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Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us about Health and the Science of Healing

From the book's description:

In 2005, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz consulted on an unusual patient: an Emperor tamarin at the Los Angeles Zoo. While examining the tiny monkey's sick heart, she learned that wild animals can die of a form of cardiac arrest brought on by extreme emotional stress. It was a syndrome identical to a human condition but one that veterinarians called by a different name--and treated in innovative ways.
...
Joining with science journalist Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz employs case studies and scholarship to present an understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind. In Zoobiquity the authors describe a new species-spanning approach to health. Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.

Still recovering from Catholicism, I turned first to the chapter Roar-gasm - An Animal Guide to Human Sexuality and found that unlike the education (yet) of medical doctors, the education of veterinarians is free from Victorianism's woman-hateful and hurtful moralisms.
Some other chapters are titled The Feint of Heart, Scared to Death, Fat Planet, Grooming Gone Wild, Fear of Feeding, and Leaving the Nest.

Though not in the medical field, I'm looking forward to an interesting read.

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I've read some articles about stressed out grasshoppers.

Here's one that isn't very good.

Stressed-Out Grasshoppers Can Damage the Entire Ecosystem

In the same way humans might be tempted to binge on some junk food when they're under stress, grasshoppers head for the carbohydrate-rich foods when they get scared. The difference is the grasshoppers can leave behind some big-scale problems for the environment.

A stressed grasshopper's body has less nitrogen because of the change in its diet, and microbes in the soil rely on that nitrogen to break down other material. Without the nitrogen from the grasshopper, plant parts will be broken down by microbes more slowly than usual, and without that help from the microbes, new plants will struggle to grow too.

So what freaks out grasshoppers? Well, getting eaten is pretty high on the list, and that's what researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yale used to test this idea. They split up two groups of grasshoppers; the unlucky group was exposed to spiders, and the other acted as the control. Understandably, the spider-exposed bugs went for the carbs. When they measured the rate of plant-decomposition in both areas, plants in the stress-free portion decomposed between 62 and 200 percent faster than their counterparts.

Researchers went one step further in the experiment, substituting fake "grasshoppers" in the soil with a mix of sugar, protein, and the organic compound found in grasshoppers' external skeletons. Even the small amount of nitrogen microbes took from the protein was enough to help out in decomposition.

More above.

Thanks, Chris. I searched in Zoobiquity (an ebook) and found 13 mentions of grasshoppers. The blurbs with these mentions suggest that Zoobiquity may be the source of your info. The researchers wanted to keep their grasshoppers so they glued shut their spiders' mouths.

I don't know about spider's mouths.

This is a facinating subject.

Sorry I'm too lazy to provide references. Trees will send off a signal when giant herbivors such as giraffes, or elephants are feeding.

Grass will do the same thing when insects are eating.

I read that trees and plants will signal other 'greenery' to change their chemical 'odor' to make them unplesent for herbavores.

Parts of Asia used to keep crickets in cages, because it was thought of as good luck.

I wonder if the cricket noise kept mosquitoes away or something such as that.

Phukyou lizards may be a similar thing to keep around.

Don't know where the boundry between myth and truth is.

Plants are not sitting ducks waiting for herbivores to eat them.

There is a common attitude toward plants, accordingly, plants are waiting around to be found and eaten by herbivores. This common approach toward plants is a great underestimation of the huge and variable arsenal of defensive plant strategies. Plants do everything evolution has allowed them to do in order not to be eaten. Therefore, plants are not sitting ducks and many plants outsmart and even exploit many invertebrate and vertebrate herbivores and carnivores for pollination and for seed dispersal, and even carnivores and parasitoids for defense.

I've seen articles on communication in flora and am amazed.

Sometimes I think of natural selection's waste; for every gene change that strengthens a line of descent, how many result in an individual's death before it would weaken the line.

"How foolish", I think when I remember being told of Catholicism's teaching that because we humans have souls we are superior and "chosen" by its fantasy god.

Are we more than evolved bacteria with abilities that other bacteria don't have?

Tom,

Are we more than evolved bacteria with abilities that other bacteria don't have?

Yes, however we still contain the other basic ingredients of bacteria.

Aren't we all something like 98% bacteria?

I read a couple articles saying that human gut bacteria and the nerves in the gut is as complicated if not more than the brain.

Maybe that's why having a 'gut' feeling about something is more important than many give credit for.

Fortunately I wasn't raised with the Adam and Eve theology, or any other religious scriptures as absolute truths so it's difficult for me to understand how difficult it is for people who were indoctinated into whatever religious denomination was forced upon them from birth to overcome.



It seems as though it would be like trying to convince someone that the sky is a different color, which of course it is depending upon weather conditions, or where the sun and or moon is.


I guess binary people say the sky is blue.  Color blind may be the only way I can envision it.


I talked with a guy who had a bunch of Jesus tattoos on his arms. He said he was home schooled. Somehow he was able to go to a public college (or in the military)  where he learned that there are other theories and ways of thought.


That was great for him. Too bad it took so long and he scarred himself up with tatoos of ideas he outgrew.


He is an example of someone who represents why there shouldn’t be home schooling or strict religious indoctrination.

I see TV commercials advertizing probiotics.

Apparently the pharmacutical industry and some consumers think gut flora and fauna is benificial. It should be available from a healthy diet.

Only the U.S.A. and New Zealand allow TV commercials for pharmacuticals. 

Over the counter 'supplements' are unregulated.

Dung beetles are one of my favorite insects. Pharmacutical companies are probably a close second.

Baked, boiled or fried, Chris?

First thought,  I'd say sushimi, but that culinary word doesn't fit with insects, or grubs.

Fresh,

Crunchy on the outside with a creamy delectable center.


It might be a good idea to wash your hands after eating them.

Chuckle.

Stressed-Out Grasshoppers Can Damage the Entire Ecosystem

Thanks for the link Chris interesting read.

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