Deadly animals

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by alexb123, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. alexb123 The Amish web page is fast! Valued Senior Member

    Was just reading the list of UK's most deadly animals, and if we are going to be honest about it, we don't really have any.

    It appears that the factor that determines if a geographical area will have deadly animals is the temperature. With the hotter climates having many more deadly animals.

    So from this I have two question:

    1. Why does climate have this effect?
    2. Are humans also more likely to kill if they live in hotter climates? If so what is the link, if any?
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  3. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

    List of deadliest animals in the UK.

    1. humans.
    2. dogs.
    3. deer. (car crashes).
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  5. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    Living on a smallish island country, the British exterminated what dangerous animals they had: wolves a couple hundred years, bears thousands of years ago, large dangerous mammals too (such as wisents, etc) ... and even the poor beaver went extinct due to its pelts being used for hats.

    But you do ask a very interesting question.

    First, cold-blooded animals can only survive in warmer climates, but even then, I'm guessing that they're not always in prime metabolic condition to fight, so poison seems an always available defensive weapon, especially for small creatures such as spiders, scorpions, lizards and snakes.

    Second, because of the cold-blooded factor, tropics have lots of insects anyway, and they turn out to carry many human parasites. Exactly why, I'm not sure, except to say that, again, maybe the warmer climates allows viruses and parasites to be more viable.

    Third, the dangerous big animals, typically the large cats. I'm guessing that cats tend to sleep a lot, so yet again, this can only be done in warmer climates.

    Fourth, there's the herbivores (hippos, rhinos, buffaloes, elephants, etc). Out of pure speculation, I'm guessing that they're more aggressive because everything else around them is. Get tough or die ... and this seems to apply to all sorts of creatures of different sizes and types.

    Finally, humans. People in the tropics may follow the logic of the fourth category above (get tough or die). Experts have also conducted studies in developed countries about whether people kill more in the hot and humid months than otherwise. I'm not remembering exactly, but I think the studies provided mixed results (yes, weather has an effect, and no it doesn't).

    I can't really back up my ideas with scientific proof, but I hope it gives you some thoughts.
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  7. Emil Valued Senior Member

    In Europe, where it is colder than in Australia,
    sharks attacks is much less than in Australia.
  8. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    i would not want to meet a polar bear on a dark night.
  9. Emil Valued Senior Member

    Yes,polar bears are some excellent dark night hunters.

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  10. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member


    So, you'd be ok meeting a polar bear in the light of day then?
  11. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    'm not absolutely sure, what time do you suggest.
  12. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    The biggest factor, by far, determining how many dangerous animals live in a specific country, is how much effort the local humans have put into killing them.

    Disease in warm nations? Bear in mind that malaria was rife throughout Europe and North America during the Little Ice Age. What killed it off was effort put into wiping out the carrier mosquitoes, and that was done mostly in the last 150 years. Now that these places have warmed up, malaria is gone.

    Let's face it. Humans and human activities are the most potent manipulators of the environment, and what harms humans is likely to be wiped out.

    The most dangerous mega-fauna is in places where humans have had less developed technology, so that they were less skilled at killing them.
  13. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    Personally, I hope I never "meet" a polar bear face to face...At any time.

    That is, unless it's either in an inclosure, or stuffed.
  14. taichitarot Registered Senior Member

    When I was in London Zoo 22 yrs ago there was a gorilla in a bare room with only a hardened glass barrier between it and zoo visitors. The gorilla charged the glass barrier and bashed it with incredible force. Such torment. The poor beast. I hope the London Zoo has reviewed the horrific conditions it was keeping its animals in since then.
  15. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    gorillas, tigers, elephant and the rest, they are all going extinct some time
    soon. I don't see much effort to save these creatures when you compare
    it to the amount of money we waste on crap we don't need. This year is
    the year Chinese year of the Tiger next time round there wont be any
    tigers left to celebrate, shameful us.
  16. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

    what about the deadly people?
  17. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member

    not that, but because humans will go to live mostly in those kinda cold areas, colder, better to them, well, not too cold, but, when they live their, wich many will, they will kill the bad animals, that causes threats to them, or hunt them for meat or something, etc... there are far more deadly animals, living in cold, and tropical areas, that are more dangerous than the ones that live in hot areas
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Predators generally spend a large portion of their time sleeping. There's no point in hunting when you're not hungry, because then you'd have to expend extra energy defending your catch against scavengers and hungrier, more motivated predators. Domestic cats, Felis silvestris libica, sleep an average of sixteen hours a day.
    Well... in colder climates they aggregate it into one long hibernation. This retards the metabolization of stored fat to make the nap even longer, and aggregates the waking hours into the warmer seasons when food is most abundant.
    They are generally only truly aggressive in their courtship rituals. Or in the case of pack-social (vs. herd-social) species, the alpha male defending his leadership position. (Herd-social herbivores typically have a female leader and her only job is to guide them to the next rich grazing area; as long as she does a good job nobody objects, and if they do they're welcome to go find their own dadgum food.) Otherwise their violence is strictly reserved for defensive action.
    There are actually very well-funded conservation efforts on behalf of most endangered species. The problem is that in poverty-struck regions most people will poach an animal or guide an illegal hunting party to bring in money, before they will allow their family to starve. It's difficult for even the "greenest" well-fed Westerner to get very angry at them for that.

