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You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otters

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:37 pm
by FAIL:SAFE
http://news.discovery.com/animals/the-o ... tters.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Otters are not only necrophiles, but pedophiles too!

F:S

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:01 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Would you call this "bestiality?"

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:26 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I never fail to be impressed by evolution's complete lack of ability to explain anything.

Evolution has one definition of "success": Gene duplication. The gene that duplicates is successful. The gene that does not is a loser. Considering this, what should we expect to see in a species that is polygynous? An equal number of males and females, with most of the males chick-less and frustrated? No. Evolution would not tolerate such a scenario.

Let's make up a random number and say that in this polygynous species, 50% of the males get to score and make babies. 50% are losers. Therefore, 25% of each male's offspring are loser offspring, useless to the continuing duplication of his genes, worthless to evolution.

Now let's say there is a male with a very simple and straightforward mutation (it wouldn't even need to be a mutation, necessary, just a different balance of genes) that causes him to produce more sperm that carry X chromosomes. More of his babies are female. Therefore fewer of his babies are losers. His line prospers.

In very short order–an evolutionary eye blink–we should have the species re-proportioned so that the majority of the individuals are female. A balance should be achieved between the sexes so there are just enough males that all of them get to mate. No losers.

By evolutionary logic, we should see one of two scenarios: 1.) Monogamy or 2.) polygyny with gender imbalance. What we actually do see, such a huge surplus of males that they have to congregate in enforced loser zones and get so desperately horny that will rape random animals and/or accidentally kill the female they are trying to impregnate (epic fail!), makes no evolutionary sense whatsoever.

Yeah. i just had to get that off my chest. Sorry.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:44 am
by FAIL:SAFE
Interesting ideas there. I imagine that's the difference between hard wired biology through evolution and proclivities toward emergent behaviours. I wonder if animals that have some method to mastibate have a lower instance of what would be described as deviant and sociopathic sex in humans. ( as they have an out let for their urges)

Although if humans are anything to go by- maybe the opposite is true!

Incidentally, the best book I ever read on animal behaviour was " animals in translation" by temple grandin. However, it mainly about pets and farm animals.

FS

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:59 pm
by groomporter
Mr. Tweedy wrote: What we actually do see, such a huge surplus of males that they have to congregate in enforced loser zones and get so desperately horny that will rape random animals and/or accidentally kill the female they are trying to impregnate (epic fail!), makes no evolutionary sense whatsoever.
.
The problem is the article says there is an increase in otter mortality that is disproportionately effecting the females, so there may be an outside influence that has changed the population balance. We'll have to see if they adapt by changing their behavior over time, or what happens if the balance returns to prior levels, or if they just die out.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:18 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
That specific circumstance might be increasing some behaviors, but polygamy with gender balance does not make sense in and of itself. And death during mating is a not an uncommon fate for female sea otters even when there isn't an exacerbating circumstance, which makes even less sense. A mating behavior that negates the benefit of mating? Evolution would be absolutely intolerant of that.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:17 pm
by strawman
Oh, for goodness sake. Imagine someone doing a scientific paper on teenagers who practice asphixiation/masturbation, and a reaction arguing that this disproves evolution.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:51 pm
by groomporter
"A mating behavior that negates the benefit of mating? Evolution would be absolutely intolerant of that."

-Only if there's not enough total young being born to counter the effect. As long as the births outnumber the mating deaths in sufficient numbers they can survive as a whole.

But the fact that sea otters normally only have one pup at a time does mean this behavior could be a serious problem in the long run on top of the increased mortality, and certainly could be a contributing factor to their eventual extinction. But who knows, perhaps the increased stress the species is under will allow the gentler lovers to prevail and gradually modify the behavior.

There are a number of species that practice forms of polygyny from birds to apes to sheep to wild horses. http://www.trivia-library.com/c/animal- ... nogamy.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:49 pm
by FAIL:SAFE
Reminds me of a passage in "animals in translation where a farmer tells the author how his prize pig will only ejaculate if it's anus is played with. (see partial quote of this passage below) Firstly- I don't want to know how he worked this out. Secondly, how would this kind of trait have any evolutionary benefit.

I think this really suggests that not all behaviour and preference is genetic.


In Animals in Translation, Dr. Temple Grandin tells the story of one pig farmer who, in discussing his masturbating of his pigs, says, "I have to stick my finger in his butt, he just really loves that" (105).

From - http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/a ... ality.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Incidentally, there's enough weirdness and horror on this PETA page to make me think about giving up meats.

Then I remember how good they taste.

F:S

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:55 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
They taste very good indeed.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:21 pm
by strawman
FAIL:SAFE wrote: "I have to stick my finger in his butt, he just really loves that" (105).

From - http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/a ... ality.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

F:S
Way to bring home the bacon, Mr. Greenjeans!

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:42 am
by moonowl
Mr. Tweedy wrote: Evolution would be absolutely intolerant of that.
Please tell me this is leading to a creationist explanation on why otters are necrophiliacs. Please. Pretty please? :lol: I want to hear this one! Did Noah have a sexual deviant deck on the Love Boat?

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:02 am
by moonowl
Mr. Tweedy wrote:I never fail to be impressed by evolution's complete lack of ability to explain anything.
Evolution is a mechanism. Biologists explain things. If you ask a mechanism to explain itself, it will be quite silent on the matter I assure you. Science is not all-knowing nor does it pretend to be. Just because we don't know what is going on with these otters yet doesn't negate or weaken one of the main cornerstones of biology. I sadly admit I can't recall the formula for Ohms law right now, but my laptop chugs along without a care. Nature goes on with or without our measly knowledge of it.

There are many behaviors that seem to counter reproductive success yet are common. Same sex mating, observed over almost every species, for example. Altruism is a classic example as well. Why be the auntie meercat if your genes never get passed on? Doesn't make sense at first glance.

A lot of it has to do with environmental pressures of some sort. Perhaps there is some advantage killing these pups. Crowding? Resource competition? For one, it keeps frustrated male otters from killing each other and maybe other females. Perhaps if they act this way, they may kill fewer females in mating. You may be observing a population under stress and in flux trying to right itself.

Also remember, %98 or so of every living species goes extinct. The mechanism is awesome, but life is frail. Obviously failures occur.
Yeah. i just had to get that off my chest. Sorry.
Hey, fair is fair. I sometimes go off on how seemly sane adults really can believe aliens possess them that died in a volcano. Or live by words on mysterious angelic golden plates no one has ever seen. Or that the Mets will win the World Series.

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:42 am
by Mr. Tweedy
moonowl wrote:
Mr. Tweedy wrote: Evolution would be absolutely intolerant of that.
Please tell me this is leading to a creationist explanation on why otters are necrophiliacs. Please. Pretty please? :lol: I want to hear this one! Did Noah have a sexual deviant deck on the Love Boat?
Sure, if you want:

Otters are necrophiles because they are broken. Everything is broken. Behaviors that were once purposeful and useful have decayed into behaviors that are futile and wasteful.

How was that? :)

Re: You thought ducks were evil/no one talks about the otter

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:03 am
by Mr. Tweedy
The formula: Random mutation + natural selection.

This formula gets very poor milage if you start with a protogerm and try to go up. Sea otter necrophilia is a very small tip of a very large iceberg of things just don't make sense if you are expecting the Darwinian mechanism to take you up from the soup to what we see now.

But if you start on the other end, if you start with perfected organisms and ecosystems and then apply the Darwinian mechanism... Well, then the world we observe makes perfect sense.