Pigeons and Rats and Humans, Oh My!

When Charles Darwin first introduced his book, Steal This Evolution, (it might have been called something else) the world was like “wtf, dude.”  (Yes that is how i wrapped up Darwin and his theories)  But now, years later, I did a study of my own.  Using Darwin’s theories on natural selection and survival of the fittest, I looked at which animals have adopted a strategy that would make them evolutionary “winners”  As we all know, humans have pretty much established themselves at the top of food chain around the world, in terms of winners and losers, it’s pretty clear that humans are winners.

If this guy is pointing at you, you are a winner (ONLY in terms of evolution)

If this guy is pointing at you, you are a winner (ONLY in terms of evolution)

OK, that’s fine and dandy for us, but what about the other winners?

Ladies and gentlemen here is a look at two of the other major winners in the evolutionary lottery.

The Columbidae, or it’s alias, the pigeon might not be a ferocious predator, striking fear into all those who dare to walk under it, unless you’re a statue

This guy fears pigeons

This guy fears pigeons

Statues aside, the pigeon is nothing more than a scavenger.  In fact it is unfavorably known as a rat with wings.  However, these flying rats can be found in every single city in the world.  Let me reiterate that, IN THE WORLD.  What makes the pigeon an evolutionary winner is their choice to hang around humans and be just disgusting enough to not eat.  The pigeons have decided that for better or worse they will rise and fall with humanity (good choice guys).  I know what you’re thinking.  What if humans die out, then those pigeons would look pretty foolish, huh?

No way you'd survive the Apocalypse

No way you'd survive the Apocalypse

Well there is good chance humans will die out in one of the following ways:

1. Atomic warfare, the result would be the death of everything, pretty much everything but the cockroaches.

2. Massive weather change (global warming), which would have such a drastic impact on the world that even the mighty cockroach might not survive.

3. Asteroid hitting the earth, see number 1.

4. The sun goes supernova, everything dies, including Chuck Norris

I’m sure there are other ways for humans to bite the dust, but they all seem to have really bad implications for the world and the rest of the animals who inhabit it.  Therefore, it would appear that choosing to scavenge food from our city streets has allowed pigeons to win the evolutionary lottery.  The only real threat the pigeons face is from something like this happening.

OK, so what is the other winner you say, as you refer back to the title.  Rats!..(ewww)  Let’s face it, Rats are here to stay, I mean even elephants fear them (absolutely not true).  Rats, or pigeons without wings as they are never called, have not only been around every major human habitat (not just cities) since humans first started agriculture, the rats have been known to fight back at times.  Rats live most of their lives in the New York City sewer and subway systems before graduating from Rat U and getting an assignment somewhere in the world (or something really close to that).

deep inside that sewer pipe, you will find Rat University

deep inside that sewer pipe, you will find Rat University

OK, so Rats dominate the ugly places where all our waste goes, how does that make them winners by any means of the word?

Well the last time I checked, people everywhere poo.  Yup, everywhere, and in a large portion of the world we have interconnected tunnels where all our waste goes.  The rats get a never ending supply of treasures flushed directly to them by every single one of us (including you who is reading this disgusting sentence).  That’s right, the rats can’t get enough of our poo, they love it.  So while I can’t name a single person that would switch spots with a rat, when compared to say, the woolly mammoth, the rat won.  Despite the mammoth’s sheer size and power, the rat kicked its woolly ass, in terms of evolution.  Just think, the last time (if ever) you saw a woolly mammoth was in a museum, the same museum where you ate that churro, and had to “excuse” yourself for 5 minutes and made a nice deposit to rats everywhere.  (Even after vanquishing the mammoths, the rats are still sticking it to them.)

Guess what, the rats ate the gladiators poo, too

Guess what, the rats ate the gladiators poo, too

There are other winners of evolution out there, but I just wanted to bring to light the two biggest winners in terms of your actual involvement.  Every time you throw anything away, ever, anything that has any kind of food or nourishment in it.  Anytime you’re eating Auntie Anne’s pretzels and some bum asks you for food, and rather than give him any you throw it in the trash, you are benefiting the rats and pigeons.  So I guess it comes down to one final question, do you mind that every time you flush the toilet, a rat licks his lips?

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