Wildlife encounters

There is a surprising amount of life in what one might imagine would be a fairly sterile environment.  In spite of an almost complete absence of sunlight in most places and the fact that the flora is limited to whatever can cling to sheer concrete surfaces, to date we have seen the following:
About the dead
We also find loads of dead animals.  At first I thought this was because there was something killing them, but it's more that the last step in the process has been circumvented.

I grew up in the woods and never used to see many dead animals except for when they were freshly killed (e.g., roadkill or immediately following a severe freeze).  However, in those cases the carcass is left right in the middle of nature, so it is reclaimed by organisms that will decompose it.  It is available to insects and fish and snakes or whatever can make use of it.  For example, during a drought one year, we lost all the fish in our pond.  The oxygen levels grew too low as the water volume was reduced, and all at once the whole pond literally went belly up.  It smelled like a seafood store pretty quickly, but there were snakes (water moccasins, specifically) that were munching on the fish already.  There were three of them in the pond making no secret of their presence.  Typically we rarely saw even one, and that was only if one of our dogs stirred it out.  The elements were present to remove the dead right away.

By contrast, urban areas are isolated.  The bodies of animals that have died (sometimes as a direct result of being in an urban area) are sequestered away from the rest of any recognizable ecosystem, so the aforementioned decomposers do not have access to them.  As a result, it isn't uncommon to run across dessicated carcasses inside warehouses or in parking lots that almost certainly would have been discovered otherwise by scavengers and the like.

I don't know that there's a solution to this problem or if indeed it is a problem of any magnitude worth remarking on, but it is an interesting phenomenon.


I hope you enjoyed the above and/or got some use out of it.  If you have anything to add, feel free to write me.
--the Urban Ale[x]plorer.

Copyright 2004-2007 Alexplorer.
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