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Author Topic: Wolves never attack humans...as much as they'd like to
Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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Going back to the original start of this dicussion: what makes biologists decide that this particular canid is a wolf, and that others are dogs? And what about the jackal and coyote, (which to me look like the same species)? I'm only talking about wild creatures here, not domesticated.
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Morrigan
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A Hebra, or course!

One of the main differences is the angle of the stop on their heads. By measuring the stop, they can tell if it's a dog, a wolf or a hybrid.

From this site ( http://home.acadia.net/mainewolf/facts.html ):

"Ears are more rounded and shorter than those of the coyote.
Color varies from white to black with varying shades of gray or tan. Coyotes are seldom white or black."

From this site ( http://en.mimi.hu/animals/coyote.html ):

"The nose pad is narrower and the ears are longer than those of the wolf."

Wolves are generally larger than coyotes, with the largest wolf on record at around 175 pounds. Coyotes (at least the ones I've seen) are around a small to medium sized German shepherd.

You can also tell the difference between dog, wolf and coyote by looking at the tracks.

Morrigan

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M'eyari
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Well, I think my previous posts make it clear that I have no idea how scientists differentiate dogs and wolves [Wink] ("Hmm, Bob, how do you tell a dog from a wolf?" "Well George, one eats from your hand, and the other eats your hand...")

My guess on jackals and coyotes is that 1) They live in different hemispheres and 2) I'm pretty sure the coyote is bigger than the jackal (the coyotes we get around here are about the same size as a medium dog).

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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by M'eyari:
Barns and No Bull (I REALLY like your name, btw)

Thanks, it's a cute triple entendre that often fools snopesters. You will see many call me "Barnes".

quote:
I've only heard about hybrids that occur through some type of human intervention (zoos, circuses, curiousity...) - would you mind enlightening me as to what fertile hybrids do occur in the wild? The only one I've found so far on Google are the bear hybrids.
There are many. One North American songbird can serve as an example, since I'm a birdwatcher. The "Brewster's Warbler" is a wild hybrid of Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus) and Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera). The scientific name of the Brewster's Warbler would be Vermivora pinus x chrysoptera. The offspring are fertile and will produce back-crosses with the parent species (one variety of back-cross is called Lawrence's Warbler). Gulls are another bird family that commonly hybridizes.

There are freshwater and marine fish that hybridize and it is now thought to be fairly common in corals.

quote:
This is just my humble opinion here. Wolves and dogs don't fall into the category of species that are close genetics-wise but don't share the same territory (and thus, don't interbreed without intervention of some kind). Dogs and wolves do (albeit rarely) interbreed and produce fertile offspring in the wild. That, combined with their similar traits, leads me to believe that they are two subspecies of the same species, not two completely different species. Don't get me wrong - the dog has come a long way from his wild ancestor. I just don't think he's a completely different species yet.
There's no need to be humble because your basic ideas are true. Domestic Dogs are a subspecies of Gray Wolf. Earlier parts of this thread explain the relationship of wolves and domestic dogs pretty well. All Domestic Dogs are the species/subspecies Canis lupus familiaris. All Gray Wolves are the species Canis lupus, they are then further divided into subspecies that are roughly separated by geographic range. Gray Wolves are found on all land masses at far northern latitudes (NA, Asia, Europe, Greenland, Artic Circle, etc). They will travel great distances across seasonally frozen water.

Much genome work on domestic dogs has occurred in the past eight years or so. It has been determined that all domestic dogs worldwide are descendants of Gray Wolves that lived in Asia many thousands of years ago. They are still so closely related to Gray Wolves that they are scientifically classified as a Gray Wolf subspecies. The name "dog" as used for our pets is a common name. They are technically domestic wolves.

The Asian gray wolf that our dogs are descended from is said to be a now-extinct subspecies. The gray wolves of North America are not the ancestors of our dogs, but they are very close cousins. We also know that ancient Meso-Americans were domesticating wild canids (probably wolves) independantly of the Asians and had developed their own breeds in Mexico & Central America. There are no remaining descendants of these domestic dogs and their subspecies (whatever they would be) are considered extinct.

