James Borrett (
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 11:45:53 +0100

david l burkhead wrote:

> Are wading birds a mammalian species? This one is news to _me_.

Obviously not. But there are semi-aquatic animals that don't have an
instinctive ability to swim.

> As a matter of fact, humans _do_ have a pretty good "instinctive"
> _ability_ to climb trees. Nobody _taught_ me to climb trees when I
> was a kid. I managed that quite on my own as soon as I was physically
> able to manage it (and was quite a terror to my parents from that).
> And if humans _did_ have an instinctual ability to swim, there
> would be a lot of swimming instructors out there put out of work. You
> don't have to be _taught_ something that's instinctive.

I know just as many rock-climbing instructors as I do swimming
instructors. I'll admit that I don't know any wading instructors, so we
must have an instinctive ability to wade. Anyway, this could indicate the
reverse of what you're thinking because the presence of lots of swimming
instructors means that swimming is a very popular sport, more popular
than tree-climbing. They don't climb trees at the Olympics.