This illustrates one of the many reasons that extinction is a bad thing. "Mother Nature" has been at this for millions of years and there are a multitude of such cases where "she" has already came to a much more elegant solution than we have. We can learn a lot from simply studying the biosphere around us.
Treatments for illnesses, new materials with amazing properties, alternate forms of communication... the list goes on and on. Not only can we draw inspiration from such things as echolocation in bats and dolphins, but also from actual biological functionality in such things as spiders and their silk, "Lightning Bugs/Fireflies" and their bioluminescence (which, along with many undersea creatures, fungi and worms, led to the creation of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and other "cold light" innovations), and many others.
Remember kids... extinction is bad. :-)
I actually find it incredibly fascinating to look at the fossil record and see the kinds of life that have come and gone through the ages... strange branches on the evolutionary tree that died out or were wiped out in one of the many mass extinctions since the dawn of life... it's amazing to ponder what other forms of life might now be dominant on earth, or what me might look like if life had taken even the slightest detour millenia past.
It's things like this that really make me reconsider what I want to do in life.
UPDATE THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2006:
World’s Strongest Glue! Available Only From Nature!
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