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RE: Nocturnal crocs?




On Tue, 28 Aug 2001, Gordon Martin Human wrote:

> John Bois wrote:
> 
> > I made the point that aggressiveness is viable only when
> > the prey has a chance of winning.
> 
> I don't think this is necessarily so....a mouse will bite a cat, (or indeed
> a human) if attacked....and still succumb.

I meant "aggressiveness" interms of a winning strategy.  Clearly a mouse
is better practicing concealment, and escape rather than
aggressiveness.  But, if it is in the jaws of the cat, it has only one
option.  The real question is: what were/are the effective strategies of a
cassowary?  And what were the animals--ghost species, perhaps--which
selected for its unique behavioral repetoire?  I am sure no one would
claim they were identical to ostrich selective forces.  General wisdom has
it that predatory forces are harsher on large continents, relative to
small ones (Ed Wilson and Tim Flannery).  Is there any truth to this?  If
so, this gives the cassowary a broader range of options--rather than
compete with the emu, it could enter the forest niche, provided, perhaps,
that it could run fast, hide well, and kick like a mule to defend against
a critical percentage of predators.  This is not an unreasonable
speculation, I think.