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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index F > Category: Food Web

Food Web Quotes (7 quotes)


About two-thirds of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced in the surface waters of the sea by phytoplankton, the minute forms of algae that give the sea its slightly green hue, and which initiate the entire food web of the ocean.
In 'Ocean Policy and Reasonable Utopias', The Forum (Summer 1981), 16, No. 5, 899-900.
Science quotes on:  |  Algae (5)  |  Atmosphere (79)  |  Entire (47)  |  Green (32)  |  Initiate (6)  |  Ocean (149)  |  Oxygen (55)  |  Phytoplankton (2)  |  Sea (188)  |  Surface (101)

Food is the burning question in animal society, and the whole structure and activities of the community are dependent upon questions of food-supply.
(1960)
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Animal (359)  |  Community (82)  |  Dependent (24)  |  Ecology (69)  |  Food (154)  |  Food Chain (6)  |  Question (404)  |  Society (228)  |  Structure (225)  |  Supply (47)  |  Zoology (31)

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Concluding remarks in final chapter, The Origin of Species (1859), 490. In the second edition, Darwin changed “breathed” to “breathed by the Creator”.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (535)  |  Extinction (66)  |  Inheritance (19)  |  Natural Selection (90)

There are some viviparous flies, which bring forth 2,000 young. These in a little time would fill the air, and like clouds intercept the rays of the sun, unless they were devoured by birds, spiders, and many other animals.
Oeconomia Naturae, The Oeconomy of Nature. Trans Benjamin Stillingfleet, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Natural History (1775), revised edition, 1777, 119.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (120)  |  Breeding (11)  |  Fly (99)  |  Prey (12)  |  Spider (11)  |  Viviparous (2)

There is no waste in functioning natural ecosystems. All organisms, dead or alive, are potential sources of food for other organisms. A caterpillar eats a leaf; a robin eats the caterpillar; a hawk eats the robin. When the plant, caterpillar, robin, and hawk die, they are in turn consumed by decomposers.
From Resource Conservation and Management (1990), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (49)  |  Caterpillar (3)  |  Consume (9)  |  Dead (57)  |  Death (302)  |  Ecosystem (21)  |  Food (154)  |  Hawk (3)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Organism (150)  |  Plant (200)  |  Potential (39)  |  Robin (4)  |  Source (91)  |  Waste (65)

There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.
Letter to Asa Gray (22 May 1860). In Charles Darwin and Francis Darwin (ed.), Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters (1892), 236.
Science quotes on:  |  God (535)

Three hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass.
From Energetics, Kinetics, and Life: An Ecological Approach (1971), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Consume (9)  |  Ecology (69)  |  Frog (33)  |  Grass (35)  |  Grasshopper (5)  |  Million (111)  |  Need (287)  |  Support (78)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Ton (8)  |  Trout (4)  |  Year (299)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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