Animal Kingdom Odd couples
May 7, 2008 3:33 PM   Subscribe

That pigeon cannot consent to being hugged by that macaque. It is a horrible abuse.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:40 PM on May 7, 2008

Thanks to The Kids in the Hall's Brain Candy, I was hoping that this slideshow would include a shot of a bat and a pig.

An iguana riding a manta ray is pretty good, though.
posted by painquale at 3:47 PM on May 7, 2008

Wolfdog, if you'll RTFA already, you'll see that the pigeon carries a rape-whistle, and its coop is equipped with a panic room.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 3:48 PM on May 7, 2008

The examples and discussion of altruism were interesting as it seems to run counter to Darwin's theory. There seems to be an invisible line, where being altruist is helpful, but it can of course be carried too far. Warning fellow monkeys of predators helps the tribe, while putting you at risk, but hopefully other monkeys will do the same for you. This ensures tribe health, at the potential risk of the individual. This isn't rational, hence those pesky emotions which make us do crazy things.

On preview:
Snark is fun, but it isn't needed for everything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:50 PM on May 7, 2008

Altruism, or the kingdom of God?

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together. --Isaiah 11:6
posted by needsnoprosecutor at 4:08 PM on May 7, 2008

[But] if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. --Leviticus 20:15.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:12 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Iguana + Manta Ray = ♥ forever.
posted by clearly at 4:18 PM on May 7, 2008

Iguana + Manta Ray = ♥ forever.

I thought rays were known these days for breaking hearts?
posted by maxwelton at 4:28 PM on May 7, 2008

There are more pictures of inter-species love at Let's Be Friends. And my recent favorite: Rex, the kangaroo-saving dog.
posted by stefanie at 4:50 PM on May 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

My aquarium is an altruism-fest. I have a mutualistic Yashia Goby/Pistol Shrimp pair, as well as a Pom-pom Crab which carries around live anemones which it uses to defend itself and feed. Then of course there are lots of corals with their zooxanthellas.
posted by mullingitover at 5:09 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

This one (which is copyrighted, but all the copyright info is right there under the photo on the link) has been one of my favorites for a long time.

thanks, brandon. this dreary day needed a bit of altruism.
posted by CitizenD at 5:29 PM on May 7, 2008

I can't believe we got this far into the thread without discussing the symbiotic relationship between monkeys and cattledogs.
posted by mullingitover at 5:43 PM on May 7, 2008

Sweet! Here's some audio. (The Redd and White Stripes version is even lovelier, if you can find it.)

Macaque-and-pigeon and frog-and-mouse work for me. Thank goodness we didn't get frog-and-scorpion, because we all know how that one ends.
posted by maudlin at 6:00 PM on May 7, 2008

I'm such a sap that these sorts of pictures and stories are a lifeline for me in down times. Thanks, Brandon Blatcher.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2008

Here's a winning couple I'm fond of.
posted by skyper at 6:44 PM on May 7, 2008

zomg cute.

Added to bookmark list right up there with,, and

Thank you.
posted by ZakDaddy at 6:44 PM on May 7, 2008

ZakDaddy: "Added to bookmark list right up there with,, and""

Don't expect much; it hasn't been updated since 2007. I suspect that's right around the time Cute Overload cornered the market on adorable animal pictures.
posted by stefanie at 7:34 PM on May 7, 2008

My aquarium is an altruism-fest.

Those are great videos and pictures, mullingitover. I really ejoyed them.
posted by amyms at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2008

Tigresses are horrible mothers.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:31 PM on May 7, 2008

horse-hooey! i'd like to know if being part of a social group but not reproductive still causes a pleasurable sensation in the mind biochemically (dopamine/serotonin/etc). because true altruism is self-less...none of these studies show selflessness on the part of these organisms.
posted by wantwit at 8:38 PM on May 7, 2008

Cute Overload has tricked me into calling this "interspecies snorgling."
posted by Locative at 8:39 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cuteness overload!

It should be pointed out, though, that most of these animals in saccharine bonding poses are juveniles or neonates. As adorable as a Tiger-Pit Bull-Llama-Sturgeon family may be when most of them are young, they are unlikely to maintain that friendship past their adolescence, when they start seeing each other as food.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:37 PM on May 7, 2008

Don't forget the lioness who kept trying to adopt oryx calves.

I wish I had pictures to show of the goat who is nursing a foal for my uncle. My uncle's friend called him one night because the mare was really struggling with the birth. He went over and helped deliver the foal. Unfortunately, they were unable to save the mare. My uncle took over a goat who was still lactating and she is allowing the foal to nurse. She stands on a hay bale and lifts he leg to let the foal access her teats. She's also sleeping with the foal and is headbutting any dogs that come near.
posted by onhazier at 9:55 AM on May 8, 2008

I don't know, onhazier, I think she's trying to domesticate Oryx. She wasn't upset that the first one was killed because of maternal instinct. Rather, she had a plan that would mean no more hunting, and the stupid male fucked it up.

Actually, its really sad. I have to wonder what maternal wiring was crossed to cause her to KEEP doing that. I wonder what happened to the last one, that article is from 2002.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:22 PM on May 8, 2008

This made me squeal in my office. Well done, sir.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:40 AM on May 9, 2008

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