Q.61 Explain briefly the 'rivet popper hypothesis' of Paul Ehrlich.

Ans. Ecologist Paul Ehrlich gave a rivet popper hypothesis to help understand the contribution species richness. He compared each species with a rivet in the body of an airplane.

(i) This hypothesis explains that the ecosystem to be an airplane and the species to be the rivets joining all parts together.

(ii) If every passenger traveling in the airplane start taking rivets home (causing a species to become extinct), initially it may not affect flight safety (proper functioning of the ecosystem), but over a period of time the plane becomes weak and dangerous (species become endangered and then extinct.