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I was thinking that animals in zoo's have better lives but shorter live expectancies. Does this mean that if any creature lives in a concentrated habitat live short lives?

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closed as off-topic by kingledion, L.Dutch, Hohmannfan, James K, Mołot Mar 10 '17 at 7:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – kingledion, L.Dutch, Hohmannfan, James K, Mołot
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This question is not about Worldbuilding, it is about animal husbandry. Therefore it is off-topic for this site. I am voting to close. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 10 '17 at 2:14
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    $\begingroup$ You should not be so fast to accept an answer here on WB. It's best to wait at least 24 hours. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 10 '17 at 3:34
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Both yes and no. There are some animals that live good, long lives in an enclosure, never knowing they're being protected.

Other animals know they're not in their "Natural" habitat. Some don't care, others get stressed out and die quicker. Interactions with people can also influence lifespan. Ants in an ant farm aren't really aware they're being watched, while a polar bear most certainly does.

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  • $\begingroup$ So does this mean that it depends on certain matters? $\endgroup$ – SavageCabbage Mar 10 '17 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ I'm no biologist, but there are a LOT of things that go into play here. A non-zoo artificial habitat would probably extend life expectancy more than anything, as those running the habitat would be able to tailor it for whatever is living inside. $\endgroup$ – Andon Mar 10 '17 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ ohhhh okay, so it means the better the habitat, the longer the animal lives $\endgroup$ – SavageCabbage Mar 10 '17 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ To a point, yes. Things won't die from diseases if that disease is prevented from entering that habitat, etc. But a "Perfect" habitat won't make things immortal. $\endgroup$ – Andon Mar 10 '17 at 0:56
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Not all animals have shorter lives in zoos. I don't know all the reasons but I think that one factor is if the creature doesn't have the intelligence to know that it is in captivity, its lifespan is longer because of the lack of predators and other threats (plus the very good health plan you get as a zoo resident).

Also, enclosure size to animal size is a factor. If the enclosure is big enough that the animal doesn't know it's in a zoo, there's no ill effect.

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  • $\begingroup$ I meant like a real artificial habitat, not a zoo with cages but like in Rio. $\endgroup$ – SavageCabbage Mar 10 '17 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ Like I mean if earth got destroyed and humans were forced to live underground, would we have shorter life expectancies? $\endgroup$ – SavageCabbage Mar 10 '17 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ @SavageCabbage, the first generation? Probably. The following generations would consider the situation to be normal. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 10 '17 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ so if a baby lizard was born there, it would think that it was normal, right? $\endgroup$ – SavageCabbage Mar 10 '17 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is that some creatures are more controlled by instinct verses learning. People can learn to live with a large number of situations but instincts can be pretty binary. If the living conditions go against the instincts, you need to change the living conditions if you want them to survive. If you mimic just enough of the natural environment to satisfy the instincts, they will be happy. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 10 '17 at 1:00

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