Independent Investigations
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THE WARNING CALL OF REPUBLICUS CONSERVATUS


Of all of the courses I took in college as I worked towards my degree in Biology, my Animal Behavior course was without a doubt the most fascinating.  There is no truth to the rumor that I took the course to prepare myself for a teaching career where I would be facing five or six groups of hungry and impatient high school students every day.  But I can honestly say that what I learned in that course did help me to understand and predict their behavior at times.

There are more than three million species of animals on the planet.  Almost every species has very specific type of behavior.  Agonistic (aggressive) behavior is exhibited by almost all of them at one time or another.  Agonistic behavior is basically any action that harms an adversary or compels it to retreat.  Generally, the purpose of this behavior is to increase the individual animals’ chances of survival.

Some examples of agonistic behavior are really fascinating when you look at the action, intent, and effectiveness of the behavior.  I am someone who spends quite a bit of time observing the political animals that are trying to obtain or maintain power in our territory.  If you look closely, you can find some very specific, repeatable, and effective behaviors that tend to help the political animal maintain the size of their territory and their pecking order within it.

Let’s take a look at recent agonistic behavior exhibited by a group of political animals known as Republicus conservatus.  The behavior of this group has been consistent and seems to be handed down from generation to generation.  When faced with threats to their territory and leadership, this shrewd species will resort to group defensive stances, attack postures, and extremely loud and largely unintelligible warning calls.  Each category of agonistic behavior has a specific purpose and has been honed over many generations.  Regardless of the behavior’s origins, Republicus conservatus  is known throughout the territory as an animal that has consistently responded with predictable behavior.  Their warning calls are well known throughout the territory.

I want to concentrate on the nature and purpose of the warning calls emanating from Republicus.  The first thing one should know if you are really to understand this species is that the warning calls are always designed to illicit fear.  Interestingly enough, the political opponent of Republicus, (Democraticus progressivus) has absolutely no fear of the warning calls.  The calls are not designed to create fear in the heart of Democraticus.  The calls are designed to warn other individuals of the same species that danger is near. 

Once other members of the species are aware of the danger, they all begin to repeat the exact warning call over and over again.  Mimicry is highly prized and extremely effective in the world of Republicus.  Doesn’t it seem logical that a large group of individuals all shrieking the same warning call would rally the troops and confuse the enemy?  Of all of the behaviors exhibited by Republicus, this is the one that is most predictable and causes the most anxiety within Democraticus.  This behavior is without question one of the most effective forms of agonistic political behavior.

Interestingly enough, in spite of repeated exposure to the infamous warning call of Republicus conservatus, Democraticus progessivus has not yet learned when to expect it, and what to do about it when it happens.  Political scientists are currently studying Democraticus in an effort to determine their inability to combat this highly effective groups behavior.  Current investigative efforts are focused on the DNA of Democraticus.  There seems to be some type of mutation that makes them forget prior battles with Republicus.  It is almost as if every time Republicus starts to utter their warning calls, Democraticus acts as if they have never heard the call before.  There is also evidence that there are certain members of Democraticus who realize that the call is coming and fail to warn others or do anything about it.  They literally have to learn how to combat the call all over again. 

One wonders if research currently in progress will not determine that Republicus is actually a more highly evolved species.

In my next post, we will take a look at the audiograph of the warning call to determine the exact nature of the message contained therein.

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