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GhostUser 11-19-2003 05:03 PM

Ok, technically this isn't about animal welfare but in a way I think it is. The more people are amazed by animals hopefully the less inclined they would be to hurt them. So come on VBers, lets see if you can amaze me and your fellow VBers with some interesting animal stories or facts. You could tell a story about your pet or give some information that others may not know about.



You could say something about insects, mammals (including humans), birds, reptiles etc.

Interesting mating rituals (not yours), a story you read in the paper, whatever...



Here's my first one:

Koalas are marsupials, not bears. They also have no tail or eyelids.

[source-- my TV guide. It has a trivia section]

GhostUser 11-19-2003 05:07 PM

Here's my second one:

On the news I saw a story of a cat that had just given birth to her litter. But there was something strange going on-- she was also nursing a couple of mice. But they looked like full grown mice so I don't know what they were doing. There they were though, hanging out on the mother and around the mother and with all the kittens. The owners didn't like the idea so they took the mice outside. The mother cat found the mice outside and brought them back inside to hang out some more.

Sevenseas 11-19-2003 05:22 PM

Well, this is very sad and I wish this hadn't happened, but because of a very unethical animal experiment we know that rhesus monkeys seem to show something that resembles compassion: in a certain test situation they rather starved than got food by giving shocks to another individuals of their species. The test wasn't as simple as here described, but I won't go into the details. Anyway, be it an evolutionary thing or not, the rhesus monkeys showed things resembling compassion.

*sprout* 11-19-2003 06:30 PM

speaking of monkeys ..

in these like studies lab places they were teaching monkey that if they could trade a couple grapes for a banana, but if they gave one money 2 bananas and made sure the other monkeys saw that, they wouldnt trade their grapes unless that too got 2 banans !

cute ! only i wish they werent in a study lab !



and



in indonesia monkeys in the jungle are running out of food so a whole troup of them kinda went on a reampage though the local village like stealing food and such and the farmers kept throwing rocks at them and after a while the monkeys started to throw rocks back at them !

automaton 11-20-2003 08:10 AM

Almost daily I find a piece in the media:

"(insert type of animal here) wasn't as dumb as we always thought!" and then goes on to explain some or other complexity that we never know about.



'It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.'

-Mark Twain

RGR 11-20-2003 09:49 AM

I had a little rooster who passed away earlier this year. Well, he was romancing a (much larger) hen, who unfortunately regarded her tiny, over-enthusiastic lover with disdain. Come one day when it was raining furiously and a few chickens were stuck in the heavy downpour. When I came running out to take them back in, I saw something that I found really sweet: My diminutive feathered Romeo was sheltering his buxom ladylove under his tiny wing. He was holding her close with his wing over her back (the said wing was so small, it didn't even cover her whole back), while she crouched against him for warmth. I would have taken a picture if it wasn't so rainy, and if I wasn't in a hurry to get them in.



Unfortunately, no epic romance blossomed between the two. The hen continued to snub the little rooster, and the silly boy never gave up trying to tunnel his way into her heart.

GhostUser 11-20-2003 02:41 PM

Good one RGR.



My next one is about a raven.

It seems a raven had a nest in an abandoned barn. A fellow wanted to observe them so he waited till the adults were gone and went in to the barn to hide. But the one raven saw him and waited till the guy left before going back in. So the guy brought two of his buddies and walked in there and told his buddies to leave so the raven would think they all left. But the raven apparently counted the people going in and waited till they all left. So the guy came back with like 10 people and tried the same trick but the raven counted all of them and knew there was still one human in there so finally the guy just gave up. Don't try to outsmart a raven!!!!!!!!!!!



And about crows too. When I had a summer job re-turfing some worn out areas on the soccer field the crows would wait till the nest day and then lift the turf to get at the insects under there. Of course they can't lift normal grass but they knew they could lift this stuff and have easy access to lots of insects. Crows are very smart.

ninypants1 11-21-2003 09:52 AM

That reminds me of a thing I saw on Animal Planet a while ago...



Some birds (crow, I think) have figured out an easy way to crack hard nut shells. They drop them in the street and wait for cars to run over them. Then wait till the coast is clear and swoop down to eat up the nuts. Way to take advantage of our technology!

Tom 11-21-2003 12:44 PM

I think it was from "New York State Conservationist" magazine, but I'm not sure- it was years ago, but the article was entitled "The Mathematical Mouse".



A pet mouse was living in a cage with her six offspring and her mate. One day, somehow, one of her young got out of her nest. She searched frantically for the sixth offspring, and when she couldn't find him... she picked up her mate and hauled him to the nest.



The mice's owners carefully poked around the litter in the cage and found the missing baby mouse. They replaced the father with the baby, the mother woke up and counted six babies, and she went back to sleep.

GhostUser 11-21-2003 03:48 PM

Good one Tom.

Now you aren't suggesting that mice actually can show compassion too are you?



Another one from me.



