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...in the mist
Written on 07.14.04, at 1:17 am

I watched with interest as the various herds moved about their territory. Its still unclear to me as to how the pack mentality works, but the usefulness of that system is quickly pointed out when one breaks away from the collective. Even in the dim light, one lone body is easily picked out by a rival group, and that exposure leaves it vulnerable to attack, thus the herd mentality serves its purpose in one way by showing strength in numbers. The fact that so many different species can co-exist in one place at the same time is fascinating.

 

The grazing areas are usually quiet close to sunset, but as the moon rises, more and more tend to venture out to feed. Two watering holes flank a large plain where the majority of them congregate some lazing along the perimeter, some engaging in a rhythmic pattern of movement when others are near, implying some sort of ritual hinging on attracting a partner. Throughout the evening they will retreat to the outskirts to refresh themselves, which has a seemingly intoxicating effect, as they return to their mating patterns with increased frenzy. It seems to be that this is the least opportune time to break with the pack, as the effects of the evening tend to create an alternate reality, increasing the possibility of coercion.

 

Strangely enough, however, this is usually the time when more and more of the younger will venture out on their own, opening themselves up as easy prey. The older carnivores tend to use this moment to spring into action. Having held their ground near the oases, they begin to circle, fanning out to increase the possibility of snapping up an unwitting youngster. Sadly, more often than not this strategy works, and many of the young are snatched up, only to be taken back to darkened lairs where luckily, many manage to escape the following morning, leaving behind false trail markers so as not to be tracked.

 

Many of the males, especially the ones moving in packs, seemed to spend a majority of their time on constant guard. When an outsider would move into their territory, the aggressive reaction would begin on a group level. Standard displays involved baring their teeth, rolling eyes, or turning away to ignore the invader, thereby rendering his attempts at interaction null.

 

Some I observed had taken to mimicking the behaviors of the females. By donning false manes and elaborate markings, these males would pose as matriarchal figures, and would occasionally present themselves among the herd through specialized gesticulations, imitating the movements of the female species. The younger males would occasionally take notice and, with an almost reverent approach, present a gift or offering for this display.

 

These events occur cyclically throughout the evening, culminating in an abrupt ending each night as an unexpected burst of light covers the area, forcing the darkness out. At this point the creatures seem to recover from their state of rapture, falling almost instantaneously into a frenzied confusion. This all-reaching light will at times even cause them to flee from mates whom they had spent an entire evening courting. The reason for this is yet unknown, but researchers believe that it is a defense mechanism, allowing the male to avoid a future attack by the herd for his actions.

 

Applying this research on a global scale has proved less difficult than previously imagined. Through personal field studies and firsthand accounts throughout the world, it becomes clear that the behavioral patterns of homo sexual have a distinct commonality, even across continents. Though it is unclear as to whether a reasonable and concise theorem will be formulated within our lifetime, researchers the world over agree that continued interaction with these complex creatures in their own environment is the only way to advance any true understanding as to their sociology. 


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