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Animals getting a bad rap/rep

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by The Snark, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    (Haplopelma Minax)
    Horses, goats, bears, cougars, all sorts of snakes, deer, true spiders, eagles. And it is always the same; some variation on the sensationalism theme of big/bad/pissy/aggressive/threatening/dangerous and on and on.

    I mention the above in particular because I have observed them up close and personal in the wild. And I might have watched a couple of non sensational media crap videos and read some purely technical scientific papers here and there.

    So far I've encountered 2 horses, and read the studies on Hippos. Hippos will go out of their way to be highly aggressive. The two horses attempted to kill any human that came in range, due to abuse and mishandling by humans.

    The only deadly deer; some fool yeehaw who jumped on it's back and tried to stab it with a knife. The animal went insane with terror, relentlessly attacking.

    And vipers. They are loaded guns. When out hunting they are wide open targets for predators and always ready to react.

    The highly aggressive H Minax in our yard. We've had them in residence for years now. Threat posture? Once, a male out crossing a road and I goaded it to get the F out of the danger zone.

    Point of this thread. Got tagged? Aggressive and dangerous to handle? Your fault. Unless your animal is a hippo, the human factor is the cause. In situ the overt aggressiveness just doesn't happen. The animal is abused -> out of it's element and native habitat or homo erectus/pseudo sapien was where it didn't belong.

    Can we please dial down the sensationalist melodrama? If an animal is aggressive, ask yourself why you have caused it to be this way, deliberately, tacitly, or incidentally.

    @cold blood No offense intended. You were only reporting what you had encountered.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  2. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    I know a man who was bit in the jugular by a Morgan stallion and the guy almost died! He definitely would have done had his wife not been there!
  3. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Horses are knotheads. Pure knee jerk - brain off. I've been bit at or bit a couple dozen times, kicked, stomped, rolled off cliffs, dealt with stampedes and you name it. The fright-flight rules their brains. Just watch them bicker in a corral or pasture. Cattle are much smarter than horses when the horse goes into brain fart mode. A lead horse will take a herd right off a cliff.
    There is no malice, deliberation, when a horse chomps or kicks. Same exact response as trying to lift the hind leg of a cow.
    And BTW, the normal attack mode of a horse is ears back, charge and bite - knee jerk. Rear and strike comes in a far second almost exclusive in stallion competition. And they kick knee jerk as well. They kick to try and shoo off a bee or fly or just because they are irritable. I always watch the ears for irritability and keep a sharp eye and ear out for buzzing critters when working a horse from the ground. Expect kicks.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  4. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Sure, but try and re house one....like we have to do in the hobby...I guarantee you will see threat postures.

    None perceived;)
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  5. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Getting off track of the subject, but following these lines:
    Evolutionary theory. We are all a product of our environment.
    Hypothesis: predator presence throughout the life cycle and down through evolution dictates certain traits such as aggressiveness. Now take the animal out of it's natural environment and place them all in synthesized environments that are basically the same. Depending upon predator presence the animal will generally be more or less aggressive. So if we compare the native environment to other similarly aggressive Ts we should come up with the reason behind the aggressive defensing behavior.

    So Asian rain forest. No forest floor dwelling arachnid or insect will be out during the day. It's a gauntlet with about 30 very common species of avian omnivores constantly present. During the night there are only about 6 species of birds but numerous mammals and amphibians out scouring the forest floors. Basically, an environment like this one is a constant feeding frenzy.

    Observed numerous times: H Minax native environment is a hole a foot deep usually dug in hard earth or clay that would deter nearly all predators. It took me observing our holes for over 2 years before I spotted the occupant.
    Supplemental: Young Minax don't develop larger holes until the middle or late in the rainy season. During the 8 month dry season the ground is too hard to dig. Thus the 10 holes appearing and being expanded in our yard in the past month, well into the rainy season.

    So the only time Minax is out and about is romance time, running a gauntlet. And people keeping them in unnatural environments.

    Conclusion: get tagged by a Minax, you asked for it. The threat posture is purely knee jerk reaction dictated by evolution that has told the animal fight or die. They won't run as nearly all the predators are faster and more agile. If the animal was kept properly it would almost never be seen, would rehouse itself, and only webs things up when prey is less abundant.

    Addendum: Looking out in our yard. Any time of the day there are omnivorous birds scouring every inch of the area, but it's a safe environment for Minax to have lived here for over 5 years.

    PS One of our holes is a serious dirt kicker. Heading for China going by the amount of fresh soil kicked out every morning.

    PPS Youngster holes are oval shaped. Only the adults round the holes out.

    @EtienneN I avoid recounting injuries from animals. I mean no offense to you personally but these tales are all sensationalism. Cue Tommy Chong: "HEY MAN! CHECK IT OUT!"
    I mean, just working horses. Busted ribs, arms or legs, I've seen 30-40. Horses mangled and had to be put down, more than 20. Bites, A LOT. One gal got 24 hours of reconstructive after one side of her face was ripped off. And on and on and on. Sensationalism, capitalizing on a desire for entertainment. A different song when you do the caretaker and medic work in the maelstrom.

