100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck

Asked January 11, 2013, 12:48 PM EST

Hi there Extension experts!

I have been reading with great interest a debate being had on Andrew Sullivan's blog about a question that President Obama received when he participated in a reddit session - and has been debated by White House Staffers

I wanted to "Ask the Experts" in Extension about your thoughts - the Andrew Sullivan blog post talks about horses being prey animals, but I don't know if they act differently in herds, and there's information being posted about ducks, but I'd appreciate some science-based expertise on the subject. What say you Extension experts? Would you rather take on 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

horses training and behavior

2 Responses

Haha! Well, Andrew is right in that horses are prey animals and they always choose a fight or flight response, alone or in a group. Here is a link that scientific info you were looking for: http://www.extension.org/category/horse_training_and_behavior Ducks on the other hand, may be aggressive depending on breed. I can't speak for all of the Extension experts, but I am more comfortable around horses so I guess I would prefer 100 of the duck-sized horses to 1 horse sized duck. However, if the horse-sized duck was gentle, it would definitely be easier to control just 1 animal vs. 100 with all of their individual personalities that come into play as well. Not to be anthropomorphic, but they are individuals with differences in behavior related to that.

Thanks for the information! After waiting on an answer from Extension, I found the information I was looking for via Conor Friedersdorf, a journalist at The Atlantic - who asked a biologist at the University of California: John M. Eadie - who provided Conor with with a lot of background information - with a deeper scientific basis than the commenters on Andrew Sullivan's blog.