Dr. Seuss: community ecologist

Probably a lot of you already know about this (I first saw it quoted in an old paper of Simon Levin’s), but for those of you who don’t, the following passage is from Dr. SeussOn Beyond Zebra:

And NUH is the letter I use to spell Nutches
Who live in small caves, known as Niches, for hutches.
These Nutches have troubles, the biggest of which is
The fact there are many more Nutches than Niches.
Each Nutch in a Nich knows that some other Nutch
Would like to move into his Nich very much.
So each Nutch in a Nich has to watch that small Nich
Or Nutches who haven’t got Niches will snitch.
Β 

Dr. Seuss: community ecologist.

Say what you like about niche theory, but it generates better verse than neutral theory.

7 thoughts on “Dr. Seuss: community ecologist

  1. Pingback: Friday links: citation inequality, gender inequality, and more | Dynamic Ecology

    • Sorry to be a party-pooper, but I highly doubt it’s a deliberate reference to Hutchinson. “Niche” has an ordinary English meaning, and I think it’s clear from the art accompanying the poem that that’s what Seuss was thinking of. He was just imagining these little critters in little caves, one to a cave, with not enough caves to go around.

      None of which should stop you from making it into an exam question. πŸ˜‰

      Now someone just needs to write a children’s poem about stabilizing and equalizing mechanisms…

  2. Pingback: Friday links: scientific publishing is unfixable, “Big Replication”, new ecology teaching videos, and more | Dynamic Ecology

  3. Pingback: Neglected classics in ecology and evolution | Dynamic Ecology

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.