Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When life threatens you, go protean.

I'm feeling really random today, so I thought I'd share a lovely life example from the animal kingdom:
Figure 1. Isn't this picture cute? Aww, that sweet little bear is waving to us!
That bear is threatening or counter-threatening. This is a behavior biologists like to call a Protean Display. Many animals (I'll say mammals because I know them best) judge a threat by its height rather than width. If it's taller than you, you'll likely not want to tangle.
So when a mammal, in this case a bear, feels threatened, it often will stand, assess the threat, and if worth it, will charge (or mock-charge, running past the threat aggressively). And it works both ways--if a brown/grizzly bear or a mountain lion ever charges you, stand as tall as you can, raise your arms even to make yourself taller and make noise. DO NOT RUN AWAY! Stand tall.
Figure 2. This praying mantis is also not being cute and funny. Its feeling threatened and standing tall.

The point of my randomness: I think we're all feeling threatened a little by the current state of the _________ (insert here either economy/life/state of the world/etc.) and could use some sage advice from the "lesser" creatures. And they say stand tall, my friends, stand tall... go protean.

'Nuff said.


  1. Love it! I am going to stand tall Jackee! Thanks;)

  2. All I can do is "stand tall." I'd get caught if I tried to run away...I'm getting slow in my old age! JK GRRRRR...does that make me more menacing???