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Re: Protoceratops agression or, now, THE BUNNY THAT WASN'T FUNNY



David Elliott asked:

"So - for interest's sake - anyone else have knowledge of observations of
modern-day herbivorous animals that
display anything similar to the kind of aggression i speculated on for
_Protoceratops_ above?"

    Well, a peccary (which we called "javelinas hogs" down in south Texas)
can be extremely aggressive and very dangerous if its piglets are around.

    But, has anyone thought of rabbits in this context?  Female bunnies will
sometimes very aggressively defend their territory or, especially, their
nesting territory.  My favorite example of this was told me to at a
veterinarian's office when my wife and I were in there with a bunny that
needed treatment.  An elderly gentleman told us of a time a few years
earlier when he had a very large (perhaps a Flemish Giant) female bunny
enjoying herself in his fenced back yard.  However, a large German Shepherd
dog (meaning male) that belonged to a man several houses down the block
decided, as the gentleman put it, "...to have rabbit stew for supper!"

    The German Shepherd jumped the fence, and the big bunny rose to the
occasion.  Running toward the front of the big dog, she made a sharp turn
when beside its head while leaping into the air, ripping the dog's right
upper eyelid open with a kick from a rather sharply clawed back foot.  He
was stunned, but the bunny ran off some distance to the dog's left side and
then did a similar attack, this time making a formidable gash below the left
eye that bled profusely.

    Coming to his senses,  -- :) ? --  the dog chased after the retreating
bunny, but then sustained a couple of more substantial face gashes as a
reward.

    The bunny's owner had seen all this fast action from an upstairs window,
whereupon he ran downstairs and into the yard, rescued the German Shepherd
and took it down to its owner, explaining what had happened.

    The best part of this story, however, it this:  When the dog's owner
filed suit against the bunny's owner for allowing his rabbit to "permanently
disfigure" his beloved German Shepherd's face, the judge threw the case out,
declaring, "The court commends a bunny that has proven valiant in self
defense!"

    This may not shed any light on Protoceratops aggression, but I couldn't
resist because of David's inquiry.

    Ray Stanford

    "You know my method.  It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery