- Polar bear
- Fish (minnow)
- Cone snail
- Tree frog
These animals actually reflect the ecological issues faced now.
- The bull, mouse and bird are invasive species.
- The polar bear and panda are well-known endangered animals.
- The polar bear also symbolizes global warming.
- Many kinds of fish are overfished.
- The tree frog represents deforestation of rainforests.
- The butterfly takes part in crop pollination and the cone snail can lead to medical breakthroughs. However, they face extinction.
Ecological issues raised:
Humans are causing:
- Extinctions at 100-1000 times the normal rate
- Over-harvesting of species to the point of extinction (e.g. overfishing of cod)
- Destruction of habitats
- Increased release of greenhouse gases which cause global warming
- Introduction of invasive species which kill off native species
–> disease control
The natural predators of disease-carrying organisms (e.g. mosquitoes) are killed off. These organisms can then multiply and cause epidemics.
–> medical breakthroughs
Organisms such as the cone snail can lead to the discovery of hundreds of new drugs to cure diseases more effectively. However, they may be extinct before the drugs can be discovered.
–> crop pollination
Organisms (e.g. bees) are the main pollinators of many flowering plants throughout the world. If they are extinct, these producers will be unable to reproduce and face extinction as well, leading to the collapse of the entire food web.
So, do not mess with the web of life!