Friday, October 12, 2007

Animals Teaching Animals

Some plants and animals have poisons in or on them (nightshade berries, poison dart frogs, etc.). The concept is that these poisons protect the plants and animals from being eaten because it will kill the animal that eats it. Apparently this works, since you don't see many dead monkeys with poison dart frogs in their mouths.

But what I want to know is, how did the predators learn which plants and animals not to eat? When a fox sees another dead fox, does it say to itself "wow, he must have eaten some berries! I'm going to steer clear of those." And do they have classes on what plants are good to eat, and which aren't?

It would seem that the poison would act as a deterrent to the individual predator that ate the plant or animal, not the entire species, and in that event, the end result would be no discernible decrease in predator activities against the poisonous species.

Do animals learn from the mistakes of other animals? Or were they programmed against eating such prey by an Intelligent Designer? And if so, when why didn't the Intelligent Designer just program the predators to not eat such prey in the first place, and negate the need for the poison?

It's Friday.

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