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3 Animals That Keep Their Whole Ecosystem Together

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What do gray wolves, elephants, and parrotfish have in common? They're all keystone species, which means they have an especially large impact on their habitat. SciShow explores how these animals keep their ecosystems running. Hosted by: Olivia Gordon Want more SciShow in person? We'll be at NerdCon: Nerdfighteria in Boston on February 25th and 26th! For more information, go to http://www.nerdconnerdfighteria.com/ ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters—we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Jeremy Peng, Kevin Bealer, Mark Terrio-Cameron, KatieMarie Magnone, Patrick Merrithew, Charles Southerland, Fatima Iqbal, Benny, Kyle Anderson, Tim Curwick, Scott Satovsky Jr, Will and Sonja Marple, Philippe von Bergen, Bella Nash, Bryce Daifuku, Chris Peters, Saul, Patrick D. Ashmore, Charles George, Bader AlGhamdi ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: General http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/keystone-species-15786127 http://web.utk.edu/~mnunez/Keystones%20Nunez%20Dimarco.pdf Wolves http://www.yellowstonepark.com/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Boyce2/publication/228623397_Wolves_Influence_Elk_Movements_behavior_Shapes_a_Trophic_Cascade_in_Yellowstone_National_Park/links/09e41508036f97539e000000.pdf http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/25603/RippleWilliam.Forestry.TrophicCascadesYellowstone.pdf https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/elkinfo.htm Elephants http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/keystone-species/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvsWXyIseS0 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X11000154 http://thinkelephants.blogspot.co.uk/ http://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/3/698 https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/wild-things/importance-elephant-poop http://www.livescience.com/5650-frogs-find-home-elephant-dung.html Parrotfish http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/07/02/to-save-coral-reefs-start-with-parrotfish/ http://www.icriforum.org/caribbeanreport https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/1891-Status%20and%20Trends%20of%20Caribbean%20Coral%20Reefs-%201970-2012-2014Caribbean%20Coral%20Reefs%20-%20Status%20Report%201970-2012%20(1).pdf Image Sources: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E3%82%A2%E3%82%B9%E3%83%9A%E3%83%B3%E3%81%AE%E6%9C%A8_Aspen_Trees_(8178058710).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:African_Forest_Elephant.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ornate_Pygmy_Frog_(Microhyla_fissipes)_%E9%A3%BE%E7%B4%8B%E5%A7%AC%E8%9B%994.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microhyla_rubra.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sphaerotheca.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scarus_vetula_(queen_parrotfish)_(San_Salvador_Island,_Bahamas)_(15548372734).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=20&offset=20&profile=images&search=kudu&searchToken=5a246gj4kb5hz9cghc6ro8bc0#/media/File:Kudu_antelope_.JPG https://archive.org/details/ScienceNationCatchingACoralKiller
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Text Comments (1122)
Vekuzo Chizo (10 days ago)
Bed explanation with good example. .....I like it,,,,,,,,keeps going
Sammie (1 month ago)
What about vultures? I know that a lot of people think they're just gross scavangers, but they're endangered and if they go extinct, your precious beloved ilons would die of rabies.
Charlotte Kimberly (2 months ago)
It is insane that Norway want all wolves extinct >:(
Ophelia (5 months ago)
Amen Amen I say unto you.
Fridtjof Bjarturson (5 months ago)
Science bae
Joshua Park (6 months ago)
looooove the show...but the host needs some sunlight...way too pale..
Ryeohun (Noah) Park (6 months ago)
Sultan of Axum (8 months ago)
Jesus... anyone get it
Jascha Bull (8 months ago)
"The wolves changed Yellowstone in large and often surprising ways, right down to how the rivers flow." So you're saying the Secwépemc story of a coyote redirecting rivers wasn't that farfetched after all?
Chad Castagana (10 months ago)
Environmentalism = Loony Pseudo-religion backed up by junk science
καμιά ψυχή (10 months ago)
Some light background music guys. This is hard to listen to.
