Monday 27 May 2019

Lessons from nature...

by Robin Baker

One of the advantages of being retired is that one can follow diverse interests.  On 23rd May I was this watching a wild-life programme on TV5.  It contrasted the behaviour of elephant seals and killer whales.  The male elephant seals spent their lives fighting each other to give the winner the right to mate with the females.  The females fed their pups for two weeks after their birth and then left them to their own devices without even taking them into the sea, so that they could reproduce again.  Many of these you,g did not last very long.
In contrast, the female killer whales care for their calves for at least 2 years.  They feed them and they also train them.  The film showed killer whales hunting and then taking their prey to share with a mother who was feeding her calf and so could not hunt herself.  It also showed a group of them hunting by beaching themselves where there were seals on the beach which they could catch, and teaching the young how to do this.  All their hunting was done in groups which meant that they could feed in a way that have been possible for a whale hunting alone.
Is there, I thought, a lesson in this for the way in which countries benefit from working in groups together or by standing separately alone?