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Old 07-14-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 31,201,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I curious to understand why humans are not the prey of choice for top level predators? While examples of "man hunters" can be found in every group of top level predators, predatory attacks on humans are the exception not the norm, which is counter intuitive considering the speed, power, and defensive capabilities of unarmed humans, or have these predators had enough experience with armed humans to just stay the hell away - I doubt the later but I'm at a loss for explanations.
I think that animals are uncomfortable when not in their natural habitat. Big cats, especially depend on the familiarity of their surroundings for a successful hunt. The big predators that currently exist are not comfortable in "modern" unnatural surroundings so they keep to areas that are familiar to them.

When humanity wanders away from modern civilization and decides to confront nature on its own terms (i.e. camping, hiking, ocean swimming etc.) the big predators have no compunction about using their superior equipment (claws, teeth), to dispatch said human in short order and make them into a tasty meal. In third-world countries where the division between civilization and nature is no so acute, people are killed and eaten much more often. The vast reduction of predators world-wide has reduced the incidence of humans interacting with them, but even in modern times, even with the diminishing numbers of tigers in India, many humans are taken each year by the big cats (primarily jungle workers). Crocodiles are another huge predator in third-world countries who rely on bodies of water as a source of water for crops, washing and drinking.

I do not believe that predators have any comprehension of humans being "armed" as the technology of guns is not something that they understand (with the exception, perhaps of prairie dogs who do have a different vocalization for "human with a gun", believe it or not).

20yrsinBranson
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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Ancient stone age humans fully utilised their five senses to which we ''modern day'' humans cannot fully appreciate in our neolithic sedentary society (8,000 to 10,000 years now) as for example they had superior peripheral eyesight and night vision as well as their being able to detect the slightest sound and faintest odor of an unseen entity to determine whether it was either prey or foe.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Let us not forget other predators like ticks and fleas and lice and bedbugs. A predator doesn't have to be big or have muscle mass to be just as deadly.
Insects are not predators, they are parasites. If a predator is going to attack, kill, and eat a human, then it needs to be bigger or have more muscle mass than its prey. That is why you rarely hear of wolves attacking an adult male human. It is far more common for wolves to attack children and/or small women.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
Ancient stone age humans fully utilised their five senses to which we ''modern day'' humans cannot fully appreciate in our neolithic sedentary society (8,000 to 10,000 years now) as for example they had superior peripheral eyesight and night vision as well as their being able to detect the slightest sound and faintest odor of an unseen entity to determine whether it was either prey or foe.
We can use other senses that we do not possess ourselves. This is why I take my dogs with me when I venture into the bush. Their sense of hearing, and particularly their sense of smell, is far superior to humans.

I have seen a large number of grizzlies and brown bears in Alaska in the last 21 years that I have lived here, but I have never had to shoot any in self-defense because I have always been alerted to their presence before they were aware of me. For which I am grateful. I have no desire to kill any critter in self-defense, but I still am armed for bear, just in case.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I think that animals are uncomfortable when not in their natural habitat. Big cats, especially depend on the familiarity of their surroundings for a successful hunt. The big predators that currently exist are not comfortable in "modern" unnatural surroundings so they keep to areas that are familiar to them.
That has not been my experience. According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, a recent survey showed approximately 50 grizzlies, 400 black bears, and 1,200 moose live year-round within the city limits of Anchorage. Every spring is marked by someone getting mauled by bear, or stomped by moose. More often than not because the victim was not paying attention to their surroundings. Moose in particular have no compunction about walking down the middle of the road whenever they feel like it, or grazing on the trees in someone's front yard. They are big, and they know it. They do not even fear grizzlies.

The vast majority of these attacks are the result of a moose or bear protecting their young, or they feel threatened because their space as been invaded. They are not attacking as a predator would a prey. Only very rarely will wolves or bears actually seek out a human for food, and only when they are desperately hungry. When wolves get hungry during the winter, they will actively seek out family pets. Bears are hibernating during the winter, and only pose a problem during the spring when they wake up and are desperately hungry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
When humanity wanders away from modern civilization and decides to confront nature on its own terms (i.e. camping, hiking, ocean swimming etc.) the big predators have no compunction about using their superior equipment (claws, teeth), to dispatch said human in short order and make them into a tasty meal. In third-world countries where the division between civilization and nature is no so acute, people are killed and eaten much more often. The vast reduction of predators world-wide has reduced the incidence of humans interacting with them, but even in modern times, even with the diminishing numbers of tigers in India, many humans are taken each year by the big cats (primarily jungle workers). Crocodiles are another huge predator in third-world countries who rely on bodies of water as a source of water for crops, washing and drinking.

I do not believe that predators have any comprehension of humans being "armed" as the technology of guns is not something that they understand (with the exception, perhaps of prairie dogs who do have a different vocalization for "human with a gun", believe it or not).

20yrsinBranson
When humanity wanders away from modern civilization and decides to confront nature on its own terms, they had better be prepared for what they could encounter. Otherwise they are proving that Darwin was right. Beginning with not taking their surroundings for granted. A hike through true wilderness is nothing like a stroll through a city park. Although, in some major cities I would want to be armed for bear as well.

As I mentioned above, the vast majority of attacks by critters are the result of the human(s) not paying attention to their surroundings. That does not mean humans are stupid, sometimes it cannot be helped. For example, this past spring a 6 year-old girl was stomped by a moose as she approached one of the cow's two-week old fawn. The girl was in her own backyard, and the cow and her fawn walked in unexpectedly. The father chased the cow and fawn away with a log and a baseball bat. A very brave move indeed, but understandable.