Bush Ninja (11 months ago)
Look, I'm not even a biologist and I know this. We want ruminants to eat plants of the Populus genus.These plants fix nitrogen. We need plants that don't fix nitrogen on river banks. Most rivers typically have agricultural run off. The rivers do not need more nitrogen.Maybe what you need is a way to protect the plants until their leaves are out of reach. But that wouldn't look as pretty or natural.
XavierKatzone (11 months ago)
Very interesting, but STOP BOUNCING, ... "Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness." http://www.monologuearchive.com/s/shakespeare_003.html#7gffi10uLktHVTjQ.99
2SidedTech (11 months ago)
Kill the Whales! The are responsible for 2 human deaths a year!
Jovanni Ramos (11 months ago)
You talk a lot.
Jovanni Ramos (11 months ago)
I like that.
reddir (11 months ago)
Yay wolves!
ozskipper (1 year ago)
I really wish Olivia would remove that booger blocker from her nose. She does a great job, it would be nice to see that extra touch of professionalism.
Cletus Abbot III (1 year ago)
😍Olivia should be the permanent presenter
Riccardo Cacchioli (1 year ago)
half a video dedicated to yellowstone wolfe, something is well known to the common people for years, what happen to this channel, guys come on what is it you are getting too big and you have deadline to respect no matter what, this channel use to be awesome
crimson90 (1 year ago)
A serious word of advice for this presenter: quit forcing your hand gestures. Your hands don't have to move with every single word you say with the same exact gesture for everything. Your hands just bounce around. It looks so unnatural and is off-putting. It's very gross. Let the gesturing come naturally. You look silly, otherwise.
Yoneey (1 year ago)
am i the only one noticing how she low jumps sometimes?
Amy Turner-Baldoceda (1 year ago)
YJ Fu (1 year ago)
that american girl accent
Nothing New (1 year ago)
Is that nose piercing a keystone?
Cory Vanderbaan (1 year ago)
These are the animals that should be allowed to exist indefinitely.
Tofu Kingpin (1 year ago)
*raises hand* Can humans be a keystone specie?
typacsk (9 months ago)
Yes. Although we've certainly had negative effects on many ecosystems, there are others (temperate forests in Eurasia, tallgrass prairie and I think terra preta in the Americas) that have adapted to benefit from our "management." For a more modern example, there are a lot of species--native and introduced--that live at high densities in human-altered agricultural or suburban areas: deer, corvids, blackbirds, mesopredators like skunks and raccoons... Now the big question: is this a good or a bad thing? I really don't know if there's an answer to that.
Mazaroth (9 months ago)
We are the sixth extinction cycle, the 7th will be our extinction.
Jordan (1 year ago)
we have the ability to spread life that coexists around us to other planets. I guess we are the reproductive monolith of all the rest of the animals
Aimi Geη (1 year ago)
In some cases, yes. Despite what a lot of nihilists like to say, there are many ecosystems that Humans are very vital to. We may not be living in those ecosystems in the way other species do, but our contributions to those ecosystems are often vital in keeping balance
W00dledude (1 year ago)
Humans absolutely have the power to be a keystone species - After all, we have the power to create vast artificial habitats. Whether we are, however, is debatable. Many animals thrive in cities, but equally, animals suffer from loss of habitat, pollution, and the like. If we allowed or even placed more plant life in cities and made them more accessible to animals, we would certainly become a vital keystone species. But, that's up to us to actually do.
Steve Collins (1 year ago)
The fact that there is almost no pause in between ideas is wack
Unknown (1 year ago)
Sharks are a keystone species.
Naum Rusomarov (1 year ago)
Even people live in elephant poop.  Totally true, my uncle told me about it.
Alejandro M (1 year ago)
It's exhausting watching how much you jump up and move your hands around. It's so distracting.