So, in a nutshell, domestic dogs are the same species as the gray wolf. They have their own subspecies designation (as do all gray wolf populations) that places them into a large group with each other.

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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by M'eyari:
Well, I think my previous posts make it clear that I have no idea how scientists differentiate dogs and wolves [Wink] ("Hmm, Bob, how do you tell a dog from a wolf?" "Well George, one eats from your hand, and the other eats your hand...")

My guess on jackals and coyotes is that 1) They live in different hemispheres and 2) I'm pretty sure the coyote is bigger than the jackal (the coyotes we get around here are about the same size as a medium dog).

Cladistics and taxonomy classify the living world into its evolutionary relatedness. All of classification uses modern evolutionary theory as a conceptual framework. The division of jackals, coyotes, wolves & other canids is done by their relatedness to each other, not by geography or size. There may be obvious corellations to size, appearance and geography, however. Jackals are African and Asian canids that are relatively small (compared to most wolves), but the largest jackal species is similar in size to a coyote. FWIW, the largest individual coyote is probably bigger than the smallest wolf species.

It's obvious that the use of common names (by laypeople and scientists) can lead to some confusions and apparent paradoxes. But the scientific names generally reveal the true separations and relatedness of the canids.

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M'eyari
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Thanks for the scientific naming lesson, BNB. Btw, what does FWIW mean?
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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by M'eyari:
Btw, what does FWIW mean?

BTW, FWIW = for what it's worth, AFAIK.

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M'eyari
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Thank you. [Smile]

AFAIK - As Far as I Know?

Wow, where's the glossary for this site...Morg didn't warn me about all of the abbreviations, lol. (Though NFBSK was mentioned)

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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Here's DarkDan's sight for all the abbreviations and such that you'll find here:

http://www.danstheman.com/lingo.htm

Morrigan

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M'eyari
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Thank you, Morg! *does a happy dance* I think I may have to bookmark that link.

Btw, I just want to say "Sorry" to everyone here for the OTness that has occurred in my posts. I'm still "learning the lay of the land" here, so to speak, so all of your patience towards my bumbling self is VERY appreciated. [Smile]

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Barns & No Bull
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M'eyari, this forum always welcomes interesting OT discussions and tangents. The kiss of death comes from posting mediocrity, not variety.

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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*points to B&NB's post*

What he said.

[Big Grin]

Morrigan

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Gale
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
M'eyari, this forum always welcomes interesting OT discussions and tangents. The kiss of death comes from posting mediocrity, not variety.

And a side order of bacon.
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M'eyari
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Uh oh, do I need to track down some orange juice now?

Thanks guys! [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] You sure do know how to make a girl feel welcome...

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christmas tree kitapper
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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
[QUOTE]We also know that ancient Meso-Americans were domesticating wild canids (probably wolves) independantly of the Asians and had developed their own breeds in Mexico & Central America. There are no remaining descendants of these domestic dogs and their subspecies (whatever they would be) are considered extinct.


How do they know that? Have they tested all of the dogs in villages, etc. to know this? Not meant snarkily, but an honest question.

kitap

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megaira
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The red wolf of the southern states has almost hybridized itself right out of existance by crossbreeding with coyotes. Actually, it may have, by now.
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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by kitap of the really, really dead:
quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
[QUOTE]We also know that ancient Meso-Americans were domesticating wild canids (probably wolves) independantly of the Asians and had developed their own breeds in Mexico & Central America. There are no remaining descendants of these domestic dogs and their subspecies (whatever they would be) are considered extinct.


How do they know that? Have they tested all of the dogs in villages, etc. to know this?
It was scientific research, so presumably the protocol and methods are included in the study. I would expect that they took DNA from representative Middle American breeds as well as mongrel and feral dogs. I doubt that a large number of samples would be necessary to establish a good picture of the gene pool. Sterilization of domestic dogs is very rare in these regions so the genes flow freely in all directions.

