birding-aus Re: Mammal twitching

Subject: birding-aus Re: Mammal twitching
From: Kim Sterelny <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 22:16:58 +1000
A note on mammal twitching
                                           The problems of mammal
identification are not just due to the fact that many are small and
nocturnal. Birds are very visual animals, by and large, and hence the way
that members of a species identify one another as potential mates, as
rivals, as juveniles and the like are often, probably, through visual
signals that we too can detect (though I expect calls are also often
important). I bet quite a lot of bird ID depends on our tuning into cues
that they also use, and which have evolved for those purposes. Much mammal
signaling is probably olifactory, and we are not equipped with the right
sensory detectors to use those signals.

Dr Kim Sterelny
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and
Philosophy, RSSS, Australian Nataional University

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Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

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