The Web of Life (127) Animals Synopsis


Here an animal grows, there a plant, and the wonder of it all is not the less in the smallest being than in the largest. ~ German physiologist Max Rubner

▫ Behavior is rooted in biology. Innate impulses guide all life. Such biological programming is layered through evolution. Free will is a chimera of the moment.

▫ All animals experience emotions, which act as a device for learning and enjoyment of life.

▫ A considerable number of life-history variables determine the parameters of living for every life form. What most significantly defines a species behaviorally is its sociality.

Biologists conceptually bifurcate animal sociality into presocial and eusocial. The most socially integrated animals are eusocial: living in a colonial society that practices reproductive division of labor and alloparenting, where the well-being of the colony takes precedence over any individual. (This is equivalent to human institutions serving as the bedrock of societal stability.) Queens are as subject to their demanding role in life as workers; perhaps more so. Eusocial societies are highly organized, albeit with roles rather than hierarchies defining their operation.

In contrast, though they may be gregarious, presocial animals generally behave with self-interest as a paramount concern. The organization of presocial groups is often hierarchical.

▫ Intelligence is individual and contextual to the environment in which an organism lives. All animals have more than sufficient wiles to survive and enjoy life. Nature provides both capacity and challenge in ample measures.