1. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan

    Natural Drama

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ribcracker, Jan 24, 2014.

    Because I live in a rural area with a pond right outside our windows we see a lot of natural drama. Sometimes it's more drama than I care to witness.

    One time I was walking through the yard and came across a small snake attempting to swallow a frog. He had completely engulfed the frog's leg and I could tell there was no way he was gonna be able to swallow the rest of that frog. Yes, they can unhinge their jaws but I think he had already done that just to manage the leg. The frog had run out of fight and seemed resigned to his situation. Since a snake cannot unswallow a frog, we had a "situation".

    I went to the house to summon my wife (not sure why) and as we approached the scene, a red-tailed hawk swooped down, picked them both up and flew off. I guess that resolved the situation.

    Another time, I heard constant splashing on the other side of the pond so I went to investigate. I found a female mallard furiously beating her wings against the water trying to get airborne but she seemed to be caught on something. I knew there was old fence wire through there so I thought maybe she had become entangled in it. I went back to the house for some wire-cutters in the hope of freeing her. I waded out to the duck and as I reached for her a huge snapping turtle rose to the surface with a firm grip on her leg. I broke off a dead piece of snag and whacked turtle's back. At that moment the duck flew off...minus her leg. Then the turtle turned toward me. My wife urged me to return to shore. I needed little persuasion.

    The duck alit awkwardly on a log near the far shore and sat there for several hours before finally rolling off into the water. It was sad for me.

    There was no sign of her the next day. I'm certain she became food for either the turtle or some other opportunist. The cycle was completed.

    Life is hard for them...for all of us. I know I shouldn't anthropomorphise. It needs to be that way.
     
    GingerCoffee and art like this.
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    does it really?

    i don't believe it does...

    considering the great variety of animal life forms on the planet that do not feed on each other, but only observe the perfect 'essential trinity' in which animal, vegetable and mineral forms can maintain an ongoing cycle of each supporting the others' needs without killing and ingesting their own kind, there is ample proof that animals feeding on animals is definitely not necessary for the establishment and effective continuation of life...

    since many of the most minute forms of life on up to mammals, including the largest of those, the elephant, feed exclusively on 'vegetable' matter and both add to the mineral sector during their life span and after their death, the minerals providing what the other two groups need to live, it's clear that the addition of carnivorous critters was not a necessity...

    if one believes in a godly creator of all, then that creator must have a sadistic streak, to have designed so many creatures with the need and ability to torture, kill and eat their fellow members of the animal kingdom, when there was no need for the animal-eaters to exist at all...

    if your beliefs run to evolution, as mine do, then i have to wonder what could have upset the 'essential trinity' and caused the emergence of animal forms that could live only by feeding among their own kind and plants such as the venus fly trap, that must subsist on killing insects, rather than just making use of available minerals, sun and water, as all the rest of the plant world does...

    any interested in delving further into this subject are invited to read the piece titled 'essential trinity' on my website, in the 'essay' section... http://www.saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=46
     
    Neha and Andrae Smith like this.
  3. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    @Ribcracker
    Aw, those stories were adorable :3
     
  4. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Wonderful stuff, Ribcracker.

    When those little dramas are playing out I - being squeamish - follow Homer's (Simpson) wise injunction: Look away! cos if you can't see it it ain't happening.
     
    GoldenGhost and Ribcracker like this.
  5. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan
    Mamma,
    When I say it needs to be that way, I mean that we must accept it since we can't change it.
    Most of evolution's complexities are beyond my comprehension so I just look at it as the manifestation of happenstance - not unlike throwing a deck of cards in the air...some will land face up, some face down. Granted, evolution has more rhyme and reason than cards. But we can't change happenstance. It needs to be that way.
     
  6. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan
    Art,
    Homer is a man of wisdom. He's my mentor, too.
     
  7. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    Yeah, it can be disheartening if we try to place human value onto animals. It becomes much harder when some personal attachment grows, such as with a pet.

