Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    I know that dogs exhibit the same behaviour towards their human owners (deference, protectiveness etc) that wolves show to the leader of their pack. I wonder whether cats are the same, or whether they're perfectly aware that we're different beasts entirely.
    What Taylor said about them being in a permanent state of kittenhood is what I always believed. And I'm absolutely sure that my Hobbes knows there is a fundamental difference between say me and another cat. He uses completely different kinds of communication, verbal and body language, with people than he does with other cats.

    Re allergies, honestly, I'm terribly allergic to fur and dust and pollen etc. Beconase really helps, it's much better than antihistamines. I'd rather have Hobbes and live with a bit of wheezing and the odd vile weeping swelling scratch etc than not have him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spearmint Rhino
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Hofzinser wrote:
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull[...]and indeed vice-versa, do you think they think "I'm one of those (bird), that's a bit like me, give or take the scale and a few superficial details", or do they think of them as completely alien species?

    When you look at, say, a bear or a kangaroo, do you think "that's a bit like me, give or take the scale and a few superficial details"? Same thing, really.
    Actually, I used to. I've modified my position now, but I used to. (And there's no need to be sarcastic.)

    Leave a comment:


  • evilC
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Leave a comment:


  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    So it depends if the sparrow's a creationast or not...

    Leave a comment:


  • Hofzinser
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    When a sparrow looks at a seagull[...]and indeed vice-versa, do you think they think "I'm one of those (bird), that's a bit like me, give or take the scale and a few superficial details", or do they think of them as completely alien species?

    When you look at, say, a bear or a kangaroo, do you think "that's a bit like me, give or take the scale and a few superficial details"? Same thing, really.

    Leave a comment:


  • evilC
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    In his book 'The Truth About Dogs', Stephen Budiansky quotes from research that showed that Chihuahuas may have as much as 80% of their DNA in common with a Great Dane (for instance) but that a Great Dane (again for instance) may have as little as 20% of its DNA in common with other Great Danes.* In other words, dogs' default state is as mongrels - it is only because humans have artificially selected, separated and in-bred them to refine certain traits that certain shapes of dog have that these 'breeds' arise in the first place.

    You go back and look at paintings from only 200-300 years ago that included dogs and you will see examples of Boxers and Bulldogs without the grotesquely (and inhumanely) squashed muzzles, you'll see Spaniels that are almost just generic and various breeds that are a slightly different size to that which they are now. This almost 'corruption' of evolution is a process accelerated purely by man. I think that it is largely this DNA proximity that means that dogs aren't as genetically separated as they appear to be ...and I expect they know that.

    (* - I can't remember if he says that this research was focussing on certain elements/aspects of DNA. I assume he was keeping things simple for the purpose of layman-readability. However, he gave references to all his ...errr, references.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    I was allergic to cat hair when I was a kid and I did fine with a long haired seal point cat. Apart from the crippling asthma, that is.

    Leave a comment:


  • willie1foot
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    What specifically is she allergic to 1890? I think there are some breeds that don't bring on the more common dog allergies because of the type of coat they have.

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight Shadow
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    I loved having a cat. Mind you, right now, with my great outdoor obsession, a dog might be more suited. My wife would love one as she is a bit worried to go hiking on her own but she is allergic to them...

    Leave a comment:


  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    We must get down the sanctuary. They will allow you to foster, I think. Can you PM your number again?

    Leave a comment:


  • Taylor
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Since species are defined by ability to breed with each other, that must surely affect how dogs think? I mean, I've seen tiny dogs sniffing round the backsides of giant mutts. Then again, dogs will try to fuck your leg, so Christ knows.

    As for cat psychology: as I understand it, tame cats experience a kind of arrested development. Dog psychology is obviously based on the behaviour patterns of wolves, and they do indeed see you as pack leader. Cats, on the other hand, are total loners, because of the way they hunt in the wild - anyone who's met a feral cat knows how vicious and suspicious adult cats are in their natural state. Thing is, this is triggered by leaving the family unit and having to fend for themselves, so if a cat is given free food and water from birth, and stroked regularly (which they associate psychologically with being groomed by their mothers), their owner becomes a substitute mum in the way a dog owner becomes a substitute canine top boy. So a tame pet cat is mentally still a kitten - relatively playful, affectionate and trusting - because it's never had to grow up.

