Animals in Captivity May Not Take Learned Skills Back to the Wild

Many believe and some have documented instances when wild animals are taken from the wild and taught a new skill, that they do not necessarily use those skills once out of captivity. Why is this? Well many reasons one, is that it may not be a practical skill to use or there is no real need. Perhaps it might jeopardize their social status to do something that the others felt out of place? Maybe they cannot teach the skill to their offspring or the others in the group are not interested in learning what they have to show them.

Recently this subject came up in an online think tank when a fellow thinker stated: “However when the same specimen is returned to its place of origin the acquired responses will not succeed within its classification. The adaptation would then be considered residual.”

Indeed this hits the nail on the head. The adaptation would be residual to the normal life of the social group or individual animal in the wild. Humans are able to adapt very quickly and often take their skills to new levels with them. That is to say that this is one thing mankind is extremely good at, very well suited and the large brain makes it very easy for him. Indeed this has helped in the “luck” phases of cataclysmic evolution after his branch off from Chimpanzees. Able to adapt no matter where or what is presented.

This is to mankind’s plus side of the “T” chart on the large legal pad of classification and abilities of the species; humans rank high there indeed. Some individual cultures rank really high, perhaps this is the explorer gene or something. These are all very interesting topics to think about indeed. So, perhaps you will consider all of this in 2006.