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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Nature’s Democracy: How Animal-People Vote for Survival

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Did you know that while humans started forming democracy back in ancient Greece, we animal-people were already using a democratic voting system? Most of us live in a group with little chance of survival on our own, which is why having a leader through a majority vote is vital for us.

Within our baboon-folk society, we have a ranking system. We do not have one particular figure, but a few high-ranking individuals. Another species such as the white-face capuchin monkey-people use trill sounds to persuade the group to go find food in their chosen direction, but the caller is not always successful in getting others to follow along. In the Tonkean macaque-society, the fruit-loving primates also go by majority vote, but instead of sounds, they will walk in a certain direction.

Next up we have the mighty buffalo-people. When researchers studied them, they were curious as to how they chose their travel direction. At first, the researchers only saw what seemed to be the stretching. Later on, it was discovered that the stretching they saw was in fact the buffalo-citizens voting.

Wow, isn’t it amazing how these different animal-societies cooperate? There are subtle differences between them, but have you noticed a major similarity? Yes! All their voting and final decision is supported by the majority, performed peacefully and with little or no fighting.

Next on the list we have African wild dog-people. They sneeze to vote. Our super-cute meerkat-friends also use a sound for their voting system. Like most of our avian friends, pigeon-people flock in groups and fly within a synchronized manner. According to research at the University of Oxford, they have a complex social hierarchy and will cause a coup if their group does not deem their leader fit enough to lead.

Even though bee-populations have a queen, they do not work like a monarchy, but as a democracy. Moving even closer to the ground, we have cockroaches. Unlike some others in the animal kingdom, they do not have a social structure. And yet, they are able to achieve consensus.

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