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Amateur Mycologist

Registered: 05/28/02
Posts: 3,774
Loc: Arizona
Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals
    #1375305 - 03/14/03 09:14 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

An interesting excerpt from a book I recently read:

"For years, scientists were intrigued by the large-scale suicides of certain animals, such as lemmings, rabbits, and rats. The interest of these scientists was increased by the fact that at the time of the suicides, the animals seemed to have plenty of food, predators were not in evidence, and infection was not present. An ethnologist who had training in medical pathology hypothesized that the suicides were triggered by an endocrine reaction in the animals that resulted from stress built up in them during an increase of population. This hypothesis was confirmed in a study of the deer population on James Island, an island one mile of the coast of Maryland in Chesapeake Bay. Careful histological studies over a period of years showed that the deer on James Island died from overactive adrenal glands resulting from stress. The adrenal glands play an important part in the regulation of growth, reproduction, and the level of the body's defenses. Thus, overpopulation caused death, not by starvation, infection, or aggression from others, but by a physiological reaction to the stress it created."

And this next study I find extremely interesting:

"Calhoun's experiments go even further to suggest peculiar modes of behavior under conditions of overpopulation. Calhoun noted that with plenty of food and no danger from predators, Norway rats in a quarter-acre outdoor pen stabilized their population at about 150. His observations, made over a period of twenty-eight months, indicated that spatial relationships were extremely important. Calhoun then designed an experiment in which he could maintain a stressful situation through overpopulation while three generations of rats were reared. He labeled this experiment a "behavioral sink"--an area where most of the rats exhibited gross distortions of behavior. Some of Calhoun's observations are worth noting:

1. Some rats withdrew from social and sexual intercourse completely, whereas others began to mount anything in sight; courtship patterns were totally disrupted and females were frequently pursued by several males.

2. Nest-building patterns, ordinarily neat, became sloppy or nonexistent.

3. Litters of young rats became mixed; newborn and young rats were stepped on or eaten by invading hyperactive males.

4. Unable to establish spatial territories, the dominant males would fight over positions near the eating bins; "classes" of rats shared territories and exhibited similar behavior; the hyperactive males violated all territorial rights by running around in packs, disregarding any boundaries except those backed by force.

5. Pregnant rats frequently had miscarriages; disorders of the sex organs were numerous; and only one fourth of the 558 newborns in the sink survived to be weaned.

6. Aggressive behavior increase significantly."


Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?



Edited by RebelSteve33 (03/14/03 09:15 AM)

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Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 24,851
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 4 months, 5 days
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1375324 - 03/14/03 09:22 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Stress kills? Or that we are heading this way?
Clear your mind and all your thoughts = no stress = no suicide. haha

If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:

Edited by fireworks_god (03/14/03 10:23 AM)

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spirit on ajourney

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 206
Loc: the in-between
Last seen: 13 years, 1 month
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: fireworks_god]
    #1375387 - 03/14/03 09:43 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

it seems like we're already in the midst of this. on a side note I saw a black bird committing suicide in the road the other day. He was flying in circles and landing in front of oncoming cars. He might have just had a I hurt wing. =/

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Slowly Changinginto a Tree
Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 301
Loc: GA
Last seen: 8 years, 6 months
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: LoverofEarth]
    #1375971 - 03/14/03 01:04 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Why do you think the suicide rate in Japan is so high?

Peace out my brothers, for everyone has a bit of insanity in them

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Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1376000 - 03/14/03 01:12 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)


Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?

I think so Brain, but do rats really taste like chicken? Narf!

To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.

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Invisibleperuvian spark

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 673
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: Evolving]
    #1376066 - 03/14/03 01:33 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

But do rats really taste like chicken?

LOL, that's some funny shit right there! I agree overcrowding has led to a lot more stress among us humans too. I can see it everyday at 5:00 pm when everyone is trying to get home from work.

"The only unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain and everything is changeable."

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Reality Hacker

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 3,599
Loc: Traped in a shell.
Last seen: 10 years, 3 months
Re: Studies on the Effects of Overpopulation in Animals [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1376408 - 03/14/03 04:31 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

I think too many people in one area = Less consideration for humanity and less self-esteem in the population.

Maybe this is why there are so high of crime rates in the big cities (or at least an important factor).

What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?

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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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