Animal instincts

Lessons from the animal world: the giraffe has enhanced vision due to its great height, while the elephant uses its large brain and encyclopaedic knowledge of its domain to lead its herd to water.

by Strategy
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

On the downside, it is slow to respond to the unexpected. Zebras are more flexible and have a range of responses to threats: they can fight using their sharp teeth; run away using their rapid acceleration; or create a black and white visual confusion by drawing together in a herd.

Hippopotami are strongest when sticking to the river: their fat reserves help them avoid hypothermia and their teeth ward off even the Nile crocodile. However, on land they are slow and clumsy.

Cheetahs use their prodigious speed to get to their prey first, but can overheat; and the longest survivor of all - the Nile crocodile - is protected by armour-plated skin and is an opportunistic hunter.

Strategies of the Serengeti,
Stephen Berry,
Strategy, Issue 11, March 2007

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