Isn't nature cruel.

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Post by Syl on Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:16 pm

So today we were walking along the canal, we saw a beautiful heron on the other side of the bank.
A tiny duckling was in the water, the heron kept swooping at it, the little duck instinctively dived under so the heron would fly back to the side and wait its chance again.

Apparently it had already swooped on another tiny duckling  minutes before and eaten it....this one was next.

No sign of the mother duck, but the little one tried to swim along with bigger ducks, but they wouldn't have it, obviously they didn't want the heron swooping near them.

Poor little duckling....I had to go cos I couldn't bear to watch the inevitable. Crying or Very sad

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Post by Original Quill on Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:09 pm

I don't know where the hen went, but the drake is a pretty formidable foe, and they usually are around, looking after the brood.

I've seen a drake attack an ostrich, flying up and attacking its eyes...never seen 'em run that fast.

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Post by Syl on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:07 pm

Unusually there was no drake or mother hen around Quill.
The tiny ducklings were fending for themselves.

We were going to kayak up the river last week in Wales, we decided not to when we realised the swans had cygnets.
Might wait till they have grown a bit....mother swans can get very nervous when people get too close to the young.

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Post by Original Quill on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:18 pm

Anyway, as to the question in the title: I don't think Nature is so cruel...Nature is indifferent.

The ducklings are babies in the eyes of one species, but they are food in the eyes of predators. After all, even we eat their cousins...as eggs, with bacon, at breakfast.

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Post by Syl on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:35 pm

True Quill, and the strongest will survive.

We saw the heron later, flying back to its nest presumably, way up in the trees.
It's wingspan must have exceeded 6ft...beautiful birds.

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Post by nicko on Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:17 am

Out fishing one day on a Lake, I watched a Duck with 5 chicks swimming by, big splash, then there were 4. There are hungry Pike in that Lake !
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Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:09 am

Basketball

Nature is neither "cruel" nor "kind"...

Nature has no compassion..    Every animal has to eat to live.

Not only other birds will eat ducklings and goslings;  but also eels, fish, snakes, crocodiles..

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Post by Ben Reilly on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:24 am

But if you are going to put human values onto nature, you can't escape the fact that nature seems quite cruel to us. Nature doesn't forgive, and its answer to most problems is, "Die." As in:

"I can't find food!"

"Okay, die then."

"I can't defend myself from this thing!"

"You can die, though. Just do that."

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Post by Syl on Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:32 pm

Ben Mothafuckin' Reilly wrote:But if you are going to put human values onto nature, you can't escape the fact that nature seems quite cruel to us. Nature doesn't forgive, and its answer to most problems is, "Die." As in:

"I can't find food!"

"Okay, die then."

"I can't defend myself from this thing!"

"You can die, though. Just do that."

Its still dog eat dog and the strongest survive in every society.

That heron is the banker, the powerful politician, world leaders and commanders.....the vulnerable duckling is ....well us.silent We just get eaten in different ways.

I woke up feeling so philosophical today, Razz

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Post by Fred Moletrousers on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:23 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:Basketball

Nature is neither "cruel" nor "kind"...

Nature has no compassion..    Every animal has to eat to live.

Not only other birds will eat ducklings and goslings;  but also eels, fish, snakes, crocodiles..

I have to say, given the current circumstances, that I did feel a soupcon of remorse as I enjoyed my excellent bit of steak at my Fathers' Day dinner yesterday.....

(...or as my grand daughter put it: "Gramps...you do realise that you could be eating your cousin, don't you?"
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Post by Syl on Wed May 15, 2019 6:17 pm

Another isn't nature cruel instance.

So we have lots of very mature trees in our garden. Every year we have different species of birds nesting in the trees.
One tree started off, many years ago  as a Christmas tree in the lounge,  it's now about 40ft high and still growing
Last week a cat managed to get right up to the top and massacred a nest and the baby birds in it.

Today, I suspect the same cat has been back and dislodged another nest from lower down. We found it on the floor with two live babies lay nearby. We put them back in the nest and put the nest back in the tree....whether mum bird will come back for them I dont know.
I am tempted to go look and give the baby birds some water from a dropper, but I suspect they will die anyway if the parent doesn't come back to care for them. Crying or Very sad

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Post by eddie on Wed May 15, 2019 8:21 pm

Bloody cats!

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Post by Original Quill on Wed May 15, 2019 8:52 pm

eddie wrote:Bloody cats!

Agreed! Cats are considered the most deadly carnivores.

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Post by Syl on Wed May 15, 2019 11:14 pm

I do like cats, but they are, from a human beings viewpoint, merciless killers.

I am going to have a look at the nest tomorrow. I suspect the two baby birds will both be dead.

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Post by Ben Reilly on Wed May 15, 2019 11:23 pm

Birds are the last living descendants of the dinosaurs, most of which evolved to create tons of offspring because most of them died. Diplodocus, for example, laid hundreds of eggs.

Most of those were eaten, and the babies that did manage to hatch were mostly eaten as well. I think it was something like one in a hundred eggs resulted in a dinosaur that lived to adulthood.

A lot of animals have reproductive strategies like that -- frogs, fish, most insects and arachnids, etc. It allows the species to survive even though the parents fuck off and don't protect the young.

In the species that don't have tons of offspring, you always have the parents nurturing and protecting the young until they've reached maturity.

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Post by Syl on Wed May 15, 2019 11:26 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:Birds are the last living descendants of the dinosaurs, most of which evolved to create tons of offspring because most of them died. Diplodocus, for example, laid hundreds of eggs.

Most of those were eaten, and the babies that did manage to hatch were mostly eaten as well. I think it was something like one in a hundred eggs resulted in a dinosaur that lived to adulthood.

A lot of animals have reproductive strategies like that -- frogs, fish, most insects and arachnids, etc. It allows the species to survive even though the parents fuck off and don't protect the young.

In the species that don't have tons of offspring, you always have the parents nurturing and protecting the young until they've reached maturity.
I know, I still get upset when I see how cruel nature can be though.

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