General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

What does bird diversity tell us about our own human diversity, or the limited diversity of primates?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) June 6th, 2020 from iPhone

I was thinking of the way birds have filled so many niches in so many environments. Some with flight, some flightless, others aquatic, it’s incredible to think how diverse they became.

Is it fair to look at humans, and make a similar comparison to all mammals, or is the comparison more to be compared to the diversity of primates?

Do birds have faster adaptability?

Until humans, were any vertebrate animals as apt as the birds at life?

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9 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The faster that a lifeform can reproduce from birth speeds up natural selection. Humans gestation rates are 9.5 months while Fruit flys are much quicke at 24 – 30 hours. Plus the time as an infant. 20 years or so for humans

Ltryptophan's avatar

We aren’t surrounded by flying mice (bats ain’t mice), or flying cats, or swimming mice…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Ltryptophan What we have now is amazing.
Bio-diversity among species is amazing.
The ability to heal most wounds is amazing.
Brains of any size are awesome.

LostInParadise's avatar

When comparing human diversity to bird diversity, you are comparing a single species to a family of species. On the other hand, if you look at the range of human behavior, it compares quite well to that of birds. Humans can fly (in airplanes) and they can reach the lowest depths of the ocean.

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Darth_Algar's avatar

Humans, as is, have been so adept of inventing ways to adapt to varying environs, and of overcoming our physical limitations, that there’s been little evolutionary pressure on us. Hence the relative lack of biodiversity.

Lightlyseared's avatar

“Birds” is an entire class covering over 10700+ species. Human is a single species. The comparison is non-sensical.
The statements that bats aren’t flying mice or that there are no flying cats or swimming mice as examples of how birds are more diverse than mammals are again non sensical as you are purposefully not comparing like with like and trying to be clever about it.
If you compare birds with mammals mammals are easily more diverse.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Birds are what remains of dinosaurs in the current fauna for perspective. Their primary niche is flight, the rest are secondary but over time it has made them into many different species. Humans it is technology, we occupy all if the landscapes birds do but also the subterranean and now space. Humans don’t need to biodiversify to occupy these areas, we engineer the necessary tools to make it happen. Birds also have hundreds of millions of years of evolution over primates. Class insecta though, that’s a diverse group of critters.

Ltryptophan's avatar

It’s fair to compare birds to rodents. There are many species of rodents. All vertebrates have a common ancestor.

Birds are special :P

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