This afternoon I took a short nap, and upon waking up a new hypothesis (at least to me) popped into my head as a result of a dream. The content of the dream isn’t important, but it led me to wonder about how stampeding behavior might help predators. Thinking about Cape Buffalo, Wildebeest, and other relatively large herding animals in Africa, I was led to ponder the following;
Predators often go after old, sick, young, or otherwise disabled prey, the rest of the herd moving off in a group while the predators pick out their prey. What if the chaos of the stampede/escape behavior of herd animals actually help predators, however, by causing some of the animals to hurt themselves? I’ve seen footage of antelope hitting trees in attempts to escape predators, and I have to wonder if in trying to escape predators, hering animals hurt themselves by either bumping into objects, bumping into each other, wrenching/twisting their ankles, etc. Thus, panic caused by predatos may lead some animals to become disabled, them becoming the next targets when the next predator goes on the hunt. I have no idea if this has been studied or if this is just a hypothetical pipe dream, but obviously I found it interesting enough to jot down for future reference.
And on an entirely different topic, thanks to everyone for their support of the 1st edition of The Boneyard. I hope the next one is even better!