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Evolution: the survival of any species Evolution: the survival of any species
by Joseph Gatt
2021-11-24 09:28:12
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The evolution of any species is fairly simple and straightforward. There are basically four broad types of behavior any species will follow to move forward: love, deceive or attack. And then there's the defense aspect of the game. Let's break those down.

evo0001_400Love: no species can survive alone. Love is as much about reproduction as it is about social harmony and cohesion, solidarity and sharing food and other survival needs.

In some species, there is a hierarchy of sorts in love. One member leads, the others follow. This can play out in different forms. The leader can stay still while others follow the leader's orders (as in bees), or the leader can lead the pack and move a certain direction while others follow (as in birds or foxes) or the leader can order different members of the group to head certain directions, while the leader himself moves around (as in cats or humans).

Then of course, the leader decides when it's “play” time, when it's time to attack, when it's time to deceive, and when it's time to defend the herd.

Love of course comes in different forms. Members of the species that do not cooperate tend to be outcasts, either kicked out of the group or killed. “Stupid” members of the group also tend to be thrown out, that is members of the group that do not understand instructions or social norms.

As for those intelligent and cooperative members of the group, they tend to engage in playful games, share food and leisure, share shelter, and of course, reproduce.

Deceive: Sometimes animals are in a safe zone and can enjoy their activities without elaborating defense tactics.

But, a lot of times, there are predators who are willing to attack the group. So any group of any species will have to elaborate deception schemes.

Deception schemes can involve animals running around with no other purpose than to show that they are fit and can run fast.

Sometimes, a group of animals can threaten to attack another group of animals, only to retract (often because, for example, they are vegetarians) but feigning an attack is done for land conquest purposes, perhaps because there's a leafy field and that the other group of animals are in the way and need to cede the passage.

Sometimes, a group of animals can be very, very quiet, basically sleep or hibernate for days or months. Other groups of animals think that specific group of animals is dormant. But, when D-Day comes, that group of animals’ attacks and it's a surprise attack.

Other deception schemes can involve placing animals to the East and West, with the West far outnumbering the East. Animals attack from the East, other animals think the attack is coming from the East, but then, surprise, the predators come from the West in droves.

And, there are other deception tactics.

Attack and defense

Definitions: attack is when you're a human and you like beef. You attack the cow and get the beef.

Defense if when the lion wants to eat the human. Humans don't eat lions, but lions don't mind human flesh. So humans need defense tactics against lions.

Attack schemes: most animals observe before they attack. They observe behavior patterns among their preys, try to find a weakness, and capitalize on the weakness.

Another attack scheme is to elicit behavior among the prey. For example, group of animals A will sleep 18 hours a day and hope group of animals B will start behaving the same way.

Other attack schemes involve deception and traps. For example, placing food that the prey will enjoy, watch the prey come pick up the food, and, attack.

Defense schemes: most animals defend themselves by confusing the attacker. That is, most animals will behave in unusual ways in the face of an attack, that way the predator won't know how to precede to the attack. A common form of unusual behavior is zigzagging; another common for of unusual behavior is faking a threat to attack when the animal does not have that ability to attack. And, of course, many animals have chemical weapons and toxic weapons that they can use.

Then you have group defense mechanisms. Some are preventive, others are reactive.

Preventive defense mechanisms including erecting geographic barriers. Others include designating individuals to watch over threats. Others include camouflage, as in hiding while watching over threats, and surprising any predator with a defensive attack.

Then, some defense mechanisms are more tactical. They can involve choosing geographic zones where there are no known predators. Other tactics can involve setting up traps for predators to discourage them from coming and attacking.

Then you have reactive defense. Counter-attacks basically. Predator tries to attack; you attack them back, either as an individual or as a group.

Then, finally, you have individualism vs. collectivism. Animals with shells tend to be individualists. Smaller animals with thin skin or fur tend to be collectivists. Bigger animals with thin skin and fur tend to be individualists.

And that's how social evolution works. Then, of course, animals develop physical and intellectual defense and offense mechanisms over hundreds of years. And the evolution continues.

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