Why Study Biodiversity? - the big question of the focus for September in the Year of Science - was beautifully answered by Jane Goodall on the Diane Rhem show September 9. One remarkable example given by Ms. Goodall was the endangered burying beetle, which systematically buries carcasses that will provide food for its young and transports the tiny mites which eat fly larvae off the carcass. The marvels of co-evolution are evident in the life cycles of both beetle and mite, as well as the impact on the environment if that partnership is disrupted by the extinction of either.
Listen to the episode, and hear Ms. Goodall discuss the essential roles played by organisms of all types and sizes, the vast number of species in danger of extinction before they are even described or understood, and our dependency on biodiversity for maintaining healthy ecosystems that support human as well as other forms of life. A copy of Goodall's new book is on its way to the Science Library:
Hope for animals and their world : how endangered species are being rescued from the brink / Jane Goodall, with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson.