DailyDirt: Are Animals Getting Smarter?
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
As people study animals in more depth, we're finding out that animals may be smarter than previously thought. There might be some confirmation bias in some of these studies, since no one really looks for animals that are dumber. But it's still fascinating to see complex animal behavior that suggests their cognitive abilities aren't so different from humans. Here are a few examples of some interesting animal observations.
- Chimpanzees have been found with cultural differences, in that some groups of chimps have different nut cracking techniques than others. Chimps growing up using stones to crack open nuts know how to use other tools, but they just prefer using stones. And female chimps that join new chimp tribes adopt the social etiquette of their new peers. [url]
- Brain Storm is the name of a mouse that has been trained to go through fairly complex obstacle courses. Brain Storm wasn't harmed or abused during his extensive training in mouse agility, but other pet mice have not been so lucky. [url]
- The numerical abilities of three American black bears have been studied -- and it looks like bears know how to estimate small quantities. Bears could have similar mathematical skills as some primates, or maybe these researchers were working with relatives of Yogi the Bear who is, by all accounts, smarter than the average bear. [url]