There is probably an established body of knowledge of the story of these breeds. They appear in the historical record, but apparently vanished. There was an excellent article about the natural history of domestic dogs in National Geographic several years ago. I can't find the issue in my yet-to-be-organized stacks of periodicals. I'll see what I can dig up.

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Barns & No Bull
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The Origin of the Domestic Dog - University of Alberta

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fictional lie
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wolves don't attack humans. The only attacks on humans (in america) by wolves were provoked attacks on rabid wolves. A rabid animal, be it a wolf of a squirrel, is prone to attack anything.
I lived at a wolf refuge for many years, a place where wolves and half-breeds can go if they have been captured and mistreated. It was the only place on the East Coast licenesed to have full blooded wolves, including zoos (who will say they have full blooded wolves, but in fact have hybrids from a male wolf and a female dog.) The closest animal genetically to a full blooded wolf is obviously the dog (the poodle, actually, if you can believe it). A rabid dog will attack a human. So will a dog that has been beaten. The same is true for a wolf or hybrid. But a wolf would never ventrue forth, looking to attack a human. Neither would a bear or a lion or any other carniverous animal. The old line that "they are more scared of us than we are of them" is generally true. They are not out to attack us.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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FL, I can only partly agree with you. There are carnivores who intentionally target humans as prey, the canids are not one of them. Black bears, cougars, tigers, and to some extent lions are meaningful natural wild predators of humans. This predator-prey relationship has been going on for many thousands of years and probably for millions in the case of African big cats preying on hominids.

Evolutionary psychology posits that many human "instinctual" behaviors and adaptations were formed over millenia in Africa, when being targeted as a prey animal was a part of daily life.

Humans are primates. Predatory animals target primates worldwide. We are particularly vulnerable, because unlike other large primates, we have poor physical and behavioral faculties to defend ourselves (outside of tools ie. guns, etc). Leopards will prey on chimpanzees (our closest relative), and the chimps have evolved ways of dealing with this with limited success.

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by fictional lie:
wolves don't attack humans. The only attacks on humans (in america) by wolves were provoked attacks on rabid wolves.

F.L. - This is just not true. records of attacks can be found here and here . A search of the web will give more reports.

It is not rabies or hybridization that is causing attacks. It is simple proximity. Humans encroaching on an animal's territory or trying to interact with wild animals leads to animals overcoming their fear of humans. And eventually that leads to a human getting hunted or attacked.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm in no way an advocate of wolf slaughter. I feel they should be reintroduced into the ecosystem if possible. But claiming that a wolf would never hurt a person is a myth, and can only lead to misforture for the wolf and for humans.

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christmas tree kitapper
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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
The Origin of the Domestic Dog - University of Alberta

Thanks. [Smile]


kitap

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M'eyari
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by fictional lie:
The closest animal genetically to a full blooded wolf is obviously the dog (the poodle, actually, if you can believe it).

[Eek!] Wow - that *is* hard to believe.

On the topic of wolves attacking/not attacking humans - is there any way to find out approximately how many wolf attacks were reported (per year) before and after the gun became a common weapon?

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I always thought wolves only attacked when provoked or when something smells good like other wild animals such as deer or wounded prey. Even for the chase like when people run from dogs that might go after then.

Regarding wounded prey...

Take "Cliffhangar" with Silvester Stallone for example. The kid was escaping gunmen and parachutted just in time, but caught a bullet on the jump. He opened his parachute in time but was caught on the trees and had blood dripping down his hands.

The wolves smelled that and went after the dangling unconcious kid and started to gnaw his clothes off to start eating him.

Even though it could have been stunt dogs trained for that particular purpose to attack the stunt man kid.

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Moosedog
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quote:
Originally posted by M'eyari:
quote:
Originally posted by fictional lie:
The closest animal genetically to a full blooded wolf is obviously the dog (the poodle, actually, if you can believe it).

[Eek!] Wow - that *is* hard to believe.

