Re: Why Large Gap Between Species...?

Laurie Davison (
5 Dec 1996 14:52:41 GMT

I don't think you can compare big cats and primates here. The mind and
motivations of a lion or cheetah are far removed from those of primates.
The idea that genocide should be uniquely primate doesn't seem so far
fetched to me when you consider social structures, use of tools,
intelligence, etc. A large cat protects its territory and rarely leaves
it unless pushed out. Primates, however, having a different form of
curiosity and intelligence, are more prone to expand territories - and
more able to come up with creative solutions for doing so (not to mention
possibly creative "rationalizations" for expansion). I've worked with
both big cats and primates and cats kill based upon an instinct. Primates
"think about it". I'm anthropomorphizing here, but I can see a chimp
"thinking" to himself "Hey, the grass definitely looks greener over
there... if I could take this rock and kill the baboons in that area, I'd
have both my land *and* theirs!!!(evil laughter...)".:)


>>Good question. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, wolves - all survive in Africa
>>and they *don't* dedicate themselves to wiping each other out.