Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sat 31 Jan 1998 - 01:22:04 EET

Daren Clark:

>The discussion of lions and Basmoli in Prax and the Wastes recently has
>reminded me of a question I had. Do the Basmoli exhibit the same habit as is
>seen in RW lions whereby a male taking over a pride will often kill all of
>the young in that pride.

I doubt it. Virtually every mammal that has been closely studied
has a rate of co-specific killings (ie killing the young among other
things) that if extrapolated to human society would result in a
murder rate at least a thousand times higher than the worst american
cities. (The analogy comes from Dennet's 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea'
and he mentions that Gould said the same thing so it Must Be True).

- --Peter Metcalfe


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