The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Manipulation – Not Just a Human Trait

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From big think – devious roosters:

Manipulation is a vicious yet not uncommon human trait. Our ability to alter our surroundings in order to take advantage of a situation was recently on display in The Wolf of Wall Street, when Jordan Belfort flips worthless penny stocks and builds an illegal career from the deal. Of course, this is but one example of something occurring around the planet daily: the reorganizing of facts to gain ground over another.
Human beings are not the only animal skilled at this. Take the chicken. When spotting an aerial predator such as a hawk, a rooster will sometimes send out a danger call, putting himself in harm’s way. It was assumed that he was doing that to protect the female chickens and his offspring, drawing attention away from them in what appeared to be a chivalrous display of bravery.
Well, not quite. A research team at Macquarie University rigged the chickens with special microphones, dubbed Chicken Big Brother 2.0, to watch their barnyard habits. Turns out the male will call out more often when safely protected underneath a bush while another male was exposed. This competitive advantage put his companion in danger, leaving more resources (and ladies) for him.

Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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