how do animals know what not to eat?

  • 2 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline pete_inthehills

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 50
    • View Profile
    • The Beggshill Bothy
how do animals know what not to eat?
« on: 14/09/2007 20:32:21 »
We've got horses and they seem to know that ragwort is poisonous to them because they'll eat around it.
There must be something about the ragwort that gives off the warning.  Do the young ones learn from the older ones or is it an innate ability to spot poisonous plants?



  • Guest
how do animals know what not to eat?
« Reply #1 on: 14/09/2007 20:52:31 »

no science or anything in this reply, just a personal opinion. I think it is learned behaviour from the mother / father, over centuries of experimentation and trial and error. Hay (no pun intended) that horse has eaten that plant and died, we best leave it alone, type of thing.

To slightly deviate, i see something similar happening in say hedgehogs. Plenty are killed on the roads, but more actually cross safely. I think this is also a learned and observed behaviour, so why after years of automobiles do they still get squashed?

Well i reckon that the majority have learned all about cars and will allow time to cross safely, but cars have progressively gotten faster and it will take somw time for this realisation to be learned.

sorry again for the deviation, but i think it shows how behaviour, danger and knowledge is gained. not just in the animal kingdom but in all life.


Offline dkv

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 299
    • View Profile
how do animals know what not to eat?
« Reply #2 on: 15/09/2007 11:57:28 »
When we fart and the smell is too bad we know that the potty is getting poisnous. And it may harm the stomach.So it is a signal to get rid of the health hazard. If there is no smell then one can some more liberty. There is no mechanical device which necessitates the garbage collection...
Similarly in horses they have senses and evolutionary habits to seperate the poisnous from delicious.