23.9.09

Manual of Life - Things You Didn't Realise Were Weird Till You Did #78

How dogs and (house)cats are pretty much the only land-based animals whose genders display almost no discernible differences in habits.

Fish and reptiles are just too different to understand, so I'm excluding them, but all land animals have quite obvious differences between the two genders. Lionesses hunt, while the lion just ambles up and hogs everything. Male birds have to perform dances and build nests and indulge in warbling competitions (and look prettier), while the females act whimsy. Bull elephants act all crazy, while the matriarchs protect the herd and bring up the calves. Male mantises and spiders offer their souls and bodies to the female. Male bees and wasps are mindless drones, while the females keep the hive together.

Another sin to the list of humankind's tab - how we've managed to train two animal (sub)species to forget that their male and female ancestors ever had disparate behavioural patterns.

7 comments:

FĂ«anor said...

but what about domesticated bovines? they don't show any gender-based behavioural differences either. they just hang around and chew cud.

Roy said...

swine?

Shyam said...

So you're saying you dont see the similarities between male and female humans and male bees and wasps? :)

Lekhni said...

So you've never heard tomcats brawling under your window all night? Lucky you.

??! said...

Feanor/Roy:
Valid points. The crime sheet grows.

Shyam:
No no. We see. But what's that got to do with anything?

Lekhni:
Hello there!

Also, tomcats brawl, cats screech. It's a margin call.

Natasha Mhatre said...

Tigers, leopards and other smaller cats are not that different from domestic cats in gender based behaviour. (Lions obviously are.)

Neither are most wild 'dog' species, solitary or otherwise. Wolves, dhole,foxes, jackals, etc.

Domestic cats and dogs are very much on the continuum from their wild counterparts.

??! said...

Natasha:
I stand corrected on the second point. But is the opening line still valid?