• Question: Do animals have the same basic needs as humans? e.g shelter sunlight shelter love and affiction.

    Asked by rymahalfaoui97 to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Shane on 22 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 22 Nov 2012:

      yes and no… All animals (and indeed plants, bacteria and all living things) have the same basic needs: eat, dont be eaten or fall down a hole, and reproduce.

      After that, things get very varied. Shelter is useful to avoid being eaten or dying from the cold or heat. Sunlight is not necessary for all animals, as many live in the very deep oceans or in dark caves where there is no light at all. Love is a very human characteristic, so its not possible to really say that animals love each other – I dont think they do. However, many animals do find a mate and stay with them for life – birds do this a lot, so while they might not show love, the do show commitment to another (to a greater or lesser extent!!). I would probably put affection in there too, but again, many animals like birds, primates, cats and dogs clearly enjoy being groomed and cleaned by their group-mates so some social contact is essential for many animals as well as humans.

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 22 Nov 2012:

      Great question!

      Yes – animals do have most of the same basic needs as we do. After all, we are animals too!

      Animals do need shelter – whether its for protection from the weather or to hide from predators. This shelter varies a lot from animal to animal….some shelter underground, and other animals spend their whole lives in the trees!

      Andrew is right – not all animals need sunlight, but for most of us, it helps keep us healthy. Even humans! There are important vitamins that we can get from sunlight that we need to have.

      For love and affection…thats a tough one, and we’re not really sure to what extent animals feel love. And it can be hard to tell when they’re giving ‘affection’ as well.

      Scientists are doing a lot of research now with primates, to try and figure out what kinds of feelings and emotions they have. The coolest one I saw was a few weeks ago, when some scientists did an experiment to figure out if monkeys can feel jealous. This video is HILARIOUS and has a very funny ending. But its important to science, because it helps us figure out when kinds of emotions they feel. Watch it, its awesome (only about 2.5 minutes long), and has a funnnny ending!