Interspecies Conflict/Turkey Day....


Yea not that she nows nuthin, but my wife made sum stoopid remark the other day about turkeys being smart creechers and it gots me thinkin... what IF those sum guns reelly DID have sum brains? What wood happin do u think?  You reckon them big chikins wood turn against us for eatin em all these years? I mean its not like its are fault or nuthin. It was the pilgrums that started this mess. But I digest. What im really curious about is this... if turkeys suddenly got smart on us, how many of them daggum things would it take to take out a person? Cuz I reckon we gots enuff bodies to take em out, but im not the expert here, you is. So help me out man, puts my mind at eeze.

Hello Edlardo.

Q: ... if turkeys suddenly got smart on us, how many of them daggum things would it take to take out a person?

A: Interesting question!  Turkeys actually are pretty smart birds.  Here's part of an answer I gave from a while back regarding turkeys: "Wild turkeys can attain weights of 10kg, and domestic ones can exceed this weight (11-14kg or even more).  Turkeys fight by aggressively kicking forward with their legs and using their beaks to peck & bite.  Groups of domestic turkeys will surround an invading snake (even a venomous one), and take turns striking the serpent with their talons & beaks (jumping back to avoid strikes) until it is exhausted trying to defend itself (at which time the turkeys kill it).  Once domestic turkeys are placed in a fence or enclosure, they become very territorial and will defend the area from intruders."  When a human walks through a group of domesticated turkeys, the birds will part like the Red Sea to enable easy passage, but will also follow the person from behind (as if to assign the person as a leader) at the same time.  Now to answer your question, we'll need to assume the turkeys have become sentient beings and have decided to "even the score" after many years of persecution when the holidays roll around.  I know of an individual attacked by a tom (male) turkey as a youth that received a nasty scar on his chest from the bird's kick (the turkey actually jumped up to deliver the kick).  Young domestic turkeys are typically debeaked (a proceedure where a small portion of the upper beak is removed) to keep them from collectively pecking a weaker (or wounded) member to death.  For an average-sized human, I would guess that decent-sized flock (20 to 30?) of large toms would be required to overcome the individual, and a small flock (10 to 15?) would be adequate to drive the human away.  In some cases I'm sure it's more; in others much less.  Hard to say without knowing the physical abilities and mental toughness of the human, as well as trying to imagine an angry mob of self-aware turkeys attacking a target in a collective effort.

Hope that helps, Edlardo.  Have a good Turkey Day.

Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

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Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.


From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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