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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Great apes seem to be more similar to humans than we tend to believe.


    http://news.emory.edu/stories/2013/0...on/campus.html

    There's a movement to grant them some rights that tend to be exclusive to humans (due to the movement, some countries already grant them a special protection):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ape_Project
    This reminds me of the "citizen bacculous" story in Stand on Zanzibar.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Plenty of animals are dicks by human standards.

    Dolphins are capable of being assholes.

    In some species of fish, the dads try to eat their own kids.

    Even housecats frequently kill small animals for reasons that have nothing to do with food.
    My dog Monty told me about the cats, cats are bastards.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I guess seeing my pet hamster eat her own young when I as a teenager hasn't fostered a belief in compassionate animals in me.
    I never had a hamster or gerbils or anything of that kind because I always wanted to try eating something like that.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post

    This irritates me somewhat. People view all animals as innocent beings who always get along with each other. They are pure, and we are not. However, the animal world is very cruel and vicious. We are not the only being who wars and fights with our own kind. This happens all the time in nature. Just look at baboon troops, for example. The alpha male usually gets there by being the biggest asshole possible. He uses everyone and beats them when they don't do what he wants.

    We just have more tools to fight with one another is all.
    Actually I thought that animals being vicious and cruel was the accepted belief, not the other way around.

    In any case, recent science has come to believe that animals are indeed capable of empathy, for example, it is shown that baboon alpha males can be empathetic, depending on the individual male in question.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think what you're describing is a a relatively recent development, the nuclear family etc.
    not really - i'm including the 20+ kids families right in there (was thinking of the hasidic families), that still takes a lifetime - most other mammals i can think of (with a few exceptions - whales, elephants, armadillo's & dolphins), tend to do more than half of that per belly serving, which they start popping out at a much younger age.

  6. #36
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    TBH, I don't see much of a difference between the animal world and the human world.

  7. #37
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    @Lark and @Mane, etc...

    I think what you guys might be talking about is survivorship curves? The likelihood of death across lifespan varies by species.



    Very simplified of course, but different species overall tend to follow different patterns. And these curves are associated with different adaptive strategies. For example, for Type I, the effort to produce an offspring is higher, fewer offspring are produced, maturity is later, more parental involvement, etc. Type III is the opposite.

    I just remember this from taking Bio II last semester so I can't give much more detail than that. But if you want more info, read about r-selection and K-selection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    @Lark and @Mane, etc...

    I think what you guys might be talking about is survivorship curves? The likelihood of death across lifespan varies by species.



    Very simplified of course, but different species overall tend to follow different patterns. And these curves are associated with different adaptive strategies. For example, for Type I, the effort to produce an offspring is higher, fewer offspring are produced, maturity is later, more parental involvement, etc. Type III is the opposite.

    I just remember this from taking Bio II last semester so I can't give much more detail than that. But if you want more info, read about r-selection and K-selection.
    Exactly.

    "Type I" species are likely to have developped empathy as a survival tool. And "Type I" species include some of the most empathetic species of all: humans, dolphins, and elephants. It's a side effect of the r/K selection theory, but it's not always absolutely true. For instance, northern ravens are much more intelligent and empathetic (especially towards different species than their own) than albatrosses -birds with an extreme K factor-.
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  9. #39
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    It seems like there's a lot of talk about animals here as if African elephants and horseshoe crabs behave the same way. It's a pretty big and eclectic field, you know? I wouldn't attempt any generalization that divides only humans and every other organism.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I wouldn't attempt any generalization that divides only humans and every other organism.
    Especially since Darwin told us we're only ordinary animals, according to the context where our ancestors evolved...

    Just like Carl Sagan said, we share the same biological processes, the same kind of DNA with all life. And trees are our relatives, however distant they may seem to be.
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