BCB311

Monday, March 20, 2006

HERBIVORES - WHY DO THEY LIVE IN HERDS

Herbivores are animals which are adapted to eating plants. The biosphere
is shared by both plants and animals. Animals which are herbivores
depends green plants which are known as producers, as their food source.
Many animal species live in large groups and we use collective nouns to
describe some of the groups, examples herd of gnus and school of
dolphins. There are two groups that describe organism's social behavior,
temporary and permanent. In temporary groups organisms only get together
at a certain time of the year whereas the permanent group stays together
for most of the year
(http://www.saburchill.com/ans02/chapter/chap001.html).
Amongst different species the number of organisms within each group
varies. In most cases the males and females are in different groups and
the offspring are always with the females
(http://www.canr.uconn.edu/paine/afrecol/Alfrecolreport2003/buffalo.pdf).

Another factor that influences the variation in herd sizes are the
seasonal cycles, breeding, calving and chance encounters with other
groups could determine the amount of organisms within a group. During
winter some organisms form larger herds, even though the groups are
larger each animal acts on its own
(http://bss.sfsu.edu/geog/bholzman/courses/Spring99Projects/bison.html).

It is said that the only reason why these animals stay in these large
groups is because it provides each of them with food protection and an
available mate when the mating season arrives. An organism has a greater
chance of not being eaten by a predator when it is part of a herd than
if it were alone
((http://www.saburchill.com/ans02/chapter/chap001.html).

My assignment would analyze exactly how the herds of various species
differ from one another with respect to social behavior, herd size as
well as the advantages and disadvantages being part of a herd.

Michelle Baatjies

Third year BCB student

Email 2431471@uwc.ac.za

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home