On the topic of wolves attacking/not attacking humans - is there any way to find out approximately how many wolf attacks were reported (per year) before and after the gun became a common weapon?

I always thought that the Siberian Huskey was the closest to the wolf. It certainly LOOKS most like a wolf.
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megaira
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quote:
There are carnivores who intentionally target humans as prey, the canids are not one of them. Black bears, cougars, tigers, and to some extent lions are meaningful natural wild predators of humans.
Black bears and mountian lions are not our natural predators. If this were the case, the amount of attacks on humans would skyrocket.

All bears are omnivores and black bear's diets are largely composed of plant matter and whatever they scavange. They do not actively hunt other animals, even, really, much less humans. They are scavangers. Even grizzlies do not make a habit of stalking humans or attacking them, unless, of course, you're a Hollywood filmmaker, or walking around with a bag of fish slung over your shoulder.


Mountian lion's diets are nearly exclusively deer...where deer are not abundant (as they are here), they'll eat smaller animals -skunks, porcupines, prairie dogs, squirrels, etc.

There have been plenty (but not a huge amount) of attacks on humans both by bears and mountian lions - usually children or joggers and often, the person is not consumed.

I live close to a park where there are frequent sightings of both. There's been one ML attack since the park opened to the public in 1987 (1998, a jogger). There is a large residential area nearby where the lions have been seen in yards and shrubbery. What draws them there? Deer. I've walked right past bears on the trail. Their reaction is to either run away or head up a tree.

During the drought, different ballgame, but that is an exception to normal conditions.

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Moose
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I have to agree with Meg.

Now, we don't have grizzlies up our way, but we do have black bears, and lots of em.

Without special provocation, and unless you're between the bear and her cubs, about the only thing they'll do to you is mug you for any food you might have with you.

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Barns & No Bull
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quote:
Originally posted by megaira:
quote:
There are carnivores who intentionally target humans as prey, the canids are not one of them. Black bears, cougars, tigers, and to some extent lions are meaningful natural wild predators of humans.
Black bears and mountian lions are not our natural predators. If this were the case, the amount of attacks on humans would skyrocket.
They are natural predators of humans because they will regard humans as prey and kill and eat them. How often they do this is entirely inconsequential to that fact. Further, the advice given for avoiding and dealing with close encounters with these two animals relates directly with the fact that you may be regarded as prey.

Attacks could be grossly divided into two categories, aggression and predation. How these animals carry out their attack (and how you should deal with it) differs depending on its intent. Aggressive attacks would include things like territorality, offspring protection and self defense. Predatory attacks are when the animal intends to kill and eat the prey.

Predatory attacks are far more dangerous than aggressive attacks. Aggression seems to have a goal of driving you away or reducing your percieved threat by injuring you (with sometimes fatal consequences). Predatory attacks have the goal of getting you dead quickly and into their stomach.

quote:
All bears are omnivores and black bear's diets are largely composed of plant matter and whatever they scavange. They do not actively hunt other animals, even, really, much less humans. They are scavangers.
Be careful of overly generalized statements. Polar bears in the most northerly parts of their range are strict carnivores because there are no plants there. Though they are classified as Carnivores, most bears are opportunistic omnivores. Black bears will prey on a variety of animals including large ungulates. They are not well equipped to tackle healthy adult animals such as deer, elk, moose, etc. - but they are quick to take young or infirm individuals.

quote:
Even grizzlies do not make a habit of stalking humans or attacking them, unless, of course, you're a Hollywood filmmaker, or walking around with a bag of fish slung over your shoulder.
Grizzlies do not seem to target humans as prey as much as black bears do. But they will. Last year, the weirdo bear "researcher" Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a grizzly bear.

