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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - We are winning!

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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:07 am 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:17 am 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:33 am 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:04 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:10 pm 
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To me as an animal researcher it really is not difficult to grasp, and it should not be to anyone else either: if you want to to do animal research, your approval to do so depends on you arguing why you use animals, which animals, and how many, according to the 3R principle of reducement in numbers, refinement (of techniques, so as to get the best results, and also the first R), and maybe, just maybe, replacement (which may depend on the second R - for instance, we now can do many things with cell cultures). So you want top quality, purpose bred animals, disease free, maybe of a particular strain, or with a certain mutation or genetic manipulation that makes those animals better models. Commercial animal breeding companies can only make money by providing such animals, and like the farmer, neglecting welfare and not giving sufficient care means you lose animals, then customers and there goes your profit. Captive bred animals will not be upset by laboratory conditions (less stress), and not having to transport them over great distances by in-house or at least within-country breeding is the best. And forget what I think was in one of the above comments - animals are not cheap - they are very expensive, even a simple mouse costs big dollars. Even if you are not much of an ethicist, all of us are economists.... moreover, where I am, you get approval to use a certain number of animals only after careful screening and providing statistical support, and extra animals beyond approved numbers require good arguments. And Ann: forget about two-way communication with animals - we cannot even do it with chimpanzees except with regard to immediate requests, and a lot of that is not regarded very highly by many. What we can do is look at animals' natural needs and behaviours so that we can provide for the fulfilment of those needs in captivity. But even here there are limits, just as an animal might have those in nature. For a good life with me until he dies (and even that death may be my decision, and spare him the pain of a "natural" death) my horse has been gelded, and although his paddock is several acres he cannot roam free. My cats have a wonderful life but are not allowed to roam, and all have been neutered or spayed too. And nowhere is it written in stone that no animal shall ever suffer some stress, or even a little pain, no more than we can guarantee that for humans. Animals kept totally stress-free suffer from lack of stimulation; my domestic animals are subject to the surgery of desexing, and the stress of vaccinations. You get my drift, I hope...


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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:02 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:04 pm 
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It is important to distinguish between language and communication though. Many animals have distinct sounds for distinct situations. Not only monkeys, but chickens too have sounds that indicate that a predator is on the ground or in the air. Language is about being able to combine sounds to produce more complex meanings or modify "statements". Monkeys too have now been shown to modify predator calls to imply something like "I thought a saw a leopard". Nevertheless, I doubt whether they, or ground squirrels, could ask me whether I saw a predator...


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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:51 am 
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The methods of testing the ground squirrels and the prairie dogs was to send intruders through their colony and see their reaction and also record their call. For different types of predator, they responded differently for example, snakes had everyone get above ground because a snake can go down the holes but a badger needed everyone hiding because badgers will try to dig them up and then for a coyote, they would watch the coyote. Then they would play the warning calls and observed the animals reacted correctly for the animal in question even though no intruder was there. This of course only proved they had nouns. With computer analysis, they could then see the differences between calls. Once they figured out what kinds of sounds they were making to be different, they could test for adjectives (color and size of the intruder), verbs (what the intruder is doing), adjectives (direction of travel and speed of travel and position within the colony). These four types of unique "words" were present and understood by the others and put together in simple "sentences." These two species also had very different ways of creating words but both did the whole sentence within short calls and the significant differences within harmonic frequencies in the ultrasonic range (too high for humans to hear) which is a frequency that travels well down holes but also is hard to pinpoint for animals with their ears too far apart (more then the inch or two that separates their ears). As you can see, it is more then just a handful of calls used for specific purposes that is found in most animal species.


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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:37 am 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:01 am 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:22 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: We are winning!
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