J Girl (1 year ago)
3 Animals That Really Bum You Out
Courtney McGraw (1 year ago)
Were a keystone species. To
Athen Tang (1 year ago)
hey we can convince business people to save elephants by giving them elephant dung in return to sell
vortexgen1 (1 year ago)
We humans are not the brightest bulbs in the pack. We still don't understand our own planet very well and how everything interacts.
BadWolfZm (1 year ago)
I wait for the moment were humans will be such species
Kimberly Elliott (1 year ago)
This host's voice irritates me beyond belief.
Scam Watch (1 year ago)
colin Paterson (1 year ago)
The plural of reef is reefs not reeves. Reeve was an Anglo-Saxon law keeper that was the root of the term sheriff - shire reeve where shire means county.
Jenidawn (1 year ago)
I'm sorry but do her hands really have to keep moving with each syllable of each word she says, it isn't like this is charades? It's so distracting please stop.
bigbrain457 (1 year ago)
This sounds like bro science.
4one14 (1 year ago)
Sweet nails Olivia!
inue windwalker (1 year ago)
and when you live in an area where wolves are still extinct humans have to do their job. We don't do it as well but deer (among other animals) will breed into their numbers can't support the area
Kamil Zawadzki (1 year ago)
The most important species are decomposers - bacteria and fungus.
IntarwebUser (1 year ago)
Fascinating to learn that the importance of wolves isn't just about controlling prey numbers, but rather prey behavior.
gj s (1 year ago)
....the jumping.
Prince EEEYYAYYY (1 year ago)
Goes to show how disgusting us humans are.
0011peace (1 year ago)
You missed one of the biggest keystone species honey bees. The entire world would be affected if they disappeared.
That Christmas commercial can suck my nuts
*YoU fOrGoT bEeS*
David cabrera (1 year ago)
She so is hot 😍
Nicholai Corbie (1 year ago)
Why does she bounce so much?
Sylas the Great (1 year ago)
Mycelium are the top of all species. The true keystone species.
Christopher Ellis (1 year ago)
Us! [pu:] [pup] [pu:p] as in pooped, eg he was pooped after cleaning his dog's poop.
leBendy Straw (1 year ago)
It's the confidence. I wanna suck it out of her
I Cant Walk (1 year ago)
Aww Olivia Is so adorable
Gilad Gur (1 year ago)
Complicated! I like complicated.
Mikes Science (1 year ago)
Very interesting. Can there be smaller keystone species that keep a microenvironment stable?
warhawkjah (1 year ago)
So "reeves" is plural of reef.
Bearcat Ben (1 year ago)
Yeah humans are great
Marcus Lynds (1 year ago)
gud vid
Narvin Narvaez (1 year ago)
stop moving your hand so much its disturbing...
Jack Clarke (1 year ago)
Research is still ongoing but the bolt in your nose dosn't do anything for you. (The glasses are ok). An old man
CrankyPants (1 year ago)
Interesting video, Olivia.
madcat789 (1 year ago)
What role does the Panda have?
Aki Ren (1 year ago)
So elk is also keystone species if no predator is there ???
Emil Sørensen (1 year ago)
So, basically... Elk need to be terrorized or they will eat the entire ecosystem. I think maybe we shouldn't praise the wolves so much as blame the elk.
Bigzcutler (1 year ago)
The elks population was already on a decline before the wolves were reintroduced don't give 100% of the credit to the wolf
Rick Rose (1 year ago)
I am sorry, I've said it before in connection with the only other video I had STARTED to watch presented by this young woman--and it was one I REALLY wanted to watch, the History of Computers--they are unwatchable. It is NOT a sexist thing--your other women presenters are great. It's the freaking hands--she's miming the punctuation and rhythms of every sentence. It's better this time--someone has obviously spoken to her--but it's still annoying as hell.
AtarahDerek (1 year ago)
Please do a video on how Crotalus atrox is a keystone species. We need to stop or at least reform the rattlesnake roundups before we experience a catastrophic increase in vector species like rodents.
