Discussion 4 - Interspecies Collaboration
By Alli Harrod, Cat(s) and Ducks (Mallard)(s)

Started on: 05/04/10 20:48:34
Medium: Other

So far I have yet to take Julius in the car again since my last entry because I have been very busy with a video project this week. However, while I was out filming for my project, I observed ducks in the park and got some footage of them being cute. I am curious about how ducks communicate with one another, especially the ducks that live in the Isla Vista/UCSB campus area. Throughout my four years here, I have always noticed a duck couple, male and female, that seem to traverse in a pair all over the place. I have seen them everywhere on campus and all over Isla Vista. They are always together and they seem to be deciding on where they want to go together, you can almost see their decision process in their body language as it is happening and they are walking in sync. Their interactions as a pair got me thinking about animal couples in general. In conjunction, one of my roommates recently told me a story about an animal pair relationship that made me think further on the topic.

My roommate described that she has a male and a female pet Boxer dogs who have what can only be characterized as a sort of cohabitational, “marriage mimicking” relationship with one another. She explained that they have always done things together and that for the past few years they have been cohabitating in this fashion. But she said that recently they have been having some bumps in the road, claiming that their “break up” is quite apparent to the rest of the household. She believes that the problems stem from the female being in heat and the male being fixed. Apparently more recently the female has also been seeing another male Boxer of a breeder because their family intends to breed her. My roommate believes that their “marriage” problems stem from his impotence and her desire to procreate and thus being forced to find another mate. Furthermore, apparently she also no longer wants to see him. My roommate claims that their break up makes the energy in the house tense and sometimes sad. To me, this story relates to the exercise that Barbara Janelle had us do in her workshop where she made Napoleon enter and leave the room to see how his energy changed the way we felt about the space. It also has me curious about the animal dating scene and some examples that they may take from human monogamy and cohabitation when in such an environment?
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