Flaneur

By NickMog

Insects

Nature abhors a vacuum. And, if an ecological niche is unfilled, Nature, through the agency of Evolution, will invariably fill it. On our recent voyages, we found an archipelago where the occupants of these niches were quite different from the creatures to which we are used. The islands must have been cut off for millions of years and is interesting to observe how the same ecological “jobs” have emerged as in our, familiar, world. There are hunters and grazers and creatures that feed on tall trees and animals that feed on the waste of other animals. The jobs are familiar but the post-holders are certainly not. Whereas, in the previously known world, all of these niches are, of course, filled by species of insects - from the giant hunting roaches to the tiny beetles that nest on the riverbanks - on these strange islands, the majority of the higher species are mammals! But, unlike the insignificant shrews that are such a nuisance to us, these mammals can be as large as our own Behe-moths. Some climb trees, some build underground warrens. And some even walk upright and use tools. Just like us.

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