Fun Fact Friday: Buffalo Voting

Rainier5/Wikimedia Commons

Rainier5/Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that African buffalo herds actually vote on which direction they’re going to travel next?  It’s true!

You may have heard of “standing votes” in the House of Representatives, where the Chair will state “”As many as are in favor will rise and stand until counted.”.

Female African buffalo instead hold a “sitting vote” of sorts. According to Wikipedia, “During resting time, the females will stand up, shuffle around, and sit back down again. They will sit in the direction they think they should move. After an hour of more shuffling, the females will travel in the direction they decide. This decision is communal and not based on hierarchy or dominance.”

There doesn’t seem to be a clear reason why the males aren’t part of the buffalo democratic process, but they don’t seem to have any complaints!



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