TED Conversations

greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement


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What have you learned from animals?

I was thinking about squirrels and how they eat pine nuts and acorns, and this led me to watch YouTube videos how I could harvest pine nuts and acorns.

Hearing how animals emphasize smell led to me to read books and articles about perfume.

Sometimes I'll get down on all fours and walk like an animal to exercise my arms.

Hearing how jackals eat bones on the African plains helped me realize you can eat hard things. I used to think you couldn't eat a snail live because the shell was too hard. But now if I find a garden snail on my walk I'll eat it, shell and all. I discovered the shell really isn't all that hard.


Closing Statement from greg dahlen

I concluded that people do watch animals and think about what they do and learn from them but I wondered if they could go farther. For example, I wish there weren't "indecent exposure" laws, I wish we could go nude in public like when I want to go out and hang laundry on the line to dry.

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  • Jul 20 2013: I.e. It has been proven that dogs' sense of smell is something like 10 times more acute than ours is, that deer and elephants hear much more than we do etc. By the same token, people who lose one of their senses are compensated in having another sense become much more acute than the general public's is. Elephants and fish not only hear better than humans but they also "hear" through vibrations. I.e. in the tsunami, most animals escaped to higher ground long before humans knew something was going to happen.
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      Jul 21 2013: good general facts, M-L, I'm not sure what you mean "By the same token," people who lose a sense and have other senses magnified are not like animals who have all five senses but one is extremely strong. What are you trying to say here?

      What is your source on the "hearing vibrations" thing? Why can't human beings do this, I presume you're saying they can't since we know many died in the tsunami.

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