Lizard animal – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 08:41:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://phrynosoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/profile-150x150.png Lizard animal – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ 32 32 Verification of privileges in the animal kingdom https://phrynosoma.org/verification-of-privileges-in-the-animal-kingdom/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 07:59:08 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/verification-of-privileges-in-the-animal-kingdom/

Some North American red squirrels are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They live in pine forests where adults defend food caches. Without their own cache, many baby squirrels will not survive the winter. But each year, some squirrel mothers abandon their territory, bequeathing all their food to one or more babies left behind. These young squirrels are much more likely to survive until spring.

In the animal kingdom, there are other examples of species that share resources such as territory, tools and shelter between generations. In an article published last month in Behavioral Ecology, a trio of researchers argued that we should call this phenomenon the same thing we call it in humans: intergenerational wealth.

These young squirrels rich in pine cones, say scientists, are children of privilege. When George Orwell wrote in “Animal Farm” that some animals were more equal than others, he was trying to shed light on the human ideological conflicts of the time. The researchers hope to use the analogy in reverse. Applying a human lens, they say, can help us understand the roots of inequality in animals.

Jennifer Smith, a behavioral ecologist at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., Said the idea for the document arose early in the pandemic, in conversations she and her colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles had had (of course) Zoom. They saw how Covid-19 highlights health disparities and other inequalities around the world. Scientists began to wonder if they could learn more about inequalities by studying them in animals.