage, edit and air it. applause, please.

reptiles are not really cold-blooded. they just need to absorb heat from the sunlight for their bodies to work properly. we are all descended from fish. turns out we were all a bunch of sea squirts a few hundred million years back. nature can be pretty gross. but it can also be beautiful. there is a species of ant that lives only in the acacia tree found in Africa.

think about it. a few (65-250) million years. that is a lot of time. in that time, the dinosaurs ruled and disappeared from the world, Australia separated from the Antarctic both of which in turn separated from Africa. it makes my waiting for the laundry to be finished seem like a blink of an eye. i will also die in fifty or so years. ah. such short lives we live.

the dinosaurs died out because of a sudden change in climate. some reptiles survived, such as the crocodile. the crocodile, the turtle, the nautilus and the horseshoe crab are all examples of living fossils. they have survived unchanged for millions of years.

at our current rate of living, i am not sure that humans can even make it to the million year mark. we will be but a slice of history in the rocks. perhaps a luckier, less warlike and greedy and more advanced species will look at our fossils and shake its head, proclaiming our foolishness.