If You Were a Modern-Day Noah, Which Animals Would You Save?

Noah's Ark

What if there were an apocalypse looming and the decision on which animals to save was all up to you?  What if you only had time and space to save a few dozen species?

I admit, my first inclination would be a selfish one, to save dogs, horses, tigers, goats, wolves, whales, elephants, and wild birds because I enjoy them,  plus cows and chickens because I like milk and eggs.  But what about the survival of the planet and how animals would serve the new ecosystem?  What justifies saving predators?  Would we need to keep rodents and cockroaches around for some reason?  Snakes? Spiders? Mosquitoes?

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7 comments

  1. No spiders or creepy crawler !! Joke ( but not really ) I have no idea , maybe bees crucial for our ecosystems and other creatures like that. Now I’m just wondering about humans :^/

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  2. Like F.I.R.E., I go for bees first. Then, possibly because of the news of a young man dying of plague in Colorado, I would think of saving cats. My first answer is all of them. But if you can only save, say, 24 species, I think I’d have to research what species the planet is most dependent on, to keep the planet going. I think I would consider it more important for the planet to survive than any one species, including humans.

    Hard question. (Can I load a couple of geneticists or scientists on who can take dna and clone it into actual animals?)

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    1. Good answer, illustr8d. Would you save big cats because they could help keep the prairie dog population in check and reduce disease? Bees and, as I’m researching this further, green algae (Earth’s biggest producer of oxygen) seem to be two important organisms to save, in terms of planetary survival. Transferring DNA into actual animals — smart, so that would increase the number of animals that you could take, right?

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  3. I wouldn’t transfer DNA into actual animals. I was thinking more Petri dishes, in a shades of Jurassic Park sort of way. That if you had a geneticist and her husband, who also had some sort of botanical or biological background, then you could literally put all the DNA of every known species on your ark. Then take the things that must, must, must exist for the planet to survive as your 24 (or whatever) living creatures. That would take research. But green algae would be a must. Bees and anything else that is necessary for pollination. Because you need somehow for the planet to stay life-sustaining. So anything that’s producing oxygen at that level must be included. Pollinators mean the survival of many types of plant life, that wouldn’t last long without them. I wouldn’t take the DNA of prairie dogs without the DNA of big cats, but neither would (probably) be amongst my first choice. It’s an incredibly difficult question, with large ramifications. And I would definitely aim at planetary survival first. Nothing else will live without it. (Sorry super long answer.)

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    1. Or even better, an Ebryologist and take along embryos. If you’d had warning, you could collect embryos and eggs (? I’m not an Ebryologist so I don’t know) and freeze them and dedicate a big part of your ark to a freezer. Okay. Now I’m done.

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  4. It’s a very good question! What upsets me more about having to (maybe) choose insects is the fact that I’d base the choice on how the animals would benefit me personally. It seems a little unfair..

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