Jess Giang (1 year ago)
Wow. The first one was on the Living Environment Regents Jan 2017 this year. Cool.
Tactical101 (1 year ago)
Nice work on the body movement improvement. It's a lot better. Still got some bouncing to cut down on though. Keep up the good work.
joshua lieberman (1 year ago)
Ok the elephant i dont know if it's a keystone species the entire idea is that they have a impact disproportionate to there size elephants are huge you expect them to have a big impact the wolves maybe but that is iffy also
If human gone... nothing will change in ecosystem...
James Huggett (1 year ago)
why doesn't The Host leave the videos up to the regular host I refuse to watch any video with her in it her voice is so irritating
John Streutker (1 year ago)
If you refuse to watch a video with her in it, that's absolutely fine. I will continue to watch her videos and I will learn more than you do. :P
Gray Skies (1 year ago)
And also little things like genets
Gray Skies (1 year ago)
And also little things like genets
Karel senpai (1 year ago)
What is the name of the branch of science that studies these sorts of things ?
Paul Nel (1 year ago)
This is just speculation btw.
Michel.rs (1 year ago)
no bees?
DukeOfMarshall (1 year ago)
Aahh, now we're back on the global warming thing. Wow, debunk something and it still keeps coming up.
kordell curl (2 years ago)
What about bees? They help pollinate flowers plants and anything else that needs pollination
Ulquiorra Cifer (2 years ago)
Humans are a Keystone species as well.
Riz Razak (2 years ago)
okay why does she hop two times to make a point?
Draugrandil (2 years ago)
Sadly, there is no more elephant in Yellowstone. Damn you, global warming!
Brian Shapter (2 years ago)
I hate nose rings
Joe H (2 years ago)
I feel like if you were to remove any of the stones from an arch, the structure would tumble. But what do I know, I am just an engineer.
Laura Simmons (2 years ago)
I feel like bees should have been in here somewhere...
infirmux (2 years ago)
We are supporting and suffering violence (in a natural habitat) because it's natural. Nature is a lot of violence and suffering that you cannot reduce, without tipping it off balance. Do we accept and support this status quo? What if humans are supposed to unwillingly cause the end of life, which will very likely make them extinct too, but will remove all pain and suffering from this planet. Or willingly - would that be an ultimate sacrifice? I'm not supporting this kind of world view, but it makes horrid sense. Sorry if you feel down, let's go watch some "it's a beautiful world" uplifting video and numb our consciousness...
O'neil King (2 years ago)
4.the black race
LMacNeill (2 years ago)
One small detail they left out: The wolves in Yellowstone were killed ON PURPOSE by the environmentalists of the day. They thought they were doing the right thing by removing the predators, protecting the environment. They genuinely believed they were doing the right thing. But they had no clue what the consequences of their actions would be. Makes me wonder what, today, people are doing in the name of "protecting the environment" that will wind up having negative consequences...
Ben Wright (2 years ago)
What you didnt mention is that parrotfish droppings are sand. They cant digest the coral they ingest so they excrete the white sand which makes up the beautiful coral beaches. This makes them vital for the species that rely on the beaches, including tourists who visit the beaches, and also for the tourism related income
Johnny Luken (2 years ago)
I prefer the bespectacled gentlemen to the other hosts. I'm not sure why.
SirTurtleGaming (2 years ago)
omg stop bobbing!
AL WAYS (2 years ago)
we should have known this and did 10,000 years ago
lazzlo23 (2 years ago)
this host is great :)
Bart Bols (2 years ago)
we should remove these keystone species, once the dust settles, a more stable habitat will be created.
Ian Graber-Stiehl (2 years ago)
I'm kinda disappointed that they didn't say plankton. Charismatic megafauna bias?
everyone hates this speaker but I find her kinda cute
Stereo Recoil (2 years ago)
I usually block her hands from my view with one of my hand .. way too busy for my lazy brain. Way too busy. Seizure like busy.

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