Rewilding the Science of Animal Behavior - Immediate Moment and Concentric Ring Theory


This is great. Thanks for sharing this. I want more !


Thermodynamics is flow and flow creates design ?


Yes the laws of thermodynamics (entropy, areas of high concentration drawing into areas of low concentration) refer to the result of flows, while the Constructal Law describes how those flow process perform that result. Those flow processes have a configuration which can be called a “design”.


One of the things I think about is that flow systems are interacting with other flow systems for example a tree is a flow system and the wind is a flow system. Everywhere systems interact they affect the others design leaving a “track”. The constructal law says how things “should be” and when they not there was a resistance or an interaction with another flow and that’s a track


Now for an interlude - Kevin Behan’s Immediate Approach Theory syncs up seamlessly with the Concentric Ring theory of well-known naturalist and tracker Tom Brown, jr. (author of “the Tracker” and 16 other books). His first student, Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows, also an accomplished tracker, naturalist, and booster for nature connection, has created an approach inspired by this theory called Bird Language.


Tom Brown explains Concentric Ring theory this way - “Think of nature as a pond. A rock is thrown into that pond. It makes a splash, and then rings ripple out. That splash is something happening - a predator pouncing, for example - and the rings are the reactions of the birds, insects, and other life to that event.”


Jon Young’s Bird Language approach focuses in on the bird elements of that initial splash that causes the successive concentric rings. The easiest Bird Language effect to recognize for all urban, modern humans is the Bird Plow, an effect we constantly recreate when we enter or move through a bird rich environment at our habitual urban pace and energy.


A much more subtle version of this Bird Language alarm system is when birds are vocalizing alarms with their body language directed at a particular point on the ground, called a Parabolic Alarm, a classic indicator of a stalking cat that is trying to stay hidden.


Another way of thinking of these ripples extending out across the natural landscape via bird language, is by identifying the wave-front of that alarm ripple by looking for a “peak” - a sentinel bird perched high at the top of a tree or other vantage point, with body language and attention intensely directed at an origin point.

There are a lot more bird language and concentric rings patterns; for more info dive into What the Robin Knows by Jon Young or the Bird Language DVD (which inspired the bird language images I used).


And now leaving the bird’s-eye view of the system and zooming back down to the two-pole (positive and negative) animal body, each of those poles also has a “brain” associated with it.


You can tell the “Big Brain” is in charge when there is a “head-first” quality to body language, when an animal’s forequarters (shoulders and arms) are rigid or tense.

Animals whose awareness is centered in the “Big Brain” at that moment are called “Sensitive”.

Sensitive animals are likely feeling off-balance, dizzy, with an internal head-pressure, and will react out of instincts or old habits in stiff or sudden ways. Humans will often say or think things that are familiar or habitual (regardless of whether they are helpful or wise) when fighting to regain Balance.


“The Gut Brain” is also known as the enteric nervous system or the “second brain”.

Animals whose awareness in a given moment is centered in the Gut Brain are called “Sensuous”.

Sensuous animals feel comfortable and relaxed, “in their body”, and respond adaptively in context to other animals. Tension, fear, and so on are absent.


Love it, Willem, especially the parts about predator/prey aspects to things & people. Lovely to be gifted a whole new way of looking at the world. I take my hat off to you :slight_smile:

Keep 'em coming!


Thanks woozletracker - I’m working with Kevin Behan to make sure I’m getting his concepts down right. I’ll be putting up more soon as soon as I feel I understand it well enough.


Before diving too deep into the scale of single animal bodies, I think it’s important to underscore what is implicit in all this - there is limited utility within this model to make a big distinction between animals and the land. It is one living tissue, no different than in our bodies, where air, water, earth, combustion, and the emotional flows of life mix to create designs.

This is the science of life as one unified body, one unified living system. Traditional peoples the world over recognize this Big Life worth taking one’s whole lifetime to understand and protect.


Remember predatory aspect reflects and projects energy, while preylike aspect absorbs it.


When energy flows, it is projected up and out, and absorbed in and down. Of course the bird here has absorbed that energy and is poised to accelerate away from the predator.


This successful projection and absorption is a sign of the smooth flow of energy, it makes the predator and prey one continuous wave form, one circuit, since the locomotive rhythm itself is the seamless rhythmic flow of projection and collection within one body.

Predator and prey simply act as a medium for this waveform to move through the unified mass of animal life, flowing from body to body.



Look for this yourself. Next time you are the subject of someone’s gaze, notice how that causes you to go inward and “feel your guts” to assess “how to move well” in this situation.

Remember, by definition physical memory is relived, not remembered.