Do any other animals 'annoy' each other on purpose?

Humans intentionally annoy each other quite frequently. Whether it be poking someone repeatedly or saying the same thing over and over, human-human annoyance happens all the time.

Are there any animals out there that annoy members of their fellow species intentionally? I’m not referring to unintentional annoyance (like when a cat suddenly gets annoyed by another cat licking it), I’m referring to a calculated attempt to another animal.

in the tropics, sharks annoy seals on shore to scare them into venturing into the water (!!!) in the arctic, orcas annoy penguins to make them venture into the water and then GULP!

there’s a darwinian principle there. annoy on purpose only the gullible ones.

One cat here intentionally antagonizes the female because he likes the reaction she gives and he is, as ethologists say, a dick. In more natural settings apes or monkeys act annoying, particularly juveniles who antagonize an older male. In all these cases, the cause may be something like asserting dominance instead of for the “lulz.”

I’m not sure why you think that cats annoying each other is accidental. I have watched cats go out of their way to do things that other cats don’t like. I’ve seen dogs and goats do it, too, if less frequently. My wife’s family, (horseriders and farriers), have made similar observations about horses.

I would not claim any serious knowledge of animal psychology and I would not insist that our observations could never be anthropomorphizing, but I would guess that it is not that rare among animals.

Primatologists have documented deliberate dishonesty among various apes and chimps, so annoying behavior does not seem to be that remote a possibility, there, either.

I think humans annoying each other on purpose may be driven by the same subconcious drive.

Seconded. Only sometimes it is more conscious than others.

My deaf cat Cuthbert likes to loom over my spastic cat Albert. I used to think this was accidental because he couldn’t hear the ear-piercing shrieks, but if I hear the shrieks and come into the room, Cuth bolts. He knows he’s being bad.

I think magpies and squirrels deliberately antagonize each other - I’ve seen what appeared to be them going at each other out on a front lawn.

I have more examples of this than you can shake a stick at.

My old Gordon Setter Fancy was getting elderly, and we were enjoying a pleasant afternoon on the patio, Fancy was stretched out snoozing at my feet. My (then) Papillon Puppy Cricket had an old plastic cup she carried around with her and she began poking Fancy with it- poke, poke poke…pause…poke, poke, poke…pause… I’d tell her toknock it off, and she would stop, then wait till I went back to reading and start again.

Fancy finally got fed up, but rather than grol or snap, she simply stood up, snatchedthe cup out of Cricket’s mouth, marched it over to a raised flower bed (that Cricket couldn’t reach) and deposited the cup there, came back and flopped back down.

Problem solved.

However, fast forward to the present. Cricket is getting her come-uppance. My now Gordon Setters Nick and Kharma, both delight in poking old Cricket with their nose. She HATES this and growls at them as if she is gonna eat them.

Serves her right.

When I was young I had a miniature poodle. With a running start he could “climb” the trunk of our large elms to 6 or so feet before sliding back down to the ground. Squirrels used to perch on the tree trunks head down and chatter at him just out of his highest reach. I could never understand why they’d do something so dangerous other than the shear thrill of frustrating my dog.

That sounds like squirrels.

Poking someone reapetedly, did you say?

Crows certainly love annoying others. I had a cat that was sleeping in the shade, and a couple of crows would take turns swooping down at him, and at the nadir about two feet above him they’d CAW!! and fly back up way out of reach. He flipped the fuck out, it was so hilarious. He’d look around, then go back to sleep. Then they’d do it again.

My parent’s dog would chase a roadrunner. The roadrunner knew exactly how fast the dog could run, how high the dog could jump, and how thick the underbrush would be before the dog stopped.

The roadrunner would let the dog chase him for a while. Then, just as the dog seemed about to catch him, he would suddenly fly up into a bush, just barely out of reach. He would perch there, moving and vocalizing just enough to hold the dog’s attention. Then he would jump down and let the dog chase him some more. Then he would fly up into another bush. This cycle would repeat for half an hour or more, until either the dog got tired, or the roadrunner lost interest.

I know that it is bad science to anthropomorphize animal behaviors, but I am of the opinion that the roadrunner was deliberately taunting the dog.

Many (Most?) herd animals have the idea of an alpha critter. Depending on the species it may be male, female, or either. Alphas stay that way by brow-beating (or sometimes just beating) the rest into submission. And the rest do a decent amount of teasing in return, just to keep alpha honest.

Lots of species also have the non-alphas picking at each other to establish the hierarchy below Number One.

I think so, but it is probably linked to play behaviour. Our younger dog will “sneak” up to our older one and nibble her tail tip until she receives a reaction. The victim dog hates this and will always decline to play, but the younger one persists in it anyway.

At the San Diego Wild Animal Park there was a alpha male Giraffe named Ivan. He he considered himself the king of the (faux) veld. He spent his day wandering around, bothering other animals, including Bucky the water buffalo.

:dubious: And I suppose African tigers are so annoying that naturalists refuse to photograph them?

I was watching a nature show once about baboons. The mighty alpha was sitting on his rock thinking his alpha baboon thoughts and another guy came up and sat down beside him. Juuuust a little too close if you know what I mean. Alphaboi casually scooted away a couple inches–apparently forgiving the different opinion about personal space but not wanting to make a scene either. Other Guy scooted closer and leaned in a little bit. Alpha turned and gazed into the eyes of Other Guy. Other Guy gazed back for a few seconds and then simply raised his eyebrows. Alphaboi came unglued and pounced on Other Guy–it was on.

It was clearly a challenge, and it was clearly not evidence that Other Guy was socially incomptetent. If it was about getting the alpha position, you’d think the Other Guys of the baboon world would have evolved a simpler approach: sneak up on Alpha and hit him in the head with a rock. This exchange suggests to me that there is a “head game” element to baboon ambition. Specifically: get the other guy to lose his cool. Which is brilliant, because if you piss him off he’s probably not going to be thinking clearly, and since the fight was your plan you get an edge.

I’ve watched cats swipe at dogs with claws when no defense was warranted, just to stir shit up.

My first thought was “The OP doesn’t have any pets, does he?” Because our cats stir shit up just for giggles. Caelan will go out of his way to go poke Havoc when she’s asleep, just to get her to react.