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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are there species the world can do without?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) April 7th, 2011

Often times there is talk of a species going extinct like the pandas or the tigers, what species is there the world would not miss if they all vanished or were hunted away? For instance if the world was devoid of armadillos would anyone even noticed, except in Texas you would not have to keep dodging them? What about crows, what is their function in the eco system no other bird can do? If all the trout went away there are still 10s of thousand of other fish species left, so why would they be missed? Are there just some species that are here on Earth that serve no purpose?

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28 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

In my PERSONAL opinion the world would be a lot better without humans..

And this because humans do not adapt instead they adapt the world to suit them. Take a look at all the sh*ts humans did to the earth.

The earth needs a doctor :P

ucme's avatar

Wasps! I fucking hate the little buggers. I mean all they do is scavenge pester & sting. Like mini rats with wings. Get rid, like yesterday.

phoebusg's avatar

To answer that question we’ve to look at what is “useful” at least in a specific context. That of the larger biosphere surviving.

Things on the useful list: algae, plankton, bees, plants in general (transform the environment into something habitable), fungi (transform waste back to usable material), and other microorganisms that do the same.

Some of the above could still go, we’d miss out a huge part of biodiversity but still survive. The transition period(s) would be very rough though. Population will be cut by a large percent.

The rest of the food-chain could go and “life” on the planet would be fine. Perhaps we too, if we adapt our technology fast enough.

rooeytoo's avatar

Yeah I often wonder the same thing. I suppose it is a shame to see a species disappear but really, would the world be a better place if dinosaurs still roamed freely?

Great question>

Hidden_Mystery's avatar

I think everything would have played a part in some small way, even if we will not be aware of that for centuries to come. But, if I can just mention something could die out whose loss would be dangerous then the simple honey bee is probably the most threatened and most needed species on our planet.

Our food chain as far as vegetables, fruit and plants,would greatly suffer if Bees which is an already threatened species _ died out. It would cause mass famine.

So try not to kill any this summer no matter how afraid of them you might be.

ragingloli's avatar

The most useless species on the planet are humans and its domesticated vermin. The planet would be far better off without them.
(but just wait for 2012, when we will invade your planet and end your existence. everything will be fine)

Hidden_Mystery's avatar


It is okay! We have already prepared for your coming.
Don’t look behind you. lol
Being domesticated and human means we just allow aliens like the male of our species to think they are in charge.

Seems humans are not so useless after all.

ragingloli's avatar

You are not prepared for this.

Hidden_Mystery's avatar

I see our plans are running to schedule. :-)
I would tell you what happens next but I don’t want to spoil it.
Surprise is always best.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

He’s kind of a jerk…or is he?

Cruiser's avatar

Asian Ladybugs….I despise those little buggers!

marinelife's avatar

Speciation is constantly changing.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I honestly don’t see the need for mosquitoes and waterbugs. There are plenty of other insects for snakes and spiders to eat. We’d be fine without mosquitoes and waterbugs! Really! Kill em all!

nikipedia's avatar

it is estimated that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, so I think we can probably get by without just about any of them.

Coloma's avatar

I think that anything that IS here, is supposed to here.
Trying to make a determination on the value of any other life form is arrogant and reeks of specism.

Even creatures such as mosquitos and fleas and ticks, have their place.
Certain disease carrying insects play a part in keeping the herds thinned, and this includes the human herd.

Crows eat a lot of carrion and, therefore, aide in keeping roadkill and disease from such, to a minimum.

It could certainly be argued that mankinds ‘contributions’ to a healthy and balanced natural earth are far less than that of the common maggot, which effectively processes dead flesh into organic, life sustaining material.

Quite frankly, maggots do more for the health of the earth than most people and I’d much rather wake up to the cawing of a Crow than somebodies car alarm. lol

Pandora's avatar

FREAKEN STINK BUGS! They reproduce by the billions and have no real purpose.

rooeytoo's avatar

Will all those who are feel humans should be extinct, please line up on the freeway, I’m sure your wish can be granted. The rest of us will then proceed without you and the dinosaurs!!!

DominicX's avatar

I remember some scientists’ report that if mosquitoes were eradicated, it would not have much of an effect on the ecosystem. I wouldn’t mind seeing them gone. They’re annoying and they spread disease. :\

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I could live without cockroaches, but I don’t know if the world could.

faye's avatar

I’d see mosquitoes and spiders go, don’t know any good they do and they bother me.

Coloma's avatar


Spiders eat mosquitos, bonus points for spiders! :-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Coloma This is true! I really hate spiders, but they do eat some of the other nasties!

faye's avatar

@Coloma If there were no mosquitoes, there wouldn’t need to be spiders that eat them.

mattbrowne's avatar

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum which is extremely neurotoxic.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Clearly we can keep existing without some species, as we’re going through an extreme extinction event right now and have been for decades. But there is a critical mass of extinctions after which point ecosystems collapse. Also, some species are “keystone” species, which means they exert a disproportionately large influence over the homeostasis of an ecosystem. Often these keystone species are apex predators.

Coloma's avatar

Passive aggressive people are a species we could get along without just fine. lol

auntydeb's avatar

The question surely can never be answered. It’s too late for some, as a result of human activity or because evolution has sifted them out while we were looking; but until we understand how every species interacts with every other, we can’t say that a single one wouldn’t be missed. It’s all about patterns, links, effects and possibilities. Humans need to evolve some patience with themselves, we are, after all, a young species ourselves.

My personal fear is that if I live to be old, I’ll see common lovelies like the robin or sparrow disappear. Sometimes I don’t want to live that long.

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