//www.city-data.com/forum/alask...ive-moose.html

I remember one year in the 1990s when we had five deaths by moose, four dead by bear, and seven dead by other humans in Anchorage. The wildlife was killing off humans faster than we were.

Most Alaskans have learned to live with predators in their midst. We are not their normal prey, and like other animals, they like routines. They prefer to stick with what they were taught, whenever possible. It is only when it is no longer possible for them to stick to their routine that we become potential prey. That is why Timothy Tredwell could spend years approaching wild brown bears and not get eaten immediately. Brown bears feed primarily on salmon. Although, as he found out the hard way, it only takes one hungry brown bear and their diet can suddenly change.

Most Alaskans respect their ability to rip us limb from limb and consume us whenever they please, and give them the space and time they need. When felling trees I often find myself taking an unexpected "moose break" as the moose wander in to munch on the freshly fallen leaves. They eat their fill and leave, and I can go back to work. They do not bother me, and I do not bother them.

Predators, by their nature, tend to be pretty smart. I would not put it past them to be able to recognize a human and know they are armed. Whenever I went hunting in Nebraska my dog would become very excited whenever I grabbed my 12-gauge. It was his cue that we were going hunting, something he really loved to do. Wolves and bears are just as smart, or smarter, than any domesticated pet. Moose, well, they are just plain ornery and not very bright, which makes them particularly dangerous.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:45 AM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,327,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
We can use other senses that we do not possess ourselves. This is why I take my dogs with me when I venture into the bush. Their sense of hearing, and particularly their sense of smell, is far superior to humans.
Of course.

Ancient Stone Age humans figured out canines ability for tracking prey as well as for protection and so i'm not surprisesd that they eventually decided to domesticate them (approximately 15,000 years ago) and maybe it's coincidental but only some 2,000 years afterwards we see all the Pleistocene Apex predators (e.g. Sabre Tooth's, Giant Cave Bears, Dire Wolves, American Lions etc.) disappearing forever into extinction.

So yeah those early Stone Age humans were some badasses as well as being highly artistic as one only needs to look at for example the Chauvet and Lascaux cave paintings some estimated at 40,000 years old to be in awe of our ancient ancestors wit, physical prowness and intelligence which allowed them to survive up to the advent of the Neolithic Revolution of discovering how to cultivate plants and grains for farming.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Originally Posted by 6 Foot 3 View Post
Of course.

Ancient Stone Age humans figured out canines ability for tracking prey as well as for protection and so i'm not surprisesd that they eventually decided to domesticate them (approximately 15,000 years ago) and maybe it's coincidental but only some 2,000 years afterwards we see all the Pleistocene Apex predators (e.g. Sabre Tooth's, Giant Cave Bears, Dire Wolves, American Lions etc.) disappearing forever into extinction.

So yeah those early Stone Age humans were some badasses as well as being highly artistic as one only needs to look at for example the Chauvet and Lascaux cave paintings some estimated at 40,000 years old to be in awe of our ancient ancestors wit, physical prowness and intelligence which allowed them to survive up to the advent of the Neolithic Revolution of discovering how to cultivate plants and grains for farming.
We also see the Clovis people in North American going extinct some 13,000 years ago. That extinction event had nothing to do with humans. The latest theory is that a comet wiped out the mega-fauna 13,000 years ago. Stone Age humans were not "badasses," they were prey. They did not have the tools or the intelligence to defend themselves, and most never survived beyond the age of 40.

Horticulture began with the Egyptians some 7,000 years ago.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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There is a whole lot of argument about the Clovis people within history circles. I'd be cautious citing them as the existence and timelines are still in flux.

You missed my point on insect predators. We, as humans, do not have the muscle mass to be a threat to lions or grizzly bears, yet we ARE predators through a different mechanism. Fleas were unwitting predators of humans during the great plagues. Size isn't everything.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:53 AM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,327,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
We also see the Clovis people in North American going extinct some 13,000 years ago. That extinction event had nothing to do with humans. The latest theory is that a comet wiped out the mega-fauna 13,000 years ago.
I've discussed the Younger Dryas Impact hypotheses here before on another thread (''10,000 Year Old Prefectly Preserved Mammoth Found'') as i agree with Dr. Allen West's hypotheses about an meteor striking North America to which had an negative effect on the super large flora & fauna including the ''Clovis Peoples''. However it's impacr doesn't explain why South America, Europe (including neanderthals), Asia and Australia apex predators became extinct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
Stone Age humans were not "badasses," they were prey.
So be it as that's your opinion.

In my opinion for ancient human beings to had survived all of what the earth threw at them i.e. extreme weather & temperatures, using only stone & wood tools/weapons, being able to locate and secure food/water provisions all whilest trying to keep from being killed by numerous types of carnivorous predators from the advent of ''Mitochrondria Eve'' 180,000 BCE up to the advent of proto agriculture 15,000 BCE and ''didn't'' become extinct as had every other genus of human beings since Australopithecus (1.8 million BCE) are some ''badasses''.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:46 PM
 
31,372 posts, read 32,966,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
The vast majority of these attacks are the result of a moose or bear protecting their young, or they feel threatened because their space as been invaded. They are not attacking as a predator would a prey. Only very rarely will wolves or bears actually seek out a human for food, and only when they are desperately hungry. When wolves get hungry during the winter, they will actively seek out family pets. Bears are hibernating during the winter, and only pose a problem during the spring when they wake up and are desperately hungry.
And that is my point of wonderment, what other animal other than humans or perhaps wolves could claim that they are rarely attack by grizzlies except...

You'd think that their is some institutional knowledge on the part of grizzlies that those two legged things aren't to be messed with unless absolutely necessary.
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