[extropy-chat] Bowhead Whales May be the World's Oldest Mammals

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 11:31:14 UTC 2007

On 3/27/07, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> But isn't that typically stagnant water?

Not always.  We had a case in MA recently of an animal falling into a local
town's water tank and polluting it with bacteria but cholera can often break
out in moving bodies of water (especially common is transfer from an
upstream (waste) source to downstream water usage - when sufficient
purification is unavailable).

That's my assumption too, and is presumably largely due to the factor
> I mentioned, that there are fewer boundaries in the oceans to enable
> localized populations of bugs to develop without contact with others
> of their kind.

This could be debated.  I suspect there are wide variations (and dominant
species) comparing bacteria found in the arctic with bacteria found in the
antarctic.  One of the things which has become clearer only recently is the
extent to which bacteria exist as "communities" where specific individual
species shoulder part of the "biochemical burden" the community requires for
existence.  The balance between the largest organisms and the smallest can
best be viewed as a delicate balance over longer time scales.

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