And Geoff LeBaron of the National Audubon Society, admitted that the video was "pretty weird" but told HuffPost he's seen circling behavior in turkeys due to both courtship and curiosity. A protest over the sheer numbers of domestic turkeys whose lives are lost to the cat food industry?
But since the cat is clearly dead in the video, there may be a more depressing explanation behind the behavior: the turkeys are stuck in some never-ending circle, with each bird following the tail before it.
Alan Krakauer, a biologist at the University of California Davis, described the animal video as one of the spookiest he has seen in an email to Fox News. The turkeys followed each other in a circle to let other turkeys in the area know that there could be a threat, or to let the predator-the cat-know they were aware it was there. In that instance the coyote kept walking and the turkeys went back to their business.
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"I suspect they recognize the cat as a potential predator, and are circling out of curiosity or wariness, just to make sure it stays dead", he said.
Either way, we can all agree it would be alarming - for turkeys and humans alike - if that cat sprang up. He added that this type of behavior also warns other turkeys that there could be a threat.
If the unusual video has awakened a burning curiosity about turkey behavior, Krakauer would like to recommend the PBS Nature episode My Life as a Turkey.