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HOMO SAPIENS

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grizzly
100657.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:49 am Reply with quote

We couldn't forget that we are ourselves animals could we?

Homo Sapiens or Humans are found native on all of the world's continents with the exception of Antarctica (although there are some small colonies).

Humans have no known existing subspecies although humans can be divided by racial or ethnic groups.

Amongst the most important features of Humans are their use of tools to influence their environment and the complexity of their culture (the ability to pass knowledge from one generation to the next). Whilst other animals can use basic tools for simple tasks (e.g. some birds can use sticks and pine needles to find food) and others are shown to be able to pass some knowledge between generations (dolphins for example), no animal has done so to the extent that humans do.

The ability of humans to adapt behaviour and tools in order to survive has allowed the species to populate the widest variety of environments and climates of any species of animal.

Humans also operate highly complex systems of trade including the use of currencies.

Humans live in a large range of sizes of social groups (between those of less than 10 to more than 28 million). However, a single individual is unlikely to have regular interaction over an extended period of time with more than 100 individuals.

(I'm sure that there's plenty more QI things that can be said about humans but this is just a starter)

 
Ameena
100674.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:58 am Reply with quote

Humans have opposable thumbs, are bipedal, and also (I've been told) have the largest brain in relation to body mass (meaning that although, say, a blue whale's brain is probably kinda bigger than ours, in comparison to the rest of its body it's a pretty small percentage...although I don't know how big a blue whale's brain is :P).
Although social, humans often become aggressive with each other and seem to enjoy resorting to blowing up half the planet in order to kill each other, regardless of what other species get in the way. And also, many of them show little regard for other species and like to kill/injure/torture them for fun or this thing they've invented called "money".
Ooh look I'm talking as though I'm some kind of researcher conducting an observational study lol.

 
grizzly
100696.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:12 am Reply with quote

Quote:
And also, many of them show little regard for other species and like to kill/injure/torture them for fun


that's nothing unique to humans.

In fact, that we show any regard to the survival of any species than our own is unique.

 
Ameena
100705.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:14 am Reply with quote

Oh but I meant deliberately doing stuff to other animals (hunting, lab experiments, skinning for fur etc) which isn't for our own survival (which generally other creatures do - defending themselves/their young, or hunting to eat or whatever), but just 'cause we want to or because we don't like them or whatever...
I know chimps are pretty aggressive, however...I think they're known to kill things for no particular reason aren't they?

 
grizzly
100713.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:18 am Reply with quote

Ameena wrote:
Oh but I meant deliberately doing stuff to other animals (hunting, lab experiments, skinning for fur etc) which isn't for our own survival (which generally other creatures do - defending themselves/their young, or hunting to eat or whatever), but just 'cause we want to or because we don't like them or whatever...
I know chimps are pretty aggressive, however...I think they're known to kill things for no particular reason aren't they?


Other animals have shown this type of behaviour. Orca whales play with live sea lions before they kill them by tossing them out of the water up to 30ft into the air. Dolphins have exhibited some similar behaviour. That said, this type of "pointless" aggression is usually only seen in animals considered to be "intelligent".

 
96aelw
100719.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:22 am Reply with quote

At least in origin, a lot of it is for our own survival. Certainly hunting, lab experiments and skinning for fur all fit squarely in that category (they may not be necessary for our survival any more, and one could argue, as some do (although I wouldn't), that the experiments oughtn't be conducted even if they contribute to our survival, but that's by the by). Entirely gratuitous cruelty to other animals has generally been done in the name of entertainment, such as cock fighting, bear baiting, badger baiting, and the like.

 
Ameena
100720.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:22 am Reply with quote

Ohh yeah, I've seen a video with killer whales chucking sea lion pups about...forgot about them.

 
dr.bob
100994.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:32 am Reply with quote

Killer whales were also shown, on the Blue Planet programme, killing a young blue whale in order to eat only its lower jaw and tongue. The rest of the dead whale they just left floating there.

But, back to the original point:

grizzly wrote:
Homo Sapiens or Humans


Not quite. Modern Humans are, in fact, Homo Sapiens Sapiens and are a sub-species of Homo Sapiens. However, the only other sub-species of Homo Sapiens, Homo Sapiens Idaltu, are now extinct.

 
Flash
101023.  Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:25 am Reply with quote

Not so damn sapiens after all, then.

 
Gray
102353.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:23 am Reply with quote

Humans' natural environment is artificial.

Also,
Quote:
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. (Douglas Adams)


Last edited by Gray on Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Tas
102361.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:30 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Humans' natural environment is artificial.


I always thought that our natural enviroment was the plains (hence the upright stance to see distances etc), but we can adapt to other enviroments by altering them and/or changing the enviroment itself.

:-)

Tas

 
Gray
102383.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:09 am Reply with quote

That may well have been our 'original' environment, but I should think there are very few people around now who could survive for long on the African plains.

 
grizzly
102391.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:31 am Reply with quote

Humans are the only known species where individuals use trade as the single method of survival.

 
Tas
102404.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:24 am Reply with quote

Quote:
That may well have been our 'original' environment, but I should think there are very few people around now who could survive for long on the African plains.


Aside, from the numerous peoples that live on the various plains/steppes aroungd the world, I assume? I daresay a few of those would struggle in an 'artificial' enviroment.

Thinking about this, I wonder if the generic human sense of community would kick in? I mean, if I was dumped near some tribesmen on the African plains, would they take me in and help me to survive? At least until I could stand on my own two feet, so to speak. I'd like to think that might happen. Maybe I am too optimistic about human nature...

:-)

Tas

 
Ameena
102465.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:44 am Reply with quote

I think the personalities of individual humans/groups of humans varies so much that if you somehow found yourself, as you say, near a bunch of African tribesmen, you'd probably have to take the risk of whether they'd help you out or stick long pointy objects into you ;).

 

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