RE: Wildebeest !!

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Apr 09 2002 - 10:42:35 BST

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    Subject: RE: Wildebeest !!
    Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 10:42:35 +0100 
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    Hi everyone,

    Playing a bit of catch up here, so apologies for any repeated points. I'll
    keep comments short.

    I'm not sure there's evidence in river crossing like this of self-sacrifice,
    although I vaguely recall reading somewhere of the possibility of sacrifice
    (if that's not a loaded term...) in animals.


    > ----------
    > From: Kenneth Van Oost
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2002 20:46 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Wildebeest !!
    > Hi all,
    > Reading something about altruistic suicide_ somebody kills/ sacrifies him-
    > self for the good and better cause // youngsters kill themselves because
    > they think that without them around things will get better in the
    > household_
    > I was wondering !
    > What about the fact that if wildebeests/ zebra's have to cross a river,
    > can/ may
    > we ' recognize ' the same characteristic lets say by the first animal that
    > jumps into the water and in most cases will/ can be eaten/ killed by a
    > crocodile !?
    > After all, what is the difference between the act of killing oneself to
    > get
    > things better and killing yourself by jumping first in the river so that
    > the
    > group you belong to can/ may cross easier/ savier !? ( If of course my
    > reasoning ends up !!)
    > Of course, and I agree, we can say that it is the wildebeest its instincts
    > that drives it along and the first who gets to the river has no luck_ can
    > we
    > forsee a link with the boy who commits suicide in order to take away the
    > tensions that rages in the household !?
    > What makes an animal to go first !? Like we said, instinct !?
    > Ok, but all the beasts does have, I presume an equal characteristic, so
    > in a way, each of them can be the first to jump but only one does it.
    > And yes, we can ackowledge the fact that the one who actually jumps
    > first is forced/ pushed in to it by the group to take the lead, but can we
    > be sure !?
    > If so, how and why !?
    > We had such an discussion before covering why birds go in one direction
    > presumably all together at the same moment in time ( they follow a
    > leader),
    > but in the case of the wildebesst, if it was the leader who goes first,
    > where
    > is the gain for the group, left behind without its captain !?
    > I reckon it will all come down to instinct and internal behavioral aspects
    > but I can 't stop wondering how mush such behavior corresponds with what
    > we can observe by a human child.
    > Moreover, thinking about it, by ants the same behavior can be spotted_
    > some dive into the water to make a brigde/ a floating harnas to support
    > others so that those can cross, drowning themselves in the process of
    > doing so !
    > Anyone !?
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth

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