A huge marine mammal known as Steller’s sea cow once lived in the waters around Bering Island off the coast of Siberia. It was described in 1741 by Georg W. Steller, a naturalist who was among the first European to see one. In 1768 the animal became extinct. The reasons for the extinction are not clear. Here are three theories about the main cause of the extinction.
First, the sea cows may have been overhunted by groups of native Siberian people. If this theory is correct, then the sea cow population would have originally been quite large, but hundreds of years off too much hunting by the native people diminished the number of sea cows. Sea cows were a good source of food in a harsh environment, so overhunting by native people could have been the main cause of extinction.
Second, the sea cow population may have become extinct because of ecosystems disturbances that caused a decline in their main source of food, kelp (a type of sea plant). Kelp populations respond negatively to a number of ecological changes. It is possible that ecological changes near Bering island some time before 1768 caused a decrease of the kelp that the sea cows depend on.
Third, the main cause of extinction of the sea cows could have been European fur traders who came to the island after 1741. It is recorded that the fur traders caught the last sea cow in 1768. It thus seems reasonable to believe that hunting by European fur traders, who possessed weapons that allowed them to quickly kill a large number of the animals, was the main cause of the sea cow’s extinction.
Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible for planning the projects and getting the work done. After about six months, the company took a look at how well the teams performed.
On virtually every team, some members got almost a “free ride”… they didn’t contribute much at all, but if their team did a good job, they nevertheless benefited from the recognition the team got. And what about group members who worked especially well and who provided a lot of insight on problems and issues? Well … the recognition for a job well done went to the group as a whole, no names were named. So it wont surprise you to learn that when the real contributors were asked how they felt about the group process, their attitude was just the opposite of what the reading predicts.
Another finding was that some projects just didn’t move very quickly. Why? Because it took so long to reach consensus; it took many, many meetings to build the agreement among group members about how they would move the project along. On the other hand, there were other instances where one or two people managed to become very influential over what their group did. Sometimes when those influencers said “that will never work” about an idea the group was developing, the idea was quickly dropped instead of being further discussed. And then there was another occasion when a couple influencers convinced the group that a plan of theirs was “highly creative.” And even though some members tried to warn the rest of the group that the project was moving in directions that might not work, they were basically ignored by other group members. Can you guess the ending to this story? When the project failed, the blame was placed on all the members of the group.
很久很久以前，可耐的巨型海洋哺乳动物-海牛(Sea cow)在西伯利亚沿岸白令岛附近的水域里过着“觅有机蔬菜，赏无敌海景”的世外桃源生活，悠闲而又任性。1741年，自然学家George W. Steller，作为首批发现海牛的欧洲人，第一次揭开了这种生物神秘的面纱，并以自己的名字对它命名。正所谓，人怕出名， 牛怕壮!苍天啊，大地啊!海牛小盆友一定不造，为毛在自己闪亮登场后还不到30年的“白牛过隙”般的时光里，就“物是牛非”，好日子一去不复返，灭绝了!!!这是为啥啊?!好好的咋就没了呢?!阅读部分的福尔摩斯们不能罢休，于是乎给出了海牛极速灭绝的三种可能原因，让我们收拾好情绪，一探究竟吧。
First,阅读曰，海牛灭绝或许是一波波疯狂的西伯利亚土著(native Siberian people)过度捕猎(overhunted)的结果。照此推测，曾经的海牛家族可谓人丁兴旺。此外，它们肉质上乘，作为恶劣环境中的“能量大餐”那真是duang duang的当仁不让。当地人(native people) 数百年的捕猎给憨厚的海牛带来了灭顶之灾。(这么大的个头就不怕吃饱了撑破肚皮?)
Second，阅读又曰，这大腹便便的海牛牛自个儿也需要填饱肚子，而它们数量的减少或许正是由于海牛心爱的大餐(main source of food)-巨藻(kelp，看清楚了，不是help)-在生态系统的干扰下(ecosystems disturbances)数量也减少造成的。一系列的生态环境变化让巨藻负能量满满、抑郁而死。So, 很可能白令岛附近的海域在1768年前的生态变化让大量的巨藻看破红尘，放弃治疗，进而饿shi了可怜的海牛娃。
Third, 阅读君又云，伤害海牛的罪魁祸首很有可能是欧洲的皮货商(fur traders)，它们在1741年海牛首秀后来到了白令岛。据记载，是皮货商在1768年逮住了最后一只海牛。皮货商拥有武器(weapon)，能迅速大面积猎杀海牛，这幕后黑手不是皮货商是谁呢!?