quote:
There have been plenty (but not a huge amount) of attacks on humans both by bears and mountian lions - usually children or joggers and often, the person is not consumed.
You should review the record. The percentage of cases of black bear and cougar attacks that appear to have predatory intent are meaningful. That they may prefer children and smaller people is not much different than targeting other young animals - easy and vulnerable prey. Joggers and bicyclists are taken by cougars because of an instinctual attraction to moving prey. The classic cougar strategy is ambush. They secretly position themselves alongside game trails and where the chances of encounter are increased. They quickly and silently rush their prey (almost always from behind - a vulnerable spot), leap onto it gripping with their claws and very skillfully administer a killing bite to the neck (spine). Human victims never see it coming. You are dead pronto and will probably be dragged to a secluded spot where you will be partially eaten. The cat will often cover the body with debris and dirt and then return later to resume feeding.

quote:
During the drought, different ballgame, but that is an exception to normal conditions.
Droughts are as natural an occurance as any other kind of climate change. Animals alter their diets according to the environment they find themselves in. When elk are calving (all elk cows give birth at about the same time), grizzlies and black bears become single-minded calf hunters. And will gorge themselves on this prey for as long as they are readily available.

It is not the frequency of predatory attacks on humans by these animals that makes them 'human predators', but rather that they do it at all. One has to create illogical and ironic explanations to declare that they are not natural predators (even if infrequent) of humans.

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Barns & No Bull
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There is a widely publicized case recently of serial predation on humans by a cougar in California. Seems the cat decided that a biking trail was a good source of food. This and some other accounts are listed here. Please ignore the paranormal website that these news articles are listed on [Wink]

Another.

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Morrigan
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quote:
Originally posted by fictional lie:
The closest animal genetically to a full blooded wolf is obviously the dog (the poodle, actually, if you can believe it).

Cite?

Untrue, by the sources i found.

Such as this one (http://www.inetdesign.com/wolfdunn/breeds/) which lists several breeds that are more closely related to the wolf than any others. Breeds such as Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (a recognized breed), the Saarloos Wolfhonds, and several others.

Morrigan

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megaira
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quote:
They are natural predators of humans because they will regard humans as prey and kill and eat them. How often they do this is entirely inconsequential to that fact.
If the frequency of occurances is not relevant, then canids cannot be excluded.

quote:
Aggressive attacks would include things like territorality, offspring protection and self defense. Predatory attacks are when the animal intends to kill and eat the prey.
Both types have occured with canines, bears and big cats.

quote:
Be careful of overly generalized statements.
My focal point was black and brown bears. That said, most polar bears will also eat berries plants and kelp if it's there.


quote:
Though they are classified as Carnivores, most bears are opportunistic omnivores. Black bears will prey on a variety of animals including large ungulates. They are not well equipped to tackle healthy adult animals such as deer, elk, moose, etc. - but they are quick to take young or infirm individuals.
I said they do not *actively* hunt other animals. Killing an unprotected fawn or crippled deer is not the same as hunting deer as a main dietary source.

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Grizzlies do not seem to target humans as prey as much as black bears do. But they will.
Again, I said "make a habit of."
Grizzlies are also not commonly found in heavier populated areas like Black Bears are, so frequency of black bear attacks would be higher.

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Last year, the weirdo bear "researcher" Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a grizzly bear.
Yes, I remember the thread, it went haywire when someone fantacized about dying boinking a 16 yr old virgin.

I have an entire book on bear attacks to reference as well. I'm not saying they don't attack, kill and occasionally even eat humans. I did and do say they do not make a habit of it, however and this is what I would consider a requirement to be something's "natural" prey. I.E. it is what the animal would normally eat on a daily basis..."Mr. Ursus, would you prefer the deer or human tonight?" "deer please, humans are so fatty... they give me gas."

It's not that we can't be considered prey, it's more that we're...unnatural prey. Like the bear that goes out for Indian food once and a while and likes his chapatis steaming hot.

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You should review the record.
And what record would that be, other than gathering cites off the internet?

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The percentage of cases of black bear and cougar attacks that appear to have predatory intent are meaningful.
When you combine your percentage with the number of humans populating an area, combined with the number of actual attacks, I doubt it'll turn up anything impressive.

