Category: Research

Raven so smart that he “hacks” research experiment

The latest Planet of the Apes film is in theaters — and, as a fan of the series, I can’t wait to see it. But it’s not primate intelligence that’s in the news this week. It’s corvid intelligence. A study published in this month’s edition of the journal Science reveals that ravens parallel great apes… Read more »

Gorillas and Humans Use Similar Body Language to Communicate

Gorillas and humans use similar body language to communicate, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. Researchers at the University of Sussex studied a family of gorillas in a British animal park. Psychologist Dr Gillian Sebestyen said: “We shared 23 million years of evolution with great apes and then diverged approximately six million years ago. Gorillas have… Read more »

Monkeys May Possess Rich Vocabulary

A recent Discovery News article indicates that some primates may have a richer vocabulary than previously believed — but that their language may just take an unfamiliar form. Author Jennifer Viegas writes: While such syntax-like behavior has been described in other species, such as whales and dolphins, the new findings are the first to clearly… Read more »

Some Fish Can Count

Elaine sent me more evidence of fish intelligence. Researchers have discovered that certain fish can count. But only up to four. According to the London Telegraph: Previously it was known that fish could tell big shoals from small ones, but researchers have now found that they have a limited ability to count how many other… Read more »

Who Tops the Bird IQ Scale?

Since moving to our new house a little over three years ago, my wife and I have begun to love watching birds. We’re not serious about the hobby — we just dabble in it. We’ll stand at the kitchen counter and watch the jays, crows, pigeons, starlings, flickers, nuthatches, and more, as they go about… Read more »

Does Plant Communication Imply Intelligence?

I believe that animals possess greater intelligence than most people give them credit for. But plants? I’ve never considered the possibility of plant intelligence. The idea seems absurd. Yet I’ve had friends argue that plant intelligence might exist. “What are the differences between plants and animals?” they ask, and then argue about certain species (none… Read more »

Crows Observed in the Wild with Miniature Cameras

Golb Guru passed along yet another article about the intelligence of the of the New Caledonian crow. Like the last one, it’s written by Rebecca Morelle of the BBC. This time she reports that scientists have developed away to mount small cameras to the birds in order to learn more about their behavior. Recent advances… Read more »

Cultural Transmission in Chimpanzees

Lynn forwarded a story from Fox News about cultural transmission in chimpanzees. Charles Q. Choi reports: In the wild, chimpanzee troops are often distinct from one another, possessing collections of up to 20 traditions or customary behaviors that altogether seem to form unique cultures. Such practices include various forms of tool use, including hammers and… Read more »

Dogs Employ Selective Imitation

The Washington Post has a fascinating article about a new study of canine behavior. New research is adding to the growing evidence that man’s best friend thinks a lot more than many humans have believed. The provocative new experiment indicated that dogs can do something that previously only humans, including infants, have been shown capable… Read more »

Are Rats Self-Aware?

The 23 April 2007 edition of Newsweek featured an article by Sharon Begley entitled “Can animals and robots be self-aware?“. She writes: “To know what you know is [the mark] of consciousness, the last stand for human exceptionalism. Now, however, this claim is on the rocks as both animals and machines show signs that they… Read more »