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05 May, 2014

Bloodlust at the Procession?

Chimera about to pounce. Turns out the strategy of wearing a mask on the back of your head does not fool them.

The Procession of the Species, though enjoyed by families with young children, hippies, and peace-loving residents of the hippest town in the west (which is to say, the hippest town), has seen it's share of unpredictable violence. Like rhino and arach attacks, not to mention the occasional maleficent Meleagris. With so many species, most of 'em not tame at all, it's not a surprise, and Olympia is lucky there have been so little loss of life.

One arthropodovore sneaks up on another, poised to peck.
Granted, most of us were not at risk. A lot of the violence was the foreseeable, what with the competition and lack of species at the bottom of the food chain. Or pyramid, or web, whatever it is these days. Too many krill eaters, and not enough aquatic arthropods, what did we expect?

The hunter becomes the hunted. Or, arthropod's revenge.
Then there's the outright predation. Can you blame the giant scorpion that wants some juvenile cheetah meat? No, me neither, sad as it was. As kelp, eater of nothing, I have to admit I was nervous, but there were no kelp crabs to gobble my fronds, and me and my kelp kid made it through unscathed.

It's interesting that so many of the species in the Procession are predators. Sure, the whales eat only krill, and jellyfish snare plankton, but they're not vegetarians, much less vegans. That goes for the salmon, too, much as I love them (even before I eat 'em). A troupe of nectivorous bees aside, I'd say the majority of the animals were carnivores. Think about that, as you savor your non-violent reputation, Olympia.

Of course, one species eating another is not a bad thing, usually. Just the call of the wild. But certain primates have a penchant for violence without the promise of food. Like the pack of humans who attacked the Komodo Dragon at the end of the Procession. Above: somebody ripping it's head off. Sad. So sad.

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