The Lion's Edge

Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 10:55 am
Thought for the day and something I've never seen in print...

Ordinarily, in lion/zebra encounters, the lion has killed other zebras before, but the zebra has never been killed or eaten before.....

Is that some sort of an unfair advantage?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,356 • Replies: 7
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Joe Nation
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 11:38 am
Unless the zebra knows a little kung fu.


Joe('Tis a cruel world)Nation
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 11:56 am
It would seem that individually, at least, the lion has the edge--a lone zebra is a dead zebra. But collectively zebras have selected for their defenses over time: the herd behavior--the safety of the herd with those vicious hooves, and striped coloration to confuse the predator.

Another thing to remember is that hunting is treacherous for the hunter too. If a zebra gets wounded, it may survive, and finding food is no problem. If a lion gets wounded--say, by a flying hoof--it may be unable to run fast enough to make a kill and slowly starve to death.
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 12:43 pm
With the zebra wearing that linesman/officials uniform, it's been well-schooled at making judgement calls. Sometimes they have to confer at the booth. Of course, by that time they're zebra burgers.

Seriously, it's flawed logic because even though one zebra has not been killed before, they still know real danger (and what to do) when they see it coming. I see no advantage for the lion. Hiding and scattering in the confusing array of darting stripes minimizes the advantage if there is one.
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 12:50 pm
gungasnake wrote:
Is that some sort of an unfair advantage?

There are a lot more zebras than lions. The advantage depends on your perspective and your strategy.
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 01:37 pm
Being killed and eaten is the result, not the means.
Here you have determined the result, then attempted to equate that as an advantage within the means, faulty reasoning.
Most zebras have been stalked before and know that the safety of the herd is thier advantage. The lion seeks his advantage in stalking the weaker members of the herd, the young, old, and sickly.
The zebra only gets one chance, the lion gets a few. However, when you spread the zebra's risk over the herd, the lion has about the same odds as the zebra.
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Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2011 06:58 pm
There are more zebras in the world today than lions. So any advantage can't be that unfair Wink
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Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2011 07:34 am
Avoiding predators is a learned art.
Learned by young zebra from previous attempts on the herd.
Predators target the weak herd members who are unable to maintain the learned behavior. The strong and fit members survive.
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