The cheetah can top 105 KM/H (that's 65 M/H americans) which is faster than the posted speed on many highways. Can you imagine driving along at 90 KM/H and being passed by a cheetah? That's so cool, unless you're the one being chased. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Sevenseas 11-21-2003 03:53 PM

This is well known, but whales make really interesting sounds/music. It sounds like modern electronic music (although I don't know if is very ethical to support the whale recordings - I don't know how they were created). It's something really mythical, mystical and eternal - like the deepest place of our planet (well, they are from the ocean) speaking, indifferent about the time passing. Also, there's a recording made in which elephants beat various rhythm instruments in certain formed patterns, so I guess elephants have a sense of rhythm.

wert 11-21-2003 08:49 PM

Many mammals (and I'm sure many reptiles do to) have a Limbic system, which is a tiny part of the brain (nothing to do with the conscious part) that handles emotions and feelings like "wrath, fright, passion, love, hate, joy and sadness".



That's only what I've found from websites! Correct it if it's not true.

Kiz 11-22-2003 01:20 AM

This one's pretty simple, but I really like it. Only one in nine or so cats have proper eyelashes. All cats have longer fur around their eyes, but less then 10% of them have actual eyelashes. I ended up peering at cats eyes after that whenever I patted them. Neither of my two cats now have lashes, but my parent's old cat did, she had long curly one's, like a girl.



Also, nearly all species of mammals are "right-handed" and in exactly the same percentages as humans are (it's about 9 out of 10). Horses, dogs, cats, cows etc etc etc are usually going to be "right-pawed" or "right-hoofed". There is one species that is predominantly "left-handed" but I can't remember which one it is right now.

GhostUser 11-22-2003 02:56 PM

That's interesting Kiz, I'll have to look for that.



My next one is about geese.

These three goofball teenagers broke into a petting zoo in my home city here and beat an emu and a goose to death. The goose had a mate and she was so upset that she stopped eating and doing normal goose things. All she would do is walk back and forth over her dead mate's body. It was so touching. If that was a human we would say the human is in the buried deep in grief. Since it was a goose it was just instinct. I wrote a letter to the editor because so many people were so upset about the deaths of these animals. So they went and help build fences and stuff around the petting zoo. And then they went home and had roast beef dinner. Yah, that makes sense.

shethatisnau 11-22-2003 04:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

This one's pretty simple, but I really like it. Only one in nine or so cats have proper eyelashes. All cats have longer fur around their eyes, but less then 10% of them have actual eyelashes. I ended up peering at cats eyes after that whenever I patted them. Neither of my two cats now have lashes, but my parent's old cat did, she had long curly one's, like a girl.



Also, nearly all species of mammals are "right-handed" and in exactly the same percentages as humans are (it's about 9 out of 10). Horses, dogs, cats, cows etc etc etc are usually going to be "right-pawed" or "right-hoofed". There is one species that is predominantly "left-handed" but I can't remember which one it is right now.



I'm left handed. So I'm one of only 10% of the mammal population? Spiffin'!



I remember hearing once that elephants are the only animal that can't jump (they lack the right kind of knees). I also remember that they'll take care of an elderly member of their species if it's in failing health, they won't leave it behind if it can be helped.

GhostUser 11-22-2003 06:18 PM

Elephants are very social, indeed. They go through periods of mourning when they lose one of their own. I saw a show on them once and they would even visit the "graves" of the deceased and cradle the bones in their trunks.

GhostUser 11-23-2003 04:09 PM

My next one is about seahorses.

The male seahorse carries the fertilized eggs around in a pouch. When the eggs hatch he carries each one, one by one, to some seaweed where they can start eating. A real stay at home dad type.

Astarte 11-23-2003 05:06 PM

Ooh, I like this thread. I could say lots, but I'll only stick to some of my favourite animals.



They've found that primates are not the only animals the have learned to use tools. Members of the corvid family (crows, ravens, jays, etc.) have been observed using small sticks to fish out bugs from a log and rocks to crack nuts for them to eat. So it's not even other mammals! Birds are very intelligent creatures.



There was even an instance where an ice fisherman left his line alone for a short time, only to find when he returned that the fish that he would've caught was on the snow, half-eaten. It turns out that the ravens living around the lake had been watching him, and had learned what he was doing and why. When they saw the line sinker go under, indicating that a fish had bitten the lure, they pulled up the line and ate the fish.

automaton 11-24-2003 07:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

There is one species that is predominantly "left-handed" but I can't remember which one it is right now.



Polar bears?



"Many researchers claim that all polar bears are left-handed. This assertion seems to be based on a long-held belief among native people in polar bear regions. However, it is unclear whether this belief is based on physical reality, or whether it is a philosophical concept."

GhostUser 11-24-2003 02:34 PM

Lassie, the tv collie, first appeared in the 1930's short novel titled "Lassie Come Home" written by Eric Mowbray Knight. The dog in the novel was based on Knight's real life collie, Toots.

