Message Number: YG731 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Brett Middleton
Date: 2001-03-05 13:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Another Behavior Question (Bullying)

RRC <rrc961@m...> wrote:
> The act of bullying is nothing more that dominance, and ferrets will
> grant no quarter in that regard (I once attended a lecture by Desmond
> Morris, who said only a limited number of apes and dolphins granted
> mercy, and neither were very good at it). Ferrets grant ZERO mercy.

Whew! I certainly wouldn't want to be caught arguing with Desmond
Morris, but I was under the impression that *most* species had an
instinctive surrender/submission gesture that would placate the winner
and cause him to stand down almost reflexively, limiting the amount of
damage caused by dominance fights. (In fact, I seem to remember
hearing that humans are one of the few species that will continue
agressing beyond the point where the other party has signalled

I take it you don't agree with Fara Shimbo's take on dominance issues?
IIRC, she believes that ferrets have no dominance relationships at all,
and that ferret fights are completely disconnected from issues such as
who gets first access to food or desirable sleeping places. I got the
impression she was trying to say that all ferret fights are exclusion
fights. Or maybe I just misunderstood her. Comments?


*SLMW 1.0* "First you scream, then you leap ..." -- Kzinti challenge