The Atlantic

The Secret Logic of Cows

A new mathematical model explores the complex reasons herd animals stay with a group or leave it.
Source: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

A cluster of cows browsing under the summer sun might look like they haven’t a care in the world. But the life of a herd animal is filled with trade-offs and decisions. Although they seem interchangeable, each one is an individual with its own particular desires. If a cow isn’t finished eating or lying down digesting by the time the herd picks up and moves, it may have to go along anyway.

There are benefits to staying together, in that has shown that cows that are made to move more frequently than they’d like grow more slowly, perhaps from the stress of not being able to follow their desires. There is a cost to not doing as one pleases.

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min de lecturePsychology
Stop Keeping Score
“How to Build a Life” is a column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Starting today, the column will be published weekly on Thursday mornings. I am an inveterate scorekeeper. I can go back decades and find lists of goals I
The Atlantic7 min de lectureWorld
Joe Biden Has a Europe Problem
The new president has a daunting list of foreign-policy challenges. Among the biggest will be managing a longtime ally.
The Atlantic4 min de lectureCrime & Violence
America’s Shadow Death Row
The government does not exclusively kill people who are on death row. It condemns many to die by drone strike.