steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Telling the Potter from the Pot

I turned on Attenborough's Africa just as they started a section on a Kalahari giraffe. Enter a gnarly veteran of the desert, who's finding it harder to reach the high-up leaves on which he feeds these days, even with the aid of a 50cm tongue. He still gets by, though - and look, he appears to have found a mate!

"Time for the younger rival to make an appearance," I murmured to Jessie. (Jessie ignores the TV most of the time, but she'll sit on my lap for wildlife programmes and watch intently.)

Sure enough, the next shot showed a young male giraffe shimmering towards us through the heat. A mighty battle for mating rights ensued.

How did I know that he would be making an imminent appearance? That's what Jessie would have asked if she'd been able - but what should I have replied? Is it that this is simply what nature is like - a struggle to spread one's genes about? Or is it that BBC wildlife documentaries have a limited set of storylines, and recycle them over and over again? What is certain is that I've seen the selfsame scenario played out a hundred times, by everything from bull seals to iguanadons. Someone's imagination seems a bit limited, but is it God's or David Attenborough's?

Is there, in fact, a difference?
Tags: real life
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