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It is true that some animals are really capable of having the same emotions and behaviors as human beings, but often we cannot understand them.
There are some animals that like to stay in social groups, and some that are independent, living on their own. Human beings are also the same.
While some of us like to surround our lives with family and friends, many of us want to spend our days alone as much as possible.
Survival of the fittest is the law in the wild jungles around the world. Traveling in social groups can help the animals in this regard. These groups can be huge in size, like a herd of a thousand wildebeest, or small groups, like a pride of lions. Some animals might like to live a solitary life, such as snow leopards and bears, who can be seen forming pairs only during mating. The animals that live in groups remain together so that they can help one another in times of need, much like us.
An interesting fact to note is that the group name varies with each species of animal. We have the cauldron of bats, the pack of wolves, the herd of elephants and so much more. It is quite fascinating to study the social behavior of animals and try to understand the reasons for their behavior.
If you like this article and want to read similar articles like this, do check out these articles on animals in Iceland and animals in the Arctic Ocean here at Kidadl.
Although there are many animals that form herds and families so that they can protect one another and hunt together, many species of creatures like to spend their time independently. Such animals like to live and travel on their own without forming any kind of group. These creatures might interact with other members of their species only to fight over territory or mates.
There are a number of advantages to animals living independently. One of the primary advantages is that these independent creatures have no liability to share their food with any other animals. This factor is quite significant when we take into account the low supply of food in some areas and the energy required to hunt for more prey.
If the creatures are independent, it makes it easier for them to hide from predators or prey. You can imagine the difficulty of a herd of buffaloes hiding compared to a sole buffalo. When it remains alone, the animal does not need to wait for anyone else and is free to move about whenever it wants. It can also hide itself without having to worry about its mate, children, or any other members of the social group.
Some of the independent creatures consist of moles, bears, snow leopards, and great white sharks. Living in underground tunnels dug by themselves, moles are tiny mammals who make ample use of their claws and hands in creating an intricate system of tunnels in forests, grasslands, and dirty gardens and yards. Scientists have found that these creatures are so fond of living on their own that if the number of moles in one acre is in excess of three, it might be considered a crowd. All types of bears are fond of living alone, including polar bears, grizzly bears, and black bears.
Cubs might live with their mother, but that too is for a short period after birth. Snow leopards live in the snow-covered alpine Himalayan mountains, hunting and living by themselves. For a brief time during mating season, the females and males stay together. Very soon, the male leaves with no care or concern for the cubs. Great white sharks are one of the biggest predators on the planet, but they are also solitary creatures. Some members might come together if there is a lot of prey. The food source of this gigantic animal includes sea turtles, seals, and sea lions.
The advantages of living in a group highly outweigh those of having a solitary lifestyle. Some social animals like the company of other members of the social group with a genuine enjoyment in it. But mostly, the instinct for survival pushes animals towards forming groups.
There are a number of reasons for traveling in large groups. Firstly, there cannot be any denial of the fact that there is safety in large numbers. It is easier for beasts like buffalo to protect themselves from predators when they are in group formation. On the other hand, lions like to hunt together so that better results are yielded. Another benefit of forming groups is that the young ones can be raised together. This is a difficult job for both humans and other creatures, and it becomes a bit easier when there are more adults to look after them. Animals can help in taking care of one another in moments of crisis if they stay in groups.
The composition of animal groups may be determined by the birth of an offspring or the death of an older member. The death may also have come due to an attack by a predator. The larger the group, the greater the number of eyes to watch out for any danger. Living in the savannah grasslands of Africa, meerkats can stand up and see if there are any predators around them, such as big birds. These animals dig burrows in the soil with a number of rooms having fixed entry and exit points. These points help the meerkats hide and escape from predators. The finding of mates becomes easier when living in groups. The animals have no need to travel far away to find potential mates.
The gathering of food becomes less tiring when animals form groups. Mention must be made here of honey bees. These are some of the most organized insects on the planet, among which worker bees are the most efficient. From the plethora of jobs that these bees undertake, the supply of nectar from flowers for the colony is vital for the survival of the species. A sort of waggle dance is done by worker bees when they wish to inform other bees in their hive about flowers. The worker bees share the nectar with other bees while also feeding the larvae. A beehive is a primary example of what insects can achieve by staying together.
We, humans, are social creatures. Scientists have studied and shown in their reports the devastating consequences of being alone on the human psyche. Many animals also stay in groups for a major part of their lives.
It is not only human beings who interact socially with one another; many animals also stay focused on creating groups for a lifetime of togetherness. Close related members form groups that get changed from time to time when someone dies or is born. Human beings are conditioned to live a social life from their childhood. This is the society that dictates to us. But there is not much difference for some people who prefer solitary lifestyles. Wild animals in the jungle have to face the dangers of both predators and poachers. Further, if predators are organized into social groups, they can hunt down large organisms quite easily.
Human beings often forget that animals are also capable of behaving and feeling the same emotions as they do even if they have powerful bonds with family and friends.
The reason that we do not see them behaving like us is that their mode of expression is different. As a result of this, we treat them with harshness by placing them in captivity, separating them from their family, using them in circuses, or carrying heavy loads. To end this harsh cycle of forgetting about them, we need to practice compassion. There are a number of ways in which animal families are similar to our families.
Male elephants might be more suited to a solitary life, but females live in herds. A matriarch rules over a family of multi-generational elephants. The herd might consist of any number of elephants between 6-12. Elephants in herds are very protective of their babies, rushing to help them if they get stuck in mud or caught in river currents, or even mourning for the loss of a herd member.
Dolphins are one of the most caring creatures in nature. They have been observed to care for not only other dolphins but other species as well. Records show how they have come to the aid of whales and seals. These marine creatures have even saved humans from drowning and from shark attacks.
The bond in a wolf pack can be compared to that between the alpha male and alpha female dog. Scientists have observed wolves sacrificing their lives to save the lives of other members of wolf packs.
A pride of lions is one of the most social groups you will ever see. Female lions are the main members of the pride and remain in the same group till death. Male cubs are sent away two years after birth and they join another pride of lions a little later.
The size of the group depends on the species of the animal and how they behave with one another, whether they need protection from other animals or not.
Zebras live in groups that consist of a single male and a number of females. The dominant members are the females who have stayed the longest. The females protect the young ones from outside males and predators.
A wolf pack mainly consists of a dominant mating pair of parents and their babies. Although the majority of the time, a pack has 5-11 wolves. Huge groups of 42 wolves have also been known to exist.
Lions form prides of about 15 individuals, but large groups of more than 30 lions have also been located by experts.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for animals that travel in groups, then why not take a look at animals that live in the Death Valley or animals in Iran.
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