One species on the planet, and one species only, has reached the point of being able to have an impact on the evolutionary fortunes of all other species and upon the functioning of all ecosystems. We also have, in a way that is not true for any other species, a relationship to the planet as a whole and to the future. We live with all life.
Walter Truett Anderson
Researchers keep identifying new species, but they have no idea about the life cycle of a given species or its other hosts. They cut open an animal and find a new species. Where did it come from? What effect does it have on its host? What is its next host? They don't know and they don't have time to find out, because there are too many other species waiting to be discovered and described.
From the point of view of the species, death is part of this whole process. You could say that species have evolved in such a way that individual members last a certain time. Perhaps a certain kind of species would be better able to survive if the individuals didn't last too long. Other kinds could last longer.
There are millions of different species of animals and plants on earth--possibly as many as forty million. But somewhere between five and fifty BILLION species have existed at one time or another. Thus, only about one in a thousand species is still alive--a truly lousy survival record: 99.9 percent failure!
David M. Raup
We ourselves are part of a guild of species that lie within and without our bodies. Aboriginal peoples and the Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India have names for such guilds, or beings made up (as we are) of two or more species forming one organism. Most of nature is composed of groups of species working interdependently ...
There can be no doubt that the existing Fauna and Flora is but the last term of a long series of equally numerous contemporary species, which have succeeded one another, by the slow and gradual substitution of species for species, in the vast interval of time which has elapsed between the deposition of the earliest fossiliferous strata and the present day.
Thomas Henry Huxley
...we sacrifice other species to our own not because our own has any objective metaphysical privilege over others, but simply because it is ours. It may be very natural to have this loyalty to our own species, but let us hear no more from the naturalists about the "sentimentality" of anti-vivisectionists. If loyalty to our own species - preference for man simply because we are men - is not sentiment, then what is?
C. S. Lewis
I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of of our fossils, radioactive at that.
My aim is to advocate that we make this mental switch in respect of our attitudes and practices towards a very large group of beings: members of species other than our own - or, as we popularly though misleadingly call them, animals. In other words, I am urging that we extend to other species the basic principle of equality that most of us recognize should be extended to all members of our own species.
The human species was given dominion over the earth and took the opportunity to exterminate other species and warm the atmosphere and generally ruin things in its own image, but it paid this price for its privileges: that the finite and specific animal body of this species contained a brain capable of conceiving the infinite and wishing to be infinite itself.
Zoologists have reckoned there are up to at least 750 species of animal that have been observed exhibiting same-sex behaviour, or gender role transformation (which is very common in a wide range of fauna). There is only one species on earth, however, which has exhibited homophobia or transphobia. And that is the species homo sapiens sapiens. Us. So let's not allow the foolish, ignorant or bigoted ever to use words like "natural."
There are about 250,000 different species of fossil plants and animals known . . In spite of this large quantity of information, it is but a tiny fraction of the diversity that [according to the theory] actually lived in the past. There are well over a million species living today and . . [it is] possible to predict how many species ought to be in our fossil record. That number is at least 100 times the number we have found.
David M. Raup
All the species recognized by Botanists came forth from the Almighty Creator's hand, and the number of these is now and always will be exactly the same, while every day new and different florists' species arise from the true species so-called by Botanists, and when they have arisen they finally revert to the original forms. Accordingly to the former have been assigned by Nature fixed limits, beyond which they cannot go: while the latter display without end the infinite sport of Nature.
There is a species of primate in South America more gregarious than most other mammals, with a curious behavior.The members of this species often gather in groups, large and small, and in the course of their mutual chattering , under a wide variety of circumstances, they are induced to engage in bouts of involuntary, convulsive respiration, a sort of loud, helpless, mutually reinforcing group panting that sometimes is so severe as to incapacitate them. Far from being aversive, however, these attacks seem to be sought out by most members of the species, some of whom even appear to be addicted to them... the species in Homo sapiens (which does indeed inhabit South America, among other places), and the behavior is laughter.
Daniel C. Dennett
It must be stressed that there is nothing insulting about looking at people as animals. We are animals, after all. Homo sapiens is a species of primate, a biological phenomenon dominated by biological rules, like any other species. Human nature is no more than one particular kind of animal nature. Agreed, the human species is an extraordinary animal; but all other species are also extraordinary animals, each in their own way, and the scientific man-watcher can bring many fresh insights to the study of human affairs if he can retain this basic attitude of evolutionary humility.
An island, on the other hand, is small. There are fewer species, and the competition for survival has never reached anything like the pitch that it does on the mainland. Species are only as tough as they need to be, life is much quieter and more settled [..] So you can imagine what happens when a mainland species gets introduced to an island. It would be like introducing Al Capone, Genghis Khan and Rupert Murdoch into the Isle of Wight - the locals wouldn't stand a chance.
But we must here state that we should not see anything if there were a vacuum. But this would not be due to some nature hindering species, and resisting it, but because of the lack of a nature suitable for the multiplication of species; for species is a natural thing, and therefore needs a natural medium; but in a vacuum nature does not exist.
Because one species is more clever than another, does it give it the right to imprison or torture the less clever species? Does one exceptionally clever individual have a right to exploit the less clever individuals of his own species? To say that he does is to say with the Fascists that the strong have a right to abuse and exploit the weak - might is right, and the strong and ruthless shall inherit the earth.
Richard D. Ryder
Perhaps walking is best imagined as an 'indicator species,' to use an ecologist's term. An indicator species signifies the health of an ecosystem, and its endangerment or diminishment can be an early warning sign of systemic trouble. Walking is an indicator species for various kinds of freedom and pleasures: free time, free and alluring space, and unhindered bodies.
Perhaps walking is best imagined as an 'indicator species, ' to use an ecologist's term. An indicator species signifies the health of an ecosystem, and its endangerment or diminishment can be an early warning sign of systemic trouble. Walking is an indicator species for various kinds of freedom and pleasures: free time, free and alluring space, and unhindered bodies.
A belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth. The falseness of a judgment is not for us necessarily an objection to a judgment. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life-preserving, species preserving, perhaps even species cultivating. To recognize untruth as a condition of life--that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.