Fascinating but pointless to conjecture if any dinosaur might have eventually evolved to fill the role humans play today. I think maybe it would have happened in the absence of mammals given the varied niches the dinosaurs did evolve to fill before the big extinction. What does anyone else think about that?
Horses can’t build because they have hooves instead of hands (or so I’m told) but they have nimble lips. Dolphins have flippers, not hands, but they have strong jaws. If hands with opposable thumbs is a must, then mice and rats might be a fair guess for the next dominant species.
Talking of dolpins, Cher, I believe they are now considered to be even more intelligent than we had ever imagined. It’s evcident they exhibit huge social empathy and coperation within their species and one day we may be able to translate what they ‘say’ and who knows even ‘talk’ with them. We’ve all seen the films of human/dolpin interface, the two species so delightfully and fearlessly interacting with each other.The so called killer whales are also dolphins, I understand. Personally, I think they should be made honorary humans along with monkeys, apes and even elephants – or should it be the other way round.. I once, as a young man, had a meaningful relationship with an African Grey parrot, until its lady owner and I went separate ways. I still miss her, the parrot, that is.
Is intelligence or even social ability the most important thing in choosing which animals to favor?
People who bond with animals are looking for something different than the type of bonds that they can have with other people. We have evolved to be part of nature, and interaction with other animals is part of that. Denighed this, people create carton animals, anime, images of people who are strong as a bear, quick as a panther, can fly like a bird, can seperate like a swarm of bees, or who have some ability beyond humans.
I have long since accepted that a devoted dog is more valueable to me than a malicious human friendenemy, even though the human is smarter.
Recent events in my life have caused me to rethink the value (to me) of socialness in others. Groups which have been labeled “altruistic” might really be “close knit” communities. That means that they see themselves as part of a small group of neighbors, which also means that they do NOT see themselves as part of larger America.
They might be very giving and helpful to those they grew up with but are actively hostile to ‘outsiders’. The media and science focuses on people living in cities – not people who live in little towns where everybody knows eveybody else (unless they become a cult).
For example: a female collage student who said that only people from ‘their’ town should be allowed to go to the college there, but admitted that she planned to transfer to a larger college after two years – but it was okay for her to go the other college but not for people from there to come to ‘her’ collage. (both groups are white).
Another example: collage athletes who gang up at the entrance to the computer room and only let people like themselves to enter – although there are plenty of empty seats.
Another example: grown women who say that once people are out of high school they never make another friend. Because “we just don’t”.
These maybe friendly people, but only to those who they knew when they were children. Their ability to form friendships ends with childhood. People sometimes cite Andy of Mayberry (whatever the show was called – old black and white TV show about a small town) as a friendly small town. Yet they were friendly to each other and those passing through. I watched one episode where somebody tried to move to Mayberry, and the townfolk acted like a monster had come to town – they looked ready to get out the pitchforks.
Dogs can be that way too. A pack of dogs can be ready to fight for each other, but they will gang up and KILL a strange dog. Yet Beagles are known for playing nice with strange dogs, and a pack of beagles is often made up of “everybody bring one of your beagles to the meet”. I like civilized beagle types, better than “our pack against all other packs” wolf types.
If you read on Orca, they are called “killer whales” because they hunt, kill, and eat other whales. They are often shown ganging up on and killing highly evolved baleen whales, but some packs of orca hunt, kill, and eat other orca. Wikipedia would imply that these cannibals are a different subtype of orca – nomads, drifters who prey on the ‘good’ orca who make the coastline their permanate home.
Well, if there is so much seafood along the coast why don’t the permanate orca welcome the new arrivals from the sea? Oh, outside of the reported fact that the newcomers kill and eat the resident orca? So much for the social ability of orca – they kill and eat orca who aren’t in their own family group. Need I say more about my opinion of orca?
Thanks to the heads up from Chris over on his Border (collie) Wars blog, I watched the documentary “Blackfish” on TV this week (also coming out on dvd this month).
Well what does anyone expect from a species where one family pack hunts, kills, and eats members from other packs? Wolves fight other packs of wolves, but they don’t live by hunting and eating their own species. Orca cannibalize other packs of orca – a fact the show “Blackfish” left out. What can you really expect from creatures who eat their own species?
Sorry, I don’t care how smart orca are, or how good they are to their own family, I just don’t percieve them as cuddly. The first time I saw an orca, it jumped up and “kissed” (licked) a woman who hung her head over a tank of water.
Since the show had already started, the adult I was with said we would come back for the next performance. We did. We were early. I followed others to a big side tank where we were allowed to pet the orca (maybe like the bus driver’s twenty in Chris’s story – I might have just been considered in with the right group – or maybe they let people [or cute young girls] pet orca then, I don’t know).
I made kissy noises to the orca and it whipped around, stuck it’s head out of the water and stuck it’s tongue out of it’s smiling toothy wolfish mouth at me. Nothing could convince me that it hadn’t tried to eat me. It was huge, it had a big mouth with lots of sharp pointy teeth. (The better to eat you with)!
Now, I would say that my subconcious petted the back of what it saw as a cow, then found that I had been petting a huge alien predator (those teeth weren’t made for chewing seaweed) and I was frightened. I had though ALL whales were baleen (toothless) whales.
People tried to tell me that orca are friendly. People still try to tell me they are big dolphins like Flipper. I say maybe I should keep my opinion of orca and change my opinion of Flipper – maybe if dolphins were s big as orca, they might be sea wolves too?
Sorry. I like dolphins but nothing will change the “YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has LOTS OF HUGE SHARP TEETH!!!!” fright. Orca aren’t big cows. They are carnivors. Besides that, what I liked most from an earlier visit to an aquarium (when I was much younger )was the mermaid act. And I loved the seal or sealion act. One guy had a trained young elephant seal!
But orca? I see it as a lion tamer act, but much much less safe. Orca don’t seem furry to me, and they have that huge mouth with those sharp teeth. You ever stand right in front of one of them when their mouth was open?Like they could swallow you without using their teeth to crunch you up. Predator. People eater.
As for the movie Blackfish, Yes lion/orca training is a dangerous job. And maybe sea world ought to make sure their trainers understand this better, so they don’t feel fooled. Lots of people work with elephants in India, but I saw a video of a zoo elephant attacking its trainer. Bulls are more dangerous than cows, that is why matadors are called “bullfighters” not “cowfighters”.
As for captivity being mean to orca, yes and it is mean for people too. Young people naturally should roam the woods hunting, fishing, picking flowers….
Maybe life should be more than what it is. But reality is what it is. Orca and people deserve etter.