    But such is life in the animal kingdom. Circle of life and all that jazz. The lion eats the zebra, then the lion becomes the grass when it dies, etc...

    I once tried to save a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest, only to have my cat eat it a week later. Just goes to show the divide between animals and humans and why we are not the same. :)

    Also I don't like snapping turtles.
     
  8. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389
    @mammamaia, I always thought carnivores were essential to population control? Other than disease, humans have no natural predators anymore and there are already far too many of us:).

    I'm a vegetarian, but I can't imagine a world where say, for example, rodent armies went unchecked:eek:.
     
  9. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Years ago, as a student, my housemates and I tried to save a de-nested chick. We failed, of course. Buried it in the garden with due ceremony.

    Couple of weeks later the landlord pitched up and quizzed us - pretty amiably - about the mound of earth in the middle of his lawn. We were happy to confess and spill the dismal details, not least because all the grave talk admirably drew his attention away from rest of the garden which was now wholly lacking its wooden fencing.

    We poor scholars had been using it has firewood for the last few months.
     
    JJ_Maxx likes this.
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    okon... rodents are not pure vegetarians, so they wouldn't exist in a world where the essential trinity remained unbroken... and in such a world, humans wouldn't, either, unless they remained the herbivores they were designed to be, to begin with! ;)
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    If there's no God, and evolution made a mistake, then what authority compels vegetarianism to be an ought? I mean, if we're not looking to nature, and we're not looking to God, who says what should be?
     
  12. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    One of the lessons nature teaches us is that, while life in general is valuable, individual lives are not. @mammamaia seems to be assigning an arbitrarily high value to individual lives.
     
  13. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389
    I think most humans do. We're naturally empathetic, aren't we?
     
  14. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Sure we are. Our empathy is a great survival tool for us, and is also our greatest learning tool. But it's a mistake to assume that it's some kind of universal natural law, or that it applies to all forms of animal life.
     
  15. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389
    Naturally speaking, you're right; no individual life matters. This includes humans.

    Morally speaking... well, that's entirely opinion. Everybody's morals differ and are usually hypocritical-- my own especially. The spectrum will range from monks to genocidal warlords.
     
  16. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    Animals evolved to become carnivores. The fact that took place naturally in evolution leads me to believe that life would not exist by your standards of the 'essential trilogy'. Are baleen whales guilty of this crime? A plankter can be an animal.

    @Ribcracker Very nice examples of the tragic beauty that is Nature
     
  17. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    Indeed. I was reading about microorganisms in the Earths oceans and I was surprised at how large a role viruses play in the ecosystem. Here is the opening abstract from University of British Columbia:

    Viruses are by far the most abundant ‘lifeforms’ in the oceans and are the reservoir
    of most of the genetic diversity in the sea. The estimated 10^30 viruses in the ocean, if stretched end to end, would span farther than the nearest 60 galaxies. Every second, approximately 10^23 viral infections occur in the ocean. These infections are a major source of mortality, and cause disease in a range of organisms, from shrimp to whales. As a result, viruses influence the composition of marine communities and are a major force behind biogeochemical cycles. Each infection has the potential to introduce new genetic information into an organism or progeny virus, thereby driving the evolution of both host and viral assemblages. Probing this vast reservoir of genetic and biological diversity continues to yield exciting discoveries.
    If there was no predation by these viruses, the entire ecosystem would collapse. It is a perfect example of the amazing systems on our planet that are perfectly balanced around predatory behavior.
     
    Okon likes this.
  18. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan
    "Just goes to show the divide between animals and humans and why we are not the same. :)" - J.J.

