As a species, humans are the most curious genus. The human being, of all species, is the apex predator of the apex predators in the world with cunning and stealth like no other.
At worst, someone is reading this to you from a print out on a piece of paper or from memory after reading or hearing it. At best it is being read out to you via computer technology, in development since the 1880s. Whatever it may be, no other species has this capability. Other apex predators, being the shark (of the sea) and bears/big cats (of the land).
I assume these other apex predators are identified from the human point of view of what kills the most humans. It seems to be fueled by the seemingly grizzly way these predators kill humans. With this in mind perhaps mosquitos might be a strong contender for the number one position of apex predators, other than humans. With malaria and dengue, mosquitos kill more people each year than shark, bear and big cats put together.
What of viruses like, the current COVID-19, Spanish flu and the common cold.
If the measure is of shear beings killed in the need to survive, a whale would surely be a contender. The humpbacked whale, the largest and hungriest of all whales, with its filter-feeding mouth consuming millions of krill with every gulp.
Krill is in increasingly short supply in the world’s oceans. This is most probably not due to overfishing by humpbacked whales. The changing ocean currents, due to the rise in temperature of the world’s oceans, is affecting krill’s breeding nurseries. Nurseries at the north and south pole. The ecosystem, changing so fast, the krill cannot adapt/evolve quickly enough to sustain the numbers of the past. No krill, no food for whales unless a man-made substitute is created. Should manmade food be developed how do you feed them? Most probably like other aquaculture, in concentrated pens. Alternatively, direct feeding through the digestive system much like people do when oral food is not an option. No food and all the efforts by international bodies and individuals, to stop the wholesale fishing of whales, will be for nothing.
I wonder what krill eat and what will happen should the food krill eat become endangered or extinct. Disappearing through a virus, changing sea temperatures and currents, overfishing or pollution. Without wanting to catastrophise, a catastrophe of the combination of all the previously mentioned conditions happening together at once. Thus setting off an uncontrollable chain reaction in the world’s oceans ecosystem, a domino effect.
On the land moles, by size and weight, are possibly the apex predator of animals, eating half their body weight per day in worms.
On what humans prey on, in relation to other humans, there is the stand out periods of genocide, the mass murder of its own species which is the domain of political leaders and its sycophantic followers. Sociopaths, sometimes serial murderers, whose’ occupation per capita in relation to prison populations in Canada, are most often doctors. This a statistic derived from the only known study of its kind in the world. Other predators are paedophiles, whose’ occupation, per capita of Canada, in relation to prison populations, are Teachers (most of these people are women), also from the only known study of its kind in the world. …but then there are Lawyers! Based on the only known study of its kind, prison populations by profession per capita in Canada; Lawyers bare the highest prevalence of substance abusers.
Perhaps the lowest of lows the human society can stoop to is war! The most degrading of behaviour common only to humans and ants. For every man, woman and child there is no greater catastrophe than a war in the name of human civilisation.
War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! (Edwin Starr)
Edwin Starr – War
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” (Voltaire)
On a lighter note, there is the human aspect to love and compassion, generosity and intellect, creativity as well as self-reflection. These qualities are not seen widely in the animal world. It is more prevalent in mammals than other species yet there are isolated incidences of cross-species compassion between a lion and a deer, a dog and a sheep, a cat and a chicken. Anyone that had a pet dog or cat could recognise this!
In Australia, most female prison members are there due to financial fraud. Men in Australia are more likely to go to prison for reasons of violence. The Australian legal system is geared such that theft is a more heinous crime than violence, as a nation, you could conclude we’re quite comfortable with violence. Last night I rang the local police to complain about my neighbours playing loud music until 3:00 am. The recorded message notifying me that if it was an emergency I should ring ‘000’ and if it was theft I should push a number to be put through to the local police station. No option for violence other than making another phone call!
Perhaps this is why Australia is so comfortable with violence, never having been a major military war on its own soil, so quick to run off to the other side of the world in the defence of freedom. Time after time, fighting wars that have little immediate bearing on the protection of our people. A defence force and government that in times of war has historically had offence as the only strategy for defence. A country that is so comfortable with violence that for the period of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, we recently had more people suicide during that same length of time. If we repeatedly have no compassion for ourselves, like the consistent rate of top honours for being the most suicidal nation in the world suggests, what lessons are we teaching our enemies by inflicting our values on them?