It's too bad a ML can't be interviewed: "so, fluffy, how many humans do you eat, say, on a monthly basis?" "I don't eat human, I prefer deer" "oh, one of those ungalatarians, I see...well, then..." "you could try my cousin One-eye, here, he has a taste for humans." "great...One-eye, how often do you go out for human?" "I try to keep it down to once a year or so, but every once and a while I just get on a kick and the cravings must be satiated... can't help myself really, I feel like such an animal."

We may be considered prey to ML, but we're not considered a staple in all mountian lions diets, therefore they do not make a habit of stalking and eating us. A handful of cases does not make for the majority, speaking of generalizations, but if numbers are irrelevant, then you have to put canids back in the mix because they have in the past, while extremely rarely, stalked, killed and ate humans.

We'd *technically* be prey to any carnivore or omnivore in the right circumstances including eachother. Maybe a whole buffet to a herd of oppossums, but still good eats.


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Joggers and bicyclists are taken by cougars because of an instinctual attraction to moving prey.
And here I thought my cat attacks my moving feet because she's just too stupid to get me while I'm standing still. [Wink]

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The classic cougar strategy is ambush. They secretly position themselves alongside game trails and where the chances of encounter are increased.

when you say "secretly" it makes it sound so dirty. Meow.

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Human victims never see it coming.
Not true! There are plenty of accounts where people have heard something and did indeed turn on time to see it coming. [Big Grin]

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Droughts are as natural an occurance as any other kind of climate change. Animals alter their diets according to the environment they find themselves in.
I said *normal* not "natural."

The point was, their behavior was not their regular non-drought behavior due to the lack of foods (thanks to both drought AND wildfires) otherwise they'd have continued scavanging garbage cans and breaking into houses around town this year as well. Instead, they went back to eating berries and natural food and there have been no reports of campers being attacked, anyone losing pets, having their house broken into or their grill licked clean this year. Quite a difference from the worst year of the drought.

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It is not the frequency of predatory attacks on humans by these animals that makes them 'human predators', but rather that they do it at all.
Then, again, you cannot exclude canids. They're not the one carnivorous animal group with a moral system that refuses to dine on THAT particular prey because it's somehow special. They don't dine on us because they've learned over the years that we're their predators and something to be feared.

quote:
One has to create illogical and ironic explanations to declare that they are not natural predators (even if infrequent) of humans.
By your definition of "natural predator," the same would have to be said about canids.
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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Thanks for your response, Megaira.

quote:
If the frequency of occurances is not relevant, then canids cannot be excluded.
In the strictest sense this may be true. But the data set for modern attacks on humans by canids (gray wolf in particular) is so small that it's hard to get a picture of what's going on. There are a few accounts of what may be predation. Wolves are so unlikely to harm people that there aren't really any promoted strategies to avoid it.

We may not be able to know the full story of wolves as predators on aboriginal American peoples. It's possible that in ancient times wolves were dangerous elements of nature that had to be reckoned with. There was a large wolf living here in fairly recent prehistoric times (the extinct Dire wolf) that may have preyed on humans with more regularity.

But a proper naturalistic account of the predatory habits of these animals (bears, wolves & cougars) would include a summary explanation of what is going on. Black bears and cougars seem to regard humans as prey in some circumstances. The full extent of this cannot be known because so many attacks are interrupted. Often the victim is assisted by others or fends off the attack themselves - IOW, the percentage of declared predatory attacks may be underrepresented because we don't know if they would have been eaten.

quote:
I said they do not *actively* hunt other animals. Killing an unprotected fawn or crippled deer is not the same as hunting deer as a main dietary source.
But they do actively hunt animals. It's usually rodents. When calves and fawns are being born they switch from foraging to actively seeking the young. I have read that in bear country the primary mortality of young elk is by bears (particularly grizzlies). At birthing time, the deer family are a main dietary source.

quote:
I did and do say they do not make a habit of it, however and this is what I would consider a requirement to be something's "natural" prey. I.E. it is what the animal would normally eat on a daily basis.
Well that is a slippery slope. Because at any given time a certain prey animal would have a lower frequency than others. If 1% of a grizzly's diet is marmots, it would seem weird saying that they are not a natural predator of marmots.

