Re: lions, chimps and sticks

10 Oct 1995 16:03:34 GMT

H. M. Hubey ( wrote:
: (Harry Erwin) writes:

: >predator on chimps is the leopard. BTW, neither lion nor leopard predation
: >acts as a significant population control mechanism for _any_ herbivorous
: >species in the Serengeti. The primary population control mechanism is
: >disease, followed by accident and old age.

: This could really be the answer to the predation problem.

: If there were so many more of the other herbivorous animals
: than the proto-hominids, then perhaps they could get around
: and get by simply because there was not enough of a predator
: population to go after them since they would have all
: been satiated by eating so many of the other freely available
: prey animals.

: Of course, there's the usual down side. If there were so many
: prey available, unless their rate of increase outstripped
: that of the predators sooner or later the Lotka-Volterra
: oscillations would take effect and the predators would
: be scrounging for all they could find; and probably would
: find our courageous little wimps.. ahem proto-chimps and
: proto-humans.

Lotka-Volterra is simplistic; so simple that it has never been a valid
model when compared to populations in nature. Although it has been used as
the basis for predicting carrying capacity (and Maximum Sustainable Yield)
in fisheries and wildlife management, "There do not appear to be any
examples of its successful long-term application to a resource, while
there are examples of its failure and the consequent commercial loss of
the species involved." (L. M. Talbot, "Maximum Sustainable Yield: An
Obsolete Management Concept," Fortieth North American Wildlife Conference

Harry Erwin
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PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"