The unique animal and plant species on Madagascar like this Verreaux's sifaka, a type of lemur, face a changing climate that could make parts of their island unsuitable for the species living there now. Credit: Martina Lippuner/WWF
Our true ancestry is the emergent creativity of the Universe. Our forebears were those who learned how to coalesce hydrogen and helium into stars, to form planets, to sustain life first from mineral nutrients in the sea and later to capture delicious photons, to exploit oxygen for energy rather than be exterminated by it, to diversify via sexual reproduction, to form social groups for greater security and protection of offspring. We are the beneficiaries (and, admittedly, also the victims) of this narrative of emergence. Our ‘companions’ are all of these progenitors. Indeed, they are more than companions; they are family. From them we have inherited our corporeal shapes and movements, our body chemistry, and even some of our behavioral agendas.