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Living with Other Creatures – Richard Bauckham [Feature Review] | The Englewood Review of Books
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Pass it on! Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. Tribal hunters were able to kill more of the animals with the aid of firearms, and in some cases the United States government encouraged the widespread slaughter of bison herds. The vanishing species forced tribes dependent on the animal to move to new lands in search of food, and eventually those tribes could no longer support themselves and had to deal with the United States government for survival. Another species under threat that humans rely on is the common honeybee.
Living with Other Creatures – Richard Bauckham [Feature Review]
Bees are responsible for pollinating more than , species of plants. However, a malady known as "colony collapse disorder" has wiped out entire populations of the insect, and scientists have yet to discover its true cause. Dwindling bee populations have already forced some growers to import colonies to their fields in order to keep yields up, and continued losses could threaten the supply of crops like almonds, apples and cucumbers.
Of the different varieties of crops humans rely upon for food worldwide, 87 rely on pollinators, mainly honeybees, while only 28 different crops could survive without such assistance. Some species serve as buffers between humans and pathogens that could prove extremely dangerous.
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The common opossum is resistant to the parasites that cause Lyme disease, but human development and other factors have seen their numbers dwindle in the United States. Other species that have moved in to fill their ecological niche have less resistance to the disease, and as a result, the incidence of Lyme disease among humans in these regions has increased.
In some areas of the United States, the incidents of Lyme disease has increased by about 30 percent in the past 20 years. Scientists have also discovered links between the incidence of West Nile virus and hantavirus and local reductions in biodiversity. Animal extinctions may also rob humans of valuable medical advancements.
Many different species have unique bodily processes that can offer insight into curing human disease.