Re: AAT Theory

David L Burkhead (
4 Oct 1995 14:33:06 GMT

In article <> (H. M. Hubey) writes:
> (David L Burkhead ) writes:
>>>We are discussing savannah (i.e. the closest thing to the open
>>>plains) where these days lions, hyenas and wild dogs prowl.
>> Wealth of meaning in those two words.
>Yes. I assume none of us was around millions of years ago and
>watched the predators at work those days.

No, but we have lots of evidence for what kinds of predators
_were_ there, and a surprising amount of evidence on their habits.
It's amazing what you can piece together from the fossil record if you
take meticulous care and look at a _lot_ of evidence (as opposed to
extrapolating from a handful of "points" ala AAH).

>> A: Lions don't generally hunt in packs. BTW, the word isn't
>>"pack" when dealing with lions. A social grouping of lions is called
>Pack is a generic word. Pride, herd, gaggle, etc don't mean much
>more than pack/herd/bunch/group.
>Prides to work in groups, and so do hyenas and wild dogs,
>and wolves, and .....

Check again. Lions may travel/live in groups, but they generally
_hunt_ alone. There may be exceptional cases otherwise, but as a
general rule they follow the typical feline pattern of solo hunting.

As for pride/pack, when you misuse the terminology, it tends to
make folk think you don't _know_ the terminology, which tends to make
them wonder what _else_ you don't know.

BTW, since you mention wolves, healthy wolves, in the wild, will
not attack humans except under _extreme_ provocation. This has been
true for a very long time and makes one wonder where they gained
_that_ particular trait--the trait that humans are _not_ prey.

>> B: hyenas aren't the worlds most courageous animals. Given a
>>choice between fighting and running, they'll generally run.
>Scaring off lion prides doesn't seem to smack of much
>cowardice. Hyenas are probably pretty vicious but I don't
>know how I'd go around measuring viciousness. It'd be better
>to avoid this kind of arguments.

If they "scared off" a lion _pride_, then chances are it was a
resting group that just couldn't be bothered to fight them. In fact,
most predators are that way--they don't generally bother to fight
unless food or survival (in a larger sense those are much the same
thing) is on the line. I've also seen a solo lion, when defending a
kill, hold off an entire _pack_ of about a dozen hyenas while still
having time to eat.

As for "avoiding this kind of arguments" yes, that's true. It's
probably best for your case to avoid those kinds of arguments that
argue against your position.

David L. Burkhead

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