    Not so! Man is not the pinnacle of natural selection. We're one part of a broad plateau of "successful" creatures. Like the rest of life in the universe at this moment, we're survivors. The characteristics that have brought our species this far are unique and wonderful, but then, the same thing can be said of all the rest of the living - we are, all of us, a menagerie of animals that have beaten the odds.
     
    minstrel and Okon like this.
  19. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    Indeed, this is a common belief, but not one that I subscribe to. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  20. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan
    If you don't subscribe to logic then I have to assume you promulgate nonsense. And I worry about the possibility of your suffocation while confined to the tight constraints of a narrow mind. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    So how have we come to see man as the crowning achievement of nature? Mostly, we've just started believing our own hype. There's no doubt that we meet the first two tests of evolutionary success. We survive and reproduce admirably. However, only time will tell if we meet the last, and most telling test. We have a tendency to classify the dinosaurs as an evolutionary failure, ignoring the longevity of a species like Tyrannosaurus Rex, an animal that dominated a large part of the planet for perhaps 10 million years. Measuring man on that yardstick of success, we have about 9,995,000 years of domination to go before we can claim to equal that evolutionary "failure."
     
    Garball likes this.
  21. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    502
    You said nothing of logic. I do subscribe to logic, I just don't subscribe to humans being animals. You may look at the naturalistic perspective and come to a different viewpoint, but I see things from a different perspective. I respect your conclusions and you might wanna consider being slightly more polite and respectful.
     
    minstrel likes this.
  22. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Once a mouse ran in my boyfriend's pack as we made camp. When we looked for it, it had had babies in the pack! We put them in a covered place in some rocks but didn't see if the mouse ever returned.

    We were car camping once and a raccoon got into the food in the back of the open station wagon. We put some oatmeal out on the ground between two candles so we could watch the raccoon. The critter with its little paws picked each candle up and carefully turned them over snuffing the lights out. I swear to you I watched the animal do that.

    In Australia we were eating spaghetti at night on a picnic table in an out of the way campground, (every campground in Oz was out of the way at the time) when a possum got up on the table and put it's little paw on the edge of the plate challenging us in a stare off. We let it lick the plate under the table after we were done eating.

    I love wildlife stories.
     
  23. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Why do you have to anthromorphize? Compassion?

    Look man, charity starts at home. You already have enough stress, and I know this because everyone does. Don't waste your time on them. Just let them do as nature wills them to.
     
  24. Ribcracker
    Offline

    Ribcracker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Oxford, Michigan
    I apologize for being so brusque, JJ. It's just that I get frustrated when you refute sound logic by clasping your hands over your ears and shouting, "That's just not true!" When pressed for substantiation you quote a book that says Noah placed two of every animal species on a boat. How am I supposed to take that seriously?

    Why do I care what other people believe? I care because what other people believe can be dangerous. I care because I want to live in a world where I am surrounded by rational, knowledgeable people who care about critical thinking. I care because the world would be a better place if it were not populated by powerful fantasy spirits designed to protect us from bogeymen and nature's indifference. I care because truth matters.

    I care because I value honesty and integrity, and I know that my life will be better if those around me also value honesty and integrity. I care because I want to live in a pleasant, safe world where I can enjoy life with my family and friends. The more irrationality and delusion are encouraged, the less likely such a world becomes.

    Science can answer only empirical questions and it can't answer all empirical questions. That's why science is so interesting. If it can't answer a question it doesn't give up and declare a miracle has happened. Science tries to figure out a way to answer those questions it cannot now answer. Science isn't infallible and it often gets the wrong answer. Unlike irrational faith, however, science has ways of determining when it has made errors and ways of correcting those errors.

    Forgive me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  25. Mans
    Offline

    Mans Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    194
    Location:
    Iran
    Amazing events! ...Also, I read a news in a newspaper a few years ago. An eagle hunts a snake and flies to go to its nest. When it is passing over a road the snake is released from the eagle's claw. The injured and nervous snake falls down into a car and it bites all the five men in the car. The amazing news was that, all the passengers was dead before reaching to hospital.
     
    Ribcracker likes this.

Share This Page