GhostUser 11-25-2003 02:19 PM

Yesterday I was amazed by the wax-wings. That was the first time I saw them this season. They are on their way south and should spend a couple of weeks here although winter has come a bit early here so maybe they won't stick around long. But I love watching them fly in formation. Better than watching an air show (airplanes). They swoop and twirl and land on a tree like a blanket on a bed. And then suddenly they take off again and meet up with another flock and they merge together with yet another flock and cover the whole sky. And all that without crashing into one another. How do they do it?

GhostUser 11-26-2003 02:33 PM

A few years ago I saw a very interesting show on tv. I can't even remember what the show was called or what it's purpose was. I guess it was some kind of documentary on gorillas. They focused on one gorilla for at least part of the show. They did a background check on him and it turned out he had quite a past. He first worked for Nasa in some testing format. That went on for a few years until funding ran out for that program so he was bought by a company that does disease testing. He was given some diseases and then treated with some experimental medicines.

When that project was finished he went on to be studied in a communications testing facility. He learned sign language and he developed quite a vocabulary. He worked with one particular man for some years. Then the funding for that project dried up and time went by.

The documentary crew found the gorilla in some building where they were taking care of him and he had his own cage with a private area in the back. They also tracked down the guy who was the sign language teacher and they showed the reunion on tv. It had been many years since they had seen each other but they recognized each other at once and the gorilla was so excited. He started signing right away and in a sort of short hand signing method the two had developed over their years together.

After a about 1/2 hour the man had to leave. He signed to the gorilla that he had to go. The gorilla didn't even say goodbye-- he just walked slowly to the back of his cage, through the opening that led to his private area and wasn't seen again. It was so sad.

GhostUser 11-29-2003 02:52 PM

I guess I'm the only one who knows "Amazing Animal Stories". Well here's another one:



I was watching tv some years back now and there was a documentary on caribou. The filming crew was up in a helicopter watching the caribou with the new calves migrate into a new area. The herd came to a river that was just shallow enough for the herd to cross although I think they had to kind of swim. So off they went with the mothers encouraging their children. All of them crossed except for one mother and one calf. The calf was too scared to cross and the mother was getting worried because the herd was moving on. She tried over and over to get the calf into the water but he wouldn't budge. Finally the mother decided to leave the calf there and cross the river herself. She was quite sad.

The filming crew caught all of this on tape and felt so bad for the calf and mother that they decided to break every rule in the wilderness book. The landed the copter and caught the calf and flew up into the air. They had to get ahead of the mother as she was making her way back to the herd. They landed and released the calf and then flew back into the air. There was a good chance the mother would reject the calf because of the human scent on him. But she didn't, she was so excited he was back with her. And they moved back together to fjoin the herd. Until the next river....

GhostUser 12-04-2003 11:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGR View Post

I had a little rooster who passed away earlier this year. Well, he was romancing a (much larger) hen, who unfortunately regarded her tiny, over-enthusiastic lover with disdain. Come one day when it was raining furiously and a few chickens were stuck in the heavy downpour. When I came running out to take them back in, I saw something that I found really sweet: My diminutive feathered Romeo was sheltering his buxom ladylove under his tiny wing. He was holding her close with his wing over her back (the said wing was so small, it didn't even cover her whole back), while she crouched against him for warmth. I would have taken a picture if it wasn't so rainy, and if I wasn't in a hurry to get them in.



Unfortunately, no epic romance blossomed between the two. The hen continued to snub the little rooster, and the silly boy never gave up trying to tunnel his way into her heart.



RGR, your story really touched me. what happened to the little rooster?

dk_art 12-04-2003 12:06 PM

"because of a very unethical animal experiment we know that rhesus monkeys seem to show something that resembles compassion: .........."

-----------------------



I believe this was that same experiment which proved that many humans have no compassion ......

Sola 12-05-2003 05:59 PM

On animal planet on the 16th of december is a program called 50 animal facts, (I think along those lines). between 8 or 9pm. Apparently there's a herd of cows that have killed 100 times more people than a shark!

MollyGoat 12-06-2003 02:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wert View Post

Many mammals (and I'm sure many reptiles do to) have a Limbic system, which is a tiny part of the brain (nothing to do with the conscious part) that handles emotions and feelings like "wrath, fright, passion, love, hate, joy and sadness".



ALL reptiles have a limbic system. In fact, that's pretty much all they have. It's sometimes called "the reptile brain" for this reason.

RGR 12-06-2003 12:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by soybean81 View Post

RGR, your story really touched me. what happened to the little rooster?



Hi soybean81,



The rooster developed a fatal lung infection. Poor little thing, he really suffered in his last days.

RGR 12-06-2003 12:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by soybean81 View Post

RGR, your story really touched me. what happened to the little rooster?



Hi soybean81,



The rooster developed a fatal lung infection. Poor little thing, he really suffered in his last days.



Even when he was ill, he continued to bestow his attentions on the hen of his heart - for the life of me, I can't understand why he was so crazily lovestruck.

GhostUser 12-07-2003 11:22 AM

oh, poor little rooster! could you not put him to sleep?



so you keep chickens? i've thought of doing that, but my dog is crazy and so i can't! ...plus i'd worry too much about people stealing them and doing horrible things to them...but i've always had a thing for chickens!


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