I’ve decided to make a small collection of notable videos about life on Earth. I’ve chosen these videos specifically to compliment each other, in the hope that, together, they will convey a sense of the incredible variety and complexity of life on our planet.
The first is a very short video of an animal called the Supreme Bird of Paradise. It’s elaborate courtship rituals nicely demonstrate the incredible variety of social behaviors in the animal kingdom. Also, it’s hilarious.
This next video is actually about a network of subterranean fresh-water caves in Mexico, in what used to be the Mayan Empire. I chose this video not because it features incredible creatures, but because it demonstrates the incredible resilience of life; the fact that animals can thrive in places that never see sunlight is truly astounding. It makes one wonder how many hundreds of thousands of distinct ecosystems exist in the bizarre and remote places on this planet.
Most of you have probably seen this video before, but I’d like to include it anyway. It’s the Lyrebird; the animal with the most advanced vocal cords in the world. I think this video demonstrates the incredible intelligence of life on Earth. Though to us it seems like animals simply coast through their existence by haphazardly figuring out a means of basic survival, this video shows that such underestimations are grossly incorrect. Indeed, the social patterns of some animals often seems more mysterious and complex than our own.
This last video demonstrates many important things about the natural world. First: a plant that digests insects. In many ways, the plant’s digestive system is no different that our own. Chemicals are used to break down organic tissue and convert them into nutrients. The difference between us and plants, of course, is that we consciously put food in our mouths, while the plants have simply evolved trap-like entranceways for procuring it’s pray. Secondly, a spider that inhabits the plant. This demonstrates how life grows on top of life … the kind of bizarre relationships that develop between two organisms, be they symbiotic, or otherwise. A spider uses a certain type of plant to catch pray, just as we manipulate seeds to grow food, or use sharpened sticks to hunt game. Life, on this Earth, for all it’s varieties and apparent distinctions, is all derived from the same fundamentals – all built with the same building blocks.