Earth’s oldest living ecosystems are rain forests, with others surviving in their present form for at least 70 million years. They are incredibly complex and diverse, being home to more than half of the world’s animal and plant species, although covering just 6% of the earth’s surface.
Jungles are astoundingly dense with flora and fauna. A patch of 10-square-kilometer can contain as many as 750 trees species, 1,500 flowering plants, 150 butterflies’ species, and 400 species of birds. If we were to go back in time to 10,000 years ago, I would prefer to live in the wet jungle as opposed to a hot desert.
Wet Jungles Over Hot Desert
Wet jungles have rich biodiversity which is incredibly vital to our well-being and the well-being of our planet. They would have helped us regulate our climate, as well as providing us with everyday products; this is opposed to living in the hot desserts where food was scarce.
The first study which directly tested how much early human forest foragers entirely depended on the rainforest for their diet. The results were significant in portraying that early humans in Sri Lanka managed to live almost wholly on food which they found in the rainforest and did not see the need to move into other environments. This means that our earliest human ancestors and early humans were able to adapt to different extreme environments successfully.
With a lot of food being available, early human beings were able to survive in the rainforest. Survival was triggered by the dense vegetation and dull sound which were so many. Many animals live in the jungle, and therefore food was more readily available as compared to the desert.
While trees in the emergent layer of the jungles and rainforests relied on wind to scatter their seeds, many canopy plants with the lack of wind were able to encase their seeds in the fruit. Sweet fruit would entice both early humans and animals, who would eat the fruit and deposit seeds as droppings on the forest floor.
Many tropical rain forest canopies were home to some of the most familiar and endangered rainforest animals. These include antelopes, forest elephants, and guerrillas. Some of these animals formed food for the early humans, and they would slaughter them using the stones they carved.
Human beings proved themselves very capable of environmental adaptation, especially with their ability to make and use tools, control fire and finding shelter from the elements of the wet jungles. Sites like the Blombos Cave have given scientists evidence about how early humans lived as well as what they were capable of.
These advantages were better associated with being in the jungle, where the fire would be from lightning. And being that rain mostly happens in jungles; this is another reason as to why I would choose to live in the wet forest ten thousand years ago as opposed to the dessert.
Water is of a fundamental essence, and in the jungles, there were rivers from which the early humans would quench their thirsts; this provided a more serene environment in that they would not tire a lot finding water as opposed to being in the desert. The rain was also an additional advantage when it came to water availability.
In more inland areas, historical Tlingit hunters targeted deer, rabbit, elk, and mountain goats. Plants harvested or gathered include nuts, berries, and wild celery. The early humans did not, therefore, lack food for most cases.
The ample sunlight and moisture formed the essential building blocks for tropical rainforests’ diverse flora and fauna. Roughly half of the world’s species were found here, with an estimation of 40 to 100 or more different species of trees present in each hectare.
Hyenas prefer to scavenge and hunt in open bush and grassland, ranging over several kilometers in search of prey. Hominids who ventured out of the relative safety of woods and forest did so at their peril. They were not a significant target for scavengers and predators since they occupied different habitats. Living in the jungle, therefore, in this case, proved a bit safer for early humans.
Therefore, we can adapt to any surroundings if we prepare ourselves properly. If I could hunt, make fire, have extensive knowledge of the land including which plants can or cannot be eaten, safe water, get shelter from predators and not minding alienation, then I do not see why I may not make it survive in the jungle to live there.