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Animals in puberty: no risk, no fun


Puberty animals are often not that different from human teenagers. The elephant even spends a whole decade in this phase of life. That means: excess energy, a pinch of recklessness and the unbridled joy of the unfiltered adrenaline rush. And it has it all in the animal kingdom: For this, imagine a group of petite gazelles, who march straight ahead in the face of a threatening pride of lions. Elephants in puberty like to wrangle - Image: Shutterstock / Johan W. Elzenga

"Oh baby, baby, half strong!"

Puberty, semi-strong Thomson cells do not have any risk factors. In the event of a threat from the direct presence of predators, they often move together towards them. As the BBC reports, zoologist Clare Fitzgibbon has found that this strategy is promising. Lions and cheetahs surprisingly attack from ambush. However, if their prey signals that they are aware of their presence, they can delay the next attack on the pack.

The parallels to Homo-Sapiens are obvious. Scientists suspect that impulsive and potentially reckless actions by human teenagers lay the foundation for later exploits.

Animals in puberty: elephant versus elephant

Animals in puberty first have to learn the balance between safety and risk. It is the proverbial tightrope walk. If they act too defensively after weaning their parents, they may not learn enough about the dangers that threaten them in the world. However, an overdose risk can lead to quick death.

For example, if they lack male role models: groups of young bull elephants who grew up without older and experienced bulls showed particularly risky behavior patterns in their storm-and-push phase. These semi-strong proboscis have attacked rhinos before. The growing pachyderms also become aggressive towards their peers. In such groups, as many as 90 percent of all fatal accidents are due to clashes between the young bulls.

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