Without birds and other flying creatures, I posit that civilization wouldn’t be what it is today. Think about it…
When the ancestors of trees first developed, they developed structures that would allow them to stand straighter and taller.
And what happened? Flying creatures (such as the ancestors of insects) perched on them. If a proto-tree wasn’t strong enough to support an ancient insect, then it would simply be crushed, or snapped in two.
If it wasn’t crushed, success!
Rinse and repeat for several millions of years.
Trees, on top of supporting their own structure, would now be needed to support the creatures that clambered along their branches.
Fast forward another bunch of millions of years.
Intro the bird: expert flyers, what better place to perch than a tree? It’s up high, perfect to stand on, great for avoiding predators…
So a bird would, if not flying, rest in a tree.
Now things get interesting…because it’s not only one or two birds staying in a tree, but flocks of them. Hundreds of creatures descend upon a tree—
And what happened? If a tree couldn’t take it, it would snap. Those that survived had stronger structures to pass on. These structures had to be light enough to be able to reach great heights, yet strong enough to bear the brunt of the elements, as well as the mass of whatever creatures (or communities) decide to live/descend upon it.
Fast forward some more…
Introduce humans. They’re looking for a building material, one that is easy enough to cut and burn, yet strong enough to support anything that might be thrown at it…
And they came across wood. Conditioned for millions of years to bear more weight than its own self needed, strong enough to not wear away easily, yet flexible andaliveenough to grow and be shaped into any form.
Even today, wood is one of the many components holding up society and civilization today.