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Nancy Kaminski wrote:
> Decimate is always misused---it was originally the punishment of killing
> every tenth man in a Roman century (the military unit, not 100 years).
> But the lion's share? Isn't that taking everything, not your just share?
>Ah, finally all that time spent watching Animal Planet pays off.
>:-) Actually, lions lose their kill more often than not to hyenas
>and other scavengers.
<g> Ah, actually lion's share is literally appropriate: what happens more
often than not (as naturalists discovered once they had infra-red cameras)
is that the hyenas make the kill, the lions drive the hyenas off and take
the "lion's share" of the kill, and the hyenas then come back after the
lions have eaten and get the scraps. (Any parallel between this situation
and modern management is left as an exercise for the reader. :-)
Before infra-red cameras, naturalists had no idea what was happening in the
night (you don't hang around too close to hungry hyena packs). What they saw
once the sun came up was lions feeding on a kill and hyenas hanging around
looking for a share, so they concluded the lions had made the kill and the
hyenas were scavengers... when actually it was the other way round.
Which is, I suppose, one reason why people lurk - to avoid the lions! <g> It
would never make an inspirational poster, though; "Be A Hyena, Not A Lion".
Laughing all the way to the veldt...
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