quote:
And what record would that be, other than gathering cites off the internet?
Nothing wrong with using the Internet as a source of information. I'm talking about the totality of recordings of attacks that describe the incident. The record shows that black bears and cougars often have predatory intent when they attack humans.

quote:
When you combine your percentage with the number of humans populating an area, combined with the number of actual attacks, I doubt it'll turn up anything impressive.
No, it does turn up something impressive. It tells you that black bears and cougars are preying on people. The relative risk to an average person is separate issue to the fact that sometimes when they attack humans they are regarding us as prey.

quote:
It's too bad a ML can't be interviewed: "so, fluffy, how many humans do you eat, say, on a monthly basis?" "I don't eat human, I prefer deer" "oh, one of those ungalatarians, I see...well, then..."
It's too bad you'd only have about 5 seconds to tell the ML on your back, "You fool. I'm not your food!"

quote:
when you say "secretly" it makes it sound so dirty.
It's awfully dirty to the deer. This is how cats hunt. Get as close to the prey as you can keeping yourself concealed. A sudden short burst of speed and they are on it. They have to do this because generally their prey is faster in a distance pursuit. Another characteristic of predatory attacks on humans by bears and cats is their silence. Alerting your prey of your presence is stupid strategy. Hollywood screws this up all the time as it usually adds growls and snarls to its characterization of predators attacking prey. Yes, if a cougar reveals itself to you prior to a predatory attack it has made a tactical error - if you were a deer you'd have a jump-start on escaping it.

Aggressive attacks usually include lots of threatening vocalizations from the aggressor.

quote:
I said *normal* not "natural."
Droughts are both normal and natural. That they may occur occasionally or rarely is besides that point. The earth 'produces' droughts; natural selection forms animals over time that survive in the context of those situations.

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
We may be considered prey to ML, but we're not considered a staple in all mountian lions diets, therefore they do not make a habit of stalking and eating us.
I will agree with your general statement about all ML's. But the case with individuals cannot be ignored. The cougar that attacked the woman bicyclist had killed and eaten a man nearby earlier that same day. What would have happened if we didn't find and kill this cougar? Humans are far easier to kill than deer when we don't have rescuers or weapons. When predators begin habitually preying on people we track them down and kill them. Who knows what the prevalence of predation would be if we never ever exterminated these individuals. These animals teach their offspring to hunt. You can begin to imagine...

"The Man-eaters of Tsavo" is the story of two young male lions that specialized in killing and eating railroad construction workers. They ate almost 140 dudes over a nine month period in 1898 before they were found and killed.

Bengal tigers kill and eat so many people in India that it's not even newsworthy. In some regions, forestry work is extremely dangerous because of tigers. In Nepal, 2 tigers killed 11 people in one week of 2001 [Frown]

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
"The Man-eaters of Tsavo" is the story of two young male lions that specialized in killing and eating railroad construction workers. They ate almost 140 dudes over a nine month period in 1898 before they were found and killed.

And they killed two more people who were in the hunting party, IIRC. The hunters "baited" with a goat in a clearing, faded back into covering brush to wait, and two of them got picked off by the lions while they were waiting.

The lions probably thought it was a buffet....

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Hissing Kitties:
[The lions probably thought it was a buffet....

Four Kitties [/QB]

Were they wearing bibs like you get when you order lobster?

Here in Tucson one of the more popular parks -Sabino Canyon, in the Coronado National Forest- got closed down due to mountain lion sightings down by the visitor center and near some of the main hiking/walking trails. They finally caught one of them and reopened the park due to immense public pressure. People seem to be very "they won't hurt anyone- let us back in" about it all. You should have seen the news when originally they decided to kill rather than relocate the lions.


kitap

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"I have never in my life been more disappointed by a politician I voted for than I have been with George Bush. He is a total liberal."- overheard by me on the shuttle to the U of A game on Nov. 11th.

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