    Eco-tourism has become a hopeful business for many remote regions. Tourists with cameras will pay as much as a hunting party to be guided through a jungle full of exotic beasts. This has the wonderful advantage that the beasts are still alive when they go home, so you can get another batch of tourists to pay for the same privilege.

    Many animals are killed in defense, and there are clever ways to solve this problem. Lions take a huge toll on livestock in Africa, and the farmers have the usual choice between killing them and letting their village suffer from malnutrition. Now there is a third choice: American breeders of Anatolians, a huge ancient livestock guard dog from Turkey with the head of a mastiff and the body of a greyhound on steroids, are shipping free dogs to Africa. Two of them can run off a whole pride of lions who, despite the legendary stereotype, are not really very brave.

    Zoos and academic research centers do a fine job of maintaining bloodlines of endangered species. Each one has only a small population, but they swap breeders, and being scattered all over the world there's little chance of an entire species being wiped out by a plague.

    Not all humans who share their habitat with endangered species are indifferent to their plight. The people who live in the region of India that is the last refuge of the Asian Lion are adamant about protecting their cats, to the point that they demand more safeguards than the government recommends.

    Finally, the pet trade is unfairly criticized. The days of people capturing animals in the jungle and shipping them to Europe and America to be "tamed" are on the wane. Parrots, in particular, are widely bred domestically, both in large commercial operations and by hobbyists with one or two pair in their den. This has the advantage that a chick can be "imprinted" on humans as soon as its eyes open, thereby being automatically domesticated, the key to a healthier, stress-free life. The huge, purple Hyacinthine Macaw is the poster child for the endangered species awareness movement, yet as a former aviculturist I would wager that there are more breeding pairs of that species safely coddled in the United States than there are dodging bulldozers in the Brazilian jungle. The black Palm Cockatoo very nearly became extinct in its native New Guinea due to a virus, but a breeder in Minnesota kept a secret, protected population disease-free, and the species is once again viable, and even so prolific that you can buy a pair for about $50,000.

    Don't give up on the endangered species, because you don't need to give up on Homo sapiens.

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  19. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

    Don't forget we have Adders in Britain, though not usually deadly, they are venomous and inflict a nasty bite..Also note that scorpions are now living in some counties (Kent I believe is one)..
  20. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    I was going to mention scorpions - but the documentary I saw (a couple of decades ago!!) also pointed out that those that survive and breed (immigrant scorpions) have offspring that are becoming increasingly less venomous... Apparently they don't need it here.
  21. woowoo Registered Senior Member

    Why can't we have a deep freeze gene bank somewhere so if/when these animals
    go extinct we have a chance to bring them back to life in the future? There
    is a place in Norway, in the arctic circle, a secure vault with seed samples
    of all the world's crops so we don't starve to death in the event of a natural
    disaster. why cant we do that for endangered animal species?
  22. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    There is a big difference between plant seeds and animal sperm/ova. We will never be able to produce an animal equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

    Seeds are dormant cells with tough environmentally resistant coatings. They can be frozen and desiccated without compromising their viability; thus, they can be easily stored in ordinary refrigerators and freezers for extended periods of time. Animal sperm and ova are the complete opposite. They are fragile living cells that require highly specific preparation and storage conditions involving liquid nitrogen.

    Having said all that, endangered animal conservation does involve the frozen storage of sperm and fertilised embryos.
  23. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

    "Having said all that, endangered animal conservation does involve the frozen storage of sperm and fertilised embryos."

    That is true, the respective cells/embryos can be put into cryogenic stasis. However, this is a poor state of affairs and it would be better to manage biodiversity in the wild. For some species though, like the giant panda, it may be the only hope of preserving genetic diversity in the species - though pandas and some other species are notoriously difficult to manage in this way. Plants are totally different, and some won't even germinate unless they have been frozen or burned first. Other seeds like poppy seeds can lay dormant in the ground for years on end.

    Humans in general don't lack for diversity - so really is not a problem at present.

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