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Re: GANGING CROWS & LIZARDS



> Date:          Fri, 14 May 1999 08:23:28 +1000
> Reply-to:      dannj@alphalink.com.au
> From:          Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
> To:            dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:       Re: GANGING CROWS & LIZARDS


> Personally I find the group hunting of the cerebrally challenged species far 
> more impressive.
> They're doing much the same thing as the "brainier" mammals but 
> manage it on only a fraction of the brain power. I call that efficiency.
> 
> Does the so called "true" pack hunting involve greater communication
> skills or more complex social structuring? If so, crocs would seem
> to be as well versed in both behavioural aspects as any mammal.
> They use body postures and vocalisation to communicate with each other,
> and many species (like the estuarine crocs) have well defined
> territorial boundaries and pecking orders. They also seem to use
> spatial strategies to bring down large prey together.
> 
> Again, why differentiate "true" pack hunting? Are us mammal-centric
> creatures so arrogant as to have to separate mammalian behaviours
> from the rest of the animal kingdom?  :)
>

I have to agree. Most of the time people will point out that pack 
behaviour or any social behaviour is linked with brainsize. Small 
brainsize would be a limiting factor in the learning abilities of 
animals etc etc. I guess those people have never heard about ants. 
These incredibly small animals have an even smaller brain, but behave 
as groups and have structured techniques for defense. There are even 
species of ants which hunt as one big organism (sorry; don't know the 
name...). They have a highly evolved system of communication with a 
kind of sign-language with their antenae and use all kinds of 
chemical communication too. 
There are, without a doubt, more examples of little, non-mammal, 
small-brained animals which have a kind of behaviour which we could 
call 'pack-behaviour'. 

"Secrets must be exposed when found. 
Detours must be taken when encountered.
And if you are at the place of concealment or standing at the crossroads,
you must never leave it to another to act in your place."
Qui-Gon Jinn; Jedi Master