February 18, 2009

Recent insights into animal intelligence

Recent studies are adding to the growing body of evidence suggesting that animals are much smarter than we think:
  • Baby chimps given human love ace IQ tests: Study may shed light on how early care effects human baby development
  • Monkeys can subtract: The discovery marks the first time a nonhuman species has been seen having "widespread success" with subtraction.
  • Whiz chimps outsmart college students: Three five-year-old chimpanzees have soundly defeated nine university students while playing a computer game that tests numerical memory skills
  • Baboons and pigeons are capable of higher-level cognition: It's safe to say that humans are smarter than animals, but a University of Iowa researcher is investigating the extent of that disparity in intelligence.
  • Monkeys have a sense of morality: In a series of studies scientists have found that monkeys and apes can make judgments about fairness, offer altruistic help and empathise when a fellow animal is ill or in difficulties. They even appear to have consciences and the ability to remember obligations.
Lastly, here's a video about how primate gestures may be linked to early humans -- a possible indication of how our ancestors may have communicated:

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  1. After a cereer as an infiantry soldier in the canadian forces I know that a conversation can be carried out with simple hand gestures. Even ones that aren't rehearsed. Sometimes you just read their body language and facial expression, and you know what they want you to know. Very interesting post George!

  2. Anonymous2:31 PM

    I have always suspected that animals are more intelligent that we believe. I believe that because we have language we have a method to express complicated meaning. I believe language is the root of our intelligence, without it we would not have come this far. Secondly humans are capable of reasoning, which is the basis of mathematics. In conclusion language and reasoning are they key to higher intelligence. I am personally not for animal uplifting I believe nature should endow animals with these traits if ever.


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