And we’re not even talking about similar use of big fancy words.
A further example of this is the hours I work.
All species live within their niches, which are always primarily energy niches, in which an organism can obtain enough energy and preserve it for long enough to produce viable offspring. There are usually energy tradeoffs; efficiency could be sacrificed for rate of ingestion, so that efficiency was reduced but input was increased enough so that the increased cost of obtaining it was worthwhile, such as with . The primary measure of an organism’s success is its energy surplus, which is related to resilience. As an example, today a trout can live in a fast-moving current where food quickly arrives, which is efficient from an input perspective, but the energy spent swimming to maintain a presence in the current reduces the net energy surplus. A slower stream will provide less food per unit of time, but it also takes less energy to live there. In trout studies, the dominant trout will live where the optimal energy tradeoff exists, which leads to the greatest energy surplus. Less dominant trout will be pushed into the faster water, and the least competitive trout will be pushed into calm water and slowly starve. No species will last for long if it does not have a high enough energy surplus so that it can survive the vagaries of existence. The energy surplus issue has not been emphasized in biology during the past century, as the “” of a species has been emphasized, but it is the variable for understanding species fitness.
Here is a good example of how the facts got distorted over time.
Also, just as no fundamentally new body plans appeared after the Cambrian Explosion, modern ecosystems seem constrained by body size. Body sizes have similar “slots,” and body sizes outside of those slots are relatively rare. However, successful innovation usually happens at the fringes. The fringes are where survival is marginal and innovations carry a high risk/reward ratio. Most innovations fail, but a successful one can become universally dominant, such as those biological innovations that are considered to have happened only . There have been countless failed biological innovations during life’s history on Earth, many of which might have seemed brilliant but did not survive the rigors of living.