Ecosystem Sobered By How Young Species Was When It Went Extinct

Illustration for article titled Ecosystem Sobered By How Young Species Was When It Went Extinct

EL VALLE DE ANTÓN, PANAMA—Mournfully noting that the species hadn’t even had a chance to reach its full evolutionary potential before it was taken away from them, the local moist broadleaf forest ecosystem was reportedly left sobered this week at the thought of how young the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog was when it went extinct. “It’s just so tragic; no species should ever die out after living just a few tens of thousands of generations,” said a keel-billed toucan, a longtime member of the tropical montane ecoregion, who explained that the treefrog’s untimely passing made it think long and hard about its own inevitable species extinction. “Jesus, that could have been any of us succumbing to an invasive fungal infection and human-induced habitat loss. One day it was here, feeding on insects and residing up in the canopy in water-filled holes in the trees, and the next day it was gone. I know that we all have to go sometime, but this was just way, way too early. It never really had a chance.” At press time, the remaining members of the ecological community shook their heads and continued going about their day, reminding themselves to hold their fellow organisms close and cherish the few epochs they had together.


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