Whales are the only large mammals that continue to fertilize the Earth.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – You’d never thought you’d say this, but Earth has not lost only some of its species, but also one of its greatest resource: animals’ feces. It appears that large mammals’ poop fertilizes the Earth and the decreasing presence of large animal species can deprive Earth’s soil of its properties.
The scientific paper was published in the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. For the current research, scientists have looked at the distribution of phosphorus, one of the richest nutrients on Earth, and they have discovered very interesting facts.
According to their explanation, mammals, be they large or small, contribute to the distribution of phosphorus through poop. When it comes to pooping, animals have only one rule in mind and that is, they do not want to poop in the same region they eat. Consequently, animals take their nutritive substances from one place and move it to another one, without knowing it.
Unfortunately, the recent research shows that the population of large mammals has become incredibly small in the past years. This, in turn, is affecting the Earth soil because phosphorus, too, is declining. In addition, most of the human activities are not making things better, either. Our constant need to grow animals in cattle is preventing mammals from freely pooping in nature, scientists have explained.
It is also important to notice, in scientists’ opinion that mammals’ had much more important role in the past. The Earth was much more fertile due to their presence as the new reports indicate.
Scientists think humans need not worry about the lack of nutrients. There are large mammals that continue to feed the Earth with significant nutrients and these are the whales. The latter live freely on the bottom of the ocean and they only come on top of the water to breathe and poop. These activities help recycle nutrients, so whales must be protected because they help preserve the Earth.
Even so, their contribution has dropped significantly compared to the past centuries. Investigators have estimated that whales can produce now only 23 percent of the quantity of nutrients they once used to disseminate. Similarly, bird and fish nutrients only cover 4 percent of the old value.
For more studies on mammals’ influence on the evolution of the Earth, read here.
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