    Thing is, you can't completely override nature. Whether it's hormones or whatever, when a cat goes out on the prowl, and its owners aren't around, it drops back into its natural state. Pet cats are completely spoilt and wussy compared to wild cats even when they're creeping around in bushes and chasing mice, of course, but in that environment they feel like King Of The Jungle (this is also why house cats tend to be more docile and less badly-behaved than cats who are allowed to go outside - they've never really got in touch with that side of themselves).

    It's quite amusing if you see your cat out in the garden stalking a butterfly or something, and then surprise it by calling its name, especially while shaking a box of dry cat food. Its will often look from side to side, at you, then back at its potential prey, as if flashing between personalities. 9 times out of 10, the free meal and strokes will win the day, because when it comes down to it, cats are lazy sods and tend to go for the easy life wherever possible.

    Ah, I love cats. Not being able to own one is constant misery.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Reed: Kind of. I'll leave it to the experts to provide a full definition, but as I understand, speciation is something of a term of art, given that species are basically labels that we use to divide a continuum. Reproductive isolation is definitely the main criterion. That said, there are cases where organisms which can fruitfully interbreed, but don't, are considered different species. And of course asexual organisms don't interbreed at all (although there is horizontal gene transfer).

    Leave a comment:


  • Reed John
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Leave a comment:


  • Spearmint Rhino
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Reed of the Valley People wrote:
    I think all domestic dogs can, in principle, breed with each other. I don't think sparrows and seagulls could. Isn't that a basic principle of speciation or am I way off?
    Oh, I'm fairly sure you're right about that. I just wonder what bearing that has on their perception of each other.

    This is also kind of connected to a growing interest I have in cat behaviour, having recently acquired one. I'd love to read a book about what they're thinking. In fact, I saw one, helpfully called 'What Is My Cat Thinking?', and I might buy it.

    I know that dogs exhibit the same behaviour towards their human owners (deference, protectiveness etc) that wolves show to the leader of their pack. I wonder whether cats are the same, or whether they're perfectly aware that we're different beasts entirely.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reed John
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    I think all domestic dogs can, in principle, breed with each other. I don't think sparrows and seagulls could. Isn't that a basic principle of speciation or am I way off?

    Leave a comment:


  • Spearmint Rhino
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Reed of the Valley People wrote:
    Chihuahuas and Alsatians are different breeds of the same species, canis lupus familiaris. Seagulls (laridae) and sparrows (passeridae) are different families of birds (class aves)

    Yes, I looked that up, but I knew the basic facts.

    So maybe that means the Chihuahua and Alsatian recognize themselves in each other, or their scent, more than two different kinds of birds.

    It certainly seems that dogs recognize other dogs. They behave differently around other dogs than they do other mammals (like cats or humans).
    Yeah, I wondered whether someone would bring up that categorical difference, and what difference it might make... hmmm.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reed John
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    Chihuahuas and Alsatians are different breeds of the same species, canis lupus familiaris. Seagulls (laridae) and sparrows (passeridae) are different families of birds (class aves)

    Yes, I looked that up, but I knew the basic facts.

    So maybe that means the Chihuahua and Alsatian recognize themselves in each other, or their scent, more than two different kinds of birds.

    It certainly seems that dogs recognize other dogs. They behave differently around other dogs than they do other mammals (like cats or humans).

    Leave a comment:


  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    I think that requires a more developed sense of self than is normally attributed to animals (and has been tested by experiment). I suspect their conceptual categories are much simpler and more direct - predator, food, mate, rival etc. If anyone has any links to research on this subject I'd be very interested in reading it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spearmint Rhino
    started a topic When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    When a sparrow looks at a seagull...

    When a sparrow looks at a seagull, or a chihuahua looks at an alsatian, and indeed vice-versa, do you think they think "I'm one of those (bird/dog), that's a bit like me, give or take the scale and a few superficial details", or do they think of them as completely alien species? To the extent that animals 'think' in any sense we would understand, naturally.
Working...
X