Meerkats are vicious baby killers

  • Thread starter ZapperZ
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In summary: Well, that's nature for you. :)In summary, the conversation discusses the link to a news update in Nature that is only available for free for a short time. The conversation then delves into the topic of animal behavior and the argument of what is considered "natural". The participants also mention the show "Meerkat Manor" and its anthropomorphized narration. The conversation ends with a discussion about the show's depiction of the harsh realities of nature.
  • #1
ZapperZ
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This link to a news update in Nature is only available for free for a short time, so read it while you can.

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060807/full/060807-4.html

I'm always fascinated by animal behavior, mainly because many people some time use the argument against something as being "not natural", as IF everything that's "natural" or in nature is something that's good and must be followed. In any case, I was reading this with fascination till the end, when I couldn't stop laughing at the very last "editorialization" by the writer, saying

"So, like politicians, meerkats work for the good of the party, but are vicious back-stabbers when they get the chance."

Touche! :)

Zz.
 
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  • #2
ZapperZ said:
people some time use the argument against something as being "not natural", as IF everything that's "natural" or in nature is something that's good and must be followed. QUOTE]

I always tell them to:

hug a cactus
smack a grizzly on the ass
eat the elder berries
live without plumbing



good link.
 
  • #3
We need to get Moonbie to study the breeding habits of politicians... er... I mean meerkats.

:)

Zz.
 
  • #4
Pythagorean said:
live without plumbing
Its not nearly as bad as you may think.
 
  • #5
Mk said:
Its not nearly as bad as you may think.

I've lived plenty without electricity or water (or even walls one summer, i.e. tent)

It just doesn't work for me while I'm attending school. Dishes pile up, going outside to use the bathroom in -40 is no fun, and showering: even from third person perspective, it's hard to study when skanky cabin-dwellers come into the classroom reeking of what they ate, slept in, and shat the night before. It's even harder to study when you're that guy and you're self-conscious about it. Some of these kids don't even use the showers on campus more than two or three times a semester.

If I had a cabin on my own land, I'd at least build a natural water system (wouldn't work so great here, this part of Alaska is actually considered desert)

hygiene's pretty important to me nowdays.
 
  • #6
ZapperZ said:
We need to get Moonbie to study the breeding habits of politicians
I think it would only get funded if I could find a way to stop their breeding! :smile:

... er... I mean meerkats.

:)

Zz.
Have you ever watched Meerkat Manor on the Discovery Channel? The narration is highly anthropomorphized, but it's still really cute, and definitely interesting to see how the group social structure works.
 
  • #7
Moonbear said:
Have you ever watched Meerkat Manor on the Discovery Channel? The narration is highly anthropomorphized, but it's still really cute, and definitely interesting to see how the group social structure works.

I watched it once and had to stop watching it because it was getting too... er.. ... cute! :)

Zz.
 
  • #8
OMG with the meercat got bite by the snake..and everyone forgot about him and he limped home to die...Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
 
  • #9
hypatia said:
OMG with the meercat got bite by the snake..and everyone forgot about him and he limped home to die...Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
:cry: He looked so lonely and scared. :frown: But, just when I thought they were never going to show any meerkats that actually died, the little babies were abandoned to die (the "illegitimate" ones born to Flower's sister...I can't remember the name they gave to her).
 
  • #10
Its not easy being Queen:frown:
 

Related to Meerkats are vicious baby killers

What evidence supports the claim that meerkats are vicious baby killers?

There have been documented cases of meerkats killing the young of other meerkats, as well as the young of other species such as ground squirrels and dwarf mongooses. This behavior is thought to be a result of competition for resources and territory.

Do meerkats always kill babies?

No, not all meerkats exhibit this behavior. In fact, only a small percentage of meerkats engage in infanticide. It is most commonly seen in dominant males and females within a group.

Why do meerkats kill their own young?

Infanticide in meerkats is believed to be a form of reproductive strategy. By killing the young of other females, dominant males can control the breeding females in the group and ensure that their own offspring have the best chance of survival.

Do meerkats only kill babies within their own group?

No, while infanticide is most commonly seen within a meerkat group, there have also been instances of meerkats killing the young of other meerkat groups. This is most likely due to competition for resources and territory.

Are meerkats the only species that exhibit this behavior?

No, infanticide has been observed in many other animal species, including lions, primates, and rodents. It is believed to be a natural behavior that helps ensure the survival of the fittest offspring.

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