Interesting Things – Meerkat School

SmileyCentral.com

MEERKAT SCHOOL

“… and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.” Exodus 4:15b

Behavioral researchers define teaching very specifically. First, of course, a teacher must have pupils. Then the teacher must be less efficient in doing whatever he is doing than he normally would be if he were alone, as a means of showing the pupils how to do the task. And finally, the pupils must learn the task more quickly than they would on their own.

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo ©©Auckland_Zoo

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo ©©Auckland_Zoo

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo by that definition, humans, of course, are teachers. Among animals, only a species of ant meets this definition of teaching. But now researchers from the University of Cambridge in England say that meerkats also qualify as teachers. They found that experienced hunters will take young, inexperienced pups with them when they hunt. They will let the youngsters watch them as they catch prey. Of course, when they catch some small prey, the youngsters will vocally beg for a handout. However, only 35 percent of those handouts are served to the youngsters dead. The rest of the time they have to learn how to subdue the caught prey themselves. On the other hand, older, more experienced pups received already-killed handouts only 10 percent of the time. Further tests involving live and dead prey show that those given live prey could learn to subdue it in only three days.

Despite the researchers’ presupposition that teaching evolved, God is still the One that teaches the teachers.

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Prayer:
Father, I pray that you would provide Your church with faithful teachers of the forgiveness we have in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Notes:
Science News, 7/15/06, p. 36, S. Milius, “Live Prey for Dummies.” Photo: Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo. Courtesy of Ashleigh Thompson. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

©Creation Moments – Meerkat School, 2014.


Lee’s Additions:

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

I have always enjoy watching Meerkats and thought you might enjoy another Interesting Things blog. Lowry Park Zoo and other zoos keep them.

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