[Tweeters] a question
jcr_5105 at charter.net
Mon Jun 28 18:47:16 PDT 2010
Eric and Tweeters,
Actually, skewed sex ratios are common in waterfowl and not a result of human disturbed/amended habitat. Many more females a year are killed than males, because females alone incubate and care for the eggs/ducklings. Thus, there are naturally more males in many waterfowl species than females. When a female looses her first nest or brood, she will attempt to renest and thus mate again. Sometimes, her original mate has already left and she must find a new mate...that puts her in direct contention by many males whose mates already successfully nested and/or males that never got to mate originally. This results in a sort of free for all or "rape" (for lack of a better term) and if many males mate with her, they assure that at least some of their genes are passed on as well. I have never heard of a female being killed by this behavior, but it can be disconcerting to watch and see what the poor hen has to endure.
j c r underscore 5105 at charter dot net
----- Original Message -----
From: Eric Kowalczyk
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 12:34 PM
Subject: FW: [Tweeters] a question
the answer is instinct and survival of the fittest; if you are concerned about the female being drowned, since drowning a female might be considered not evolutionary adaptive, this might be looked at as aberrant behavior due to skewed sex ratios resulting from human disturbed/amended habitat;.......no morals involved; you are right, these are ducks and to the best of my knowledge, no supreme duck has written a book on morals yet.
just my 2 cents
----- Original Message -----
From: Connie Sidles
Sent: 6/28/2010 9:33:24 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] a question
Hey tweets, as I work to write my new book about the Fill, I thought of a question I would like to throw out to you (hoping it's not too far off-topic):
Is nature morally black-and-white, or are there moral shades of gray? Or are there no morals at all, and if so, is there good and evil?
Example: Two days ago I watched four male Gadwalls gang up on a lone female and attempt to mate with her. One male would mount her and push her head underwater, meanwhile trying to fight off the other males. One male would eventually push off the copulating male and take his place. This went on and on. The female kept trying to escape (and to keep breathing), but she couldn't get away from so many males. The whole gang disappeared behind some bushes on Main Pond, so I don't know the outcome, but it wouldn't surprise me if the males had drowned the female.
Realizing that ducks aren't people, and that nature is "red in tooth and claw," still, what am I to make of this scene? Where is the good in such an action? Even evolutionary good.
Nature has laws. Were those male ducks breaking the law? I'd be interested in your thoughts. - Connie, Seattle
constancesidles at gmail.com
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