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Lemmings

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KayT
1201762.  Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:25 am Reply with quote

I was researching a totally unrelated topic, Cotton grass, or Bog Cotton, when i found a notation that when the lemmings have a high population season, and overgraze the bog cotton, it turns on a toxin that might acts to neutralize the digestive juices leading to starvation on the small creatures resulting in the odd behavior and "suicidal" tendancies. NOT an annual occurance, nor a migration issue at all!

http://www.asknature.org/strategy/79c29732c892608a4bf55bd970219cea

Regards, and thanks for a great fun and funny, as well as educational show!

 
Jenny
1201797.  Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:19 am Reply with quote

That's really interesting KayT - thank you. Stick around and join in the forum chats - we always like people who do research :-)

 
Dix
1201811.  Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:51 pm Reply with quote

But there is nothing particularly odd or extraordinary in the lemming behaviour.
"When they've exhausted the local food supply, they disperse, as do moose, beaver and many other animals."

There was, however, something not-very-nice going on in the natural history film industry.

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=56

http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20141122-the-truth-about-lemmings

 
suze
1201836.  Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:55 pm Reply with quote

One fact about White Wilderness is not mentioned in either of the links that Dix provides.

As noted, the Disney guys bought some lemmings for pennies from some Inuit kids on the shores of Hudson Bay. Then they shipped them down to a movie lot near Calgary, and got them to run around on a turntable which had been made by the props guy.

But the lemmings at no point jumped off the turntable. In fact, they were knocked off it with the butt end of a pool cue!

 

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