Gruesome question, I know. It is just that both are so similar in a lot of ways. They are glorious yet fear inspiring.
Interesting question, malcolm86. Obviously, I would not want to see either of these animals go extinct, but I think I would be more sad to see Great Whites go for two reasons. For one, as selfish as it may be, I have never seen a Great White in person, something I would love to be able to do one day (I have seen tigers before). The next reason I would be more sad if great whites went extinct is kind of abstract. If great whites went extinct, that means tigers wouldn’t, and I think tigers are much more exploited by people, so if one of them had to go, I would rather it be the tiger to end their suffering. Again, this is all hypothetical, and I would rather be able to see both animals thrive without so much human interference.
Awesome answer to a tough question!
thanks, malcolm86. I like questions that are thought provoking like this one. I think it forces you to reason in ways you may never have thought about before. how would you answer your own question ?
hmm… my gut feeling is that I honestly don’t know– which is what provoked me into asking the question. But since you’ve asked, I guess I would say I would be more sad to see Great Whites disappear than tigers. Similar to your rationale, I have already seen tigers in a zoo, but have never seen a Great White– so for selfish reasons, I’d say I’d rather see Great Whites survive.
But beyond that, I think there is something humbling for humans to have to exist with a predator so fearsome and so powerful as the Great White. Although tigers are similarly dominant, in my opinion, they don’t compare with the sheer terror that Great Whites invoke. And I think knowing that Mother Nature has created something so much more powerful than humans is a humbling and positive thing.
This seems to be a question that has no correct answer. Well on a second thought, it does have a correct answer. It would have to be that I would be equally sad if either one of them went extinct. It would be a great tragedy if either one of these animals were to go extinct as they are both very important to their respective ecosystem. I would personally love to have them both stick around till the end of time. Each of these animals is a marvel to behold in their natural habitat.
I can’t disagree with either of the answers presented here, and it’s true that the question has no correct answer. Losing either of these wonderful creatures would be an immense tragedy for our planet. Personally I have a very strong affinity for sharks, which I believe have a sort of spiritual beauty to them that comes from being so perfectly adapted for their environment, and so single-minded in their purpose. I would probably be sadder to see Great White sharks disappear from the planet than tigers, but as both other contributors have stressed, I don’t think we should judge it acceptable to lose either one. With proper conservation techniques both of them, plus thousands of other species, can be saved for future generations.
I’d feel worse about great white sharks. Although I, like the majority of people, find tigers to be much more cool and beautiful, seeing the shark go would be more disturbing.
Why? The oldest tiger fossil date back 1.6-1.8 million years, with the first cats appearing around 25 million years ago. Great whites, on the other hand, have been around for at least 5 million years, with the first sharks dating back to over 420 million years ago. Sharks have been perfect predators, surviving four out of five largest mass extinctions in history. That includes the famous end of dinosaurs as well as the Permian-Triassic event – largest known extinction – when over 96% of marine species have disappeared.
So, for any representative of a group, which proved to be able to survive pretty much anything, to die out now would show the extreme seriousness of current threats to any and all remaining species. If a shark goes, what CAN survive humans?
Very insightful, cerberus.
While not all species are created equal, I wouldn’t want to speculate on which animal I would rather lose. Both are very iconic creatures in very different habitats. That said, it would be far stranger, and perhaps sadder, if the Great White were to go extincts, as sharks have existed on this planet for far longer than tigers. Hopefully neither will disappear.
Indeed a very sad thought to think of loosing either of these two magnificent creatures. Unfortunately, however, I think this is part of the problem–out tendency to be drawn to the charismatic megafauna such as tigers and sharks. The organisms that form the foundations of life–the bacteria and fungi– that literally the rest of the living world is built upon, rarely get any media attention and only really seem to be known to the research scientists that dedicate their lives to studying such obscurities. The survival of humans, and the planet, is much more threatened if these fundamental life forms go extinct than if a top predator such as a shark does.
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