Saturday, November 24, 2007

Elephants recognize the existence of races, why don't you?

Elephants used to be considered the animals closest to man in intelligence. They may be self-aware. But it also seems that they may be capable of distinguishing between groups in humans:
Some species distinguish several species of predator, giving differentiated warning calls and escape reactions; here, we explore an animal's classification of subgroups within a species. We show that elephants distinguish at least two Kenyan ethnic groups and can identify them by olfactory and color cues independently. In the Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya, young Maasai men demonstrate virility by spearing elephants (Loxodonta africana), but Kamba agriculturalists pose little threat. Elephants showed greater fear when they detected the scent of garments previously worn by Maasai than by Kamba men, and they reacted aggressively to the color associated with Maasai. Elephants are therefore able to classify members of a single species into subgroups that pose different degrees of danger.

Oh my god, John Van Evrie was right! Animals can tell who is a lesser threat, and so they hunt colored men and not whites!

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