    The only reminder I need is looking at the old rope burns and scarring across both palms. Naw, I'm not going the dwell on the tragic, I prefer the magic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2019
  6. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    You have to realise YOU know what you're intentions are in a situation with an animal but they don't.
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  7. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    Yeah but that's normal, my man. Honestly would be impressive to witness the opposite... now that wouldn't be normal :)
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  8. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    I need to get a picture of our yard in the early AM with a stake and flag next to each of the 12 T holes and the yard being picked over by 20 or 30 Mynas feasting on the bugs that stayed out too late. It's no wonder we don't spot a Minax but once every year or two and any movement within 6 feet of the hole and they are gone.
  9. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoangel Active Member

    I've housed and rehoused over 100 species of Tarantula, OW and NW. The only threat displays I've had were from 1 Phormingochilus carpenteri sling, 2 Psalmopoeus victori slings and 1 young adult Ephebopus murinus. And only the P. victori were really defensive to the point where they struck at the paint brush I was using to move them along. The point being I believe the bad reps of most species are from improper technique from impatient keepers.
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  10. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    Well...not sure about that. I mean, I gently opened the transport vial which held my P.muticus and it went straight into hissing threaposture. Held that all the way through the rehouse and for about ten minutes after the enclosure closed. I think she would have spat at me if she could, she was that angry.
    My point being that you can do everything right but still end up with a very angry spider.
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  11. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoangel Active Member

    I must give off good vibes or something ;). When I bought my adult F Cyriopagopus hainanus the guy who sold her to me warned me to be careful as she was bad tempered. I housed and rehoused her and never got so much as a lifted leg.
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  12. AzJohn

    AzJohn Arachnoking Old Timer

    I wonder if their are cat forums that talk about the encounter they had with their aunts cat that acted friendly only to bite and scratch the first chance given. Cats are expert only pets!!! I think inverts are one of the easiest and safest pets you can keep if you follow common since.
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  13. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I have 1 OW tarantula I 100% know I'll get a threat posture from. And I completely understand why she feels threatened. Her whole "world" changes when I pick it up and take the top off it.

    I have a few NW tarantulas I know might kick for the same reasons. Absolutely understandable.

    But instinct isn't always to blame. Pandora my parrot will sometimes bite me when she realises it's bed time or I have to go out.
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  14. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Something that should be mentioned I haven't explored. Our three cats being pretty typical. They never go for a bite or claw me but take pot shots at my partner constantly. I roll them on their backs, pet their tummies, roll them around on the floor with my foot and they just purr louder and beg for more attention.
    I am unscientifically equating this to personalities of the humans. I'm trained with horses. You DOMINATE!! You are absolute authority. Give a horse one inch of liberties and they won't hesitate to try it again on some green rider. Most horse related injuries are them having learned bad habits they can get away with.
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  15. 14pokies

    14pokies Arachnoprince

    Totally agree most accounts are highly exerated and they are extremely detrimental to the hobby.. You guys know there is a proposal being reviewed right now that will ban all non domesticated animals in the U.S. by 2022? Inaccurate"horror story's" is just the fuel it needs.. We need to be seen as mainstream not a bunch of whackos that keep creepy dangerous animals..

    On the flip side we do have to warn new keepers that some species can become defensive under certain circumstances. If we didn't uneducated new keepers would really do a number on this hobby.. I do think we need to portray these species in a different light when describing some of the defensive displays that they use to convey their tempory moment's of discomfort/fear..

    I don't think CB screwed up in any way but with the current state of things we need to change our image and become extremely proactive in defending our hobby..

    Great thread Snark this a very important topic glad you brought it up..
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  16. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    Totally agree with you on the horses. My horse ‘tried’ some crap with me the first day I met him, but I just calmly and authoritatively corrected his behaviour and I purchased him four months later.
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  17. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    "...but I just calmly and authoritatively corrected his behaviour ..." With zero tolerance. I suppose the airhead owner crowd is inevitable, willing to put up with sheet tricks or even consider them endearing, but that doesn't fly when you got a bananarama and you're running a pack train and have a dozen horses and riders to keep safe. But the big thing is, animals don't build resentments as a rule. But they do develop respect for authority if you do it right - no pain, no malice: WE need to do this, horse, so let's keep on track and save the nutso for when you get turned loose in the pasture.
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  18. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoangel Active Member

    I've gotten some disagreement with this post but let me be clear - I currently own a total of 70 OW's and almost never see a threat display. This can't all be good luck on my part. All I'm saying if you're getting a lot of threat displays maybe you need to look again at how you're housing them (inadequate hiding area is a problem I've seen a lot) and possibly how you interact with them (feeding, rehouses, etc.). My posts weren't meant to insult anyone or brag, but rather to get people to think about OW's and, IMO, their undeserved reputation. And I'm not saying they shouldn't be respected, just that they should be respected for their venom rather than overblown stories of their "aggressiveness".
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  19. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    Most arachnids give a fair warning first - centipedes with its terminal leg strikes, scorpions and tarantulas with threat postures. It nature's way of emphatically stating if you proceed to harass me or don't give me space I am going to resort to force (and that may even come after a few threats or attempts at intimidation first).

    Arachnids live in a very savage world, every day can be an encounter with death. Just my .02 cents.

    I wished they would quite sensationalizing these animal instead of educating with true facts, science, and statistics. But sensationalism = $$$.
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  20. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    Threatposturing is normal behaviour. My enclosures are what they need to be, I don't harass my spiders, they are fed well and have plenty hiding spots/space. But when I rehouse, even if it is with just the catch cup method, some spiders will always threat posture. It is what they do. It is, in the case of OW, their only defense aside from running so it is normal for them to react this way to any disturbance. Maybe we should start by typing their behaviour as fear, instead of defensiveness or being angry...

    I agree the over-sensationalism needs to stop, which is why I hate that Exotics-guy so much because he puts the emphasis on them being angry and mean.

    But implying the rest of the people in the hobby/on this forum are doing things wrong because their spiders go into threatposture is ridiculous and uncalled for, and I do not agree with that at all.

    That would suck big time for you guys... And for Europe too because it would block imports and exports too!
    Do you have a link to an article?
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