On a number of my loops, readers ask where I get some of my ideas. Well, they come from all over the place to be honest.
I like to read; books, magazines, email, blogs...cereal boxes, license plates, LOL Usually my preference runs to our genre of fiction – the SF/paranormal/futuristic romance but you have to ‘fuel’ up sometimes on some of the science-y aspects. For those I rely on magazines like Scientific American or World Science (an electronic zine I’ve subscribed to). While they don’t provide me with the science I need for a particular project (unless there’s a lot of serendipity going on), they do plant ideas in my mind for future work. Today, I thought I’d share a few factoids I’ve recently come across.
Shades of Planet of the Apes?
Most of us have probably heard that chimps are primitive tool-users. It’s been documented they use sticks to draw termites from nests (crunchy snack food) or rocks to crack open tough nuts. But now, it seems that chimps in Senegal have been witnessed using spear-like sticks to hunt. They sharpen the sticks with their teeth, then poke the stick/spear into hollow tree trunks where other smaller primates hide. One was seen pulling out a bushbaby that had been caught by the spear.
Are these chimps moving up the evolutionary ladder? Maybe so. It appears that older male chimps, who do most of the hunting, aren’t as quick to use these spears. The spear hunting is primarily done by younger adolescent male and female chimps...who were taught to hunt in this fashion by their mothers! I’ve always said women are the moving force behind civilization and advancement.
If Aesop was still around, he’d have another fable to write.
Most of us have read or been told the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper (you remember...the ant was busy all summer long harvesting and storing food for the long winter months while the grasshopper simply sang and enjoyed the warm weather with somewhat dire consequences.
It’s been found that the Western Scrub Jay stores some of its food and carefully watches over its shoulder to see if any other bird is spying on its caches. If it is, the Jay relocates the food. Scientists, using 8 Jays, developed some behavioral tests to see how much forethought went into this hoarding practice. They found that these birds selected a variety of foods to hoard and if, during the test, given the opportunity would stash food in the compartment labeled ‘No Breakfast’ to ensure they’d have something the next day. Test results indicate the birds not only chose to guard against food shortages, but tried to maximize the variety of food for their diets. Pretty clever for a ‘bird brain’, don’t you agree?
Just think what one of us could do with these ideas. Wow, the worlds we could create!