Illustration Friday's prompt this week is Hierarchy. Odd one, I think. My mind went all sorts of ways. Totem poles, circus balancing acts... but in the end I went back to nature. Stick with what you're familiar with, I guess.
This was inspired by a photo I took last year (or maybe the year before. Not like it matters. And, as usual, click on the photo to enlarge it). I'd post a link but I think it's on my work blog. I kind of like to keep work and personal stuff separate. Anyway, I spotted a tiny moth on this wild rose bush. The fact that it wasn't moving gave me the hint to look for the even tinier crab spider that was eating it.
And what does this have to do with hierarchy? Well, at first glance it's a pretty simple food chain. The rose leaves were eaten by some insect (not the moth, though), and the spider's eating the moth. Top man on the pyramid, right?
I suppose. But which one lasts longest in the end? Not the spider, and obviously not the moth. And without the plant, neither the moth (which, as a caterpillar, would have depended on some kind of plant for food) nor the spider (which,as an ambush predator, needs the plant for shelter and camouflage) would even exist.
Sometimes it just isn't as simple as who's on the top rung of the ladder. Even in human society, each level of the hierarchy is dependent on all of the others. Sometimes we just forget that, I figure.