Monday, October 22, 2007

The White Man

Q: The following passage was taken from a science textbook. What year was it published?

"Before the white man arrived on the Great Plains of North America, nature through millennia had evolved a balance. The land easily supported a wonderful variety of living creatures, many competing with each other to survive, yet all to some extent dependent on one another. They seldom lingered in one place long enough to damage the area by overgrazing... Jack rabbits, ground squirrels and many other smaller animals flourished on the Great Plains, but each species' natural tendency to multiply was constantly checked by available food and by predators. The Indians themselves, largely nomadic, adjusted to the natural order. But the white settlers saw wealth in the grasslands in the form of cattle and sheep. They killed off the competing herds of pronghorn and bison. Predators were poisoned, as were the prairie dogs into whose holes the cattle stumbled, often breaking their legs. Birds feeding off poisoned carcasses were poisoned in turn. Insects and small rodens on which the birds had fed then multiplied and the land suffered devastating plagues. Cattle overgrazed the range, and sheep nibbled the grasses to their roots. The biome was torn apart, erosion set in and large areas of the once rich plains turned into deserts."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A: 1963 Life "Ecology"

No comments: