solitary animals

I was looking for ways to show introverts how natural this trait is and make them more relaxed about their personality, but usual inspirational quotes looked too cheesy for me. If they don’t work for me, why should they work for others?

One day I found that tiger is a solitary hunter spending most of his time alone. The same is with octopus. The same with panda. And then I understood – that’s awesome! These animals are interesting, fascinating – tiger is a ruthless hunter, an octopus is incredibly intelligent and panda is cute, and they all are … I guess we can call them introverts! (Even if psychologists and biologists don’t agree.)

Why couldn’t those animals tell their stories about life and be role models (spirit animals) for subtle personalities? If one cannot be as tough as a lion, why not be as tough as a tiger? Social chimps are intelligent, but so are solitary octopuses. Elephants and giraffes are fascinating, but so are platypuses, koalas and many other animals I didn’t even hear about because they were too shy to take the spotlight. Red pandas are super cute, but why haven’t we heard anything about them?

If you want to jump straight into the world of nature to find your spirit animal here is the link to a meme series about animals, called “Introversion is natural!” Just click on this image:

But if you want to know more facts about solitary animals, then keep reading.

About solitary animals

There are many species spending their time alone. They can be as big as rhinoceros or as small as a mole, they can live in a forest, in a sea or on a glacier, they can be predators and they can eat plants only (vegetarians). This trait of being solitary has developed in many species independently.

One of the main reasons why animals spend their time alone is competition with their own kind. Sometimes it is easier to find food when there are no other members of the same species around. In such cases, animals can become aggressive at each other when they meet.

Even the most solitary animals do few social things:

They find a mate to reproduce. Sure, if species would not reproduce, they would get extinct, so, from time to time, they meet the opposite sex to spend some time together. (However, pandas in captivity have trouble even with that.)

They take care of their young for some time. Most of the species do that: feed their offsprings, take care of them, teach them, until it’s time to separate. Sometimes parents leave their young on their own, sometimes youngsters decide to leave themselves, that varies from species to species. There are cases when an individual lives alone from birth, that’s common in sea animals.

So, if introversion is a very natural thing, it is also very natural for introverts to spend time with their family or another really close group.

One thing is always confused about being solitary. Solitary does not mean territorial. Some animals appear solitary because they are territorial, for example, cats. They are social and like being with other cats, but only with those who belong to their group. If there is an intruder from another territory, they will be hostile towards that intruder. On the other hand, some solitary animals have overlapping territories and do not attack intruders. This is quite common with females in many species.

Also, some animals are solitary but social. They hunt for food separately, but sleep in the same place, share nests with others. Orangutans belong to such group.

Humans are considered to be social animals, and some scientists think that they are so much social, that they can be called eusocial. Eusociality is the way bees and ants live, they have distinct roles in the society and are biologically adapted to these roles, their society could be considered as a single organism. Opinion about eusocial humans is generally rejected, but the fact that humans as species are not loners is well established.

But there can be examples with exceptions from a general rule. The best known is the lone wolf example. Wolves live in large families and hunt in packs, but some of them do not join the pack and hunt alone. So, solitary humans are more like lone wolfs than orangutans.

I believe that humans can find ideas, strength, and inspiration in the way nature works. Check the series of animal memes, maybe you will find your spirit animal there.

All facts provided in this series are taken from Wikipedia and they are as accurate as Wikipedia. If you want to get updates follow me on facebook or twitter. Any suggestions to this list are welcome (contacts here). Have fun, enjoy your time and take as much strength from nature as you need!