Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?Book - 2016
A New York Times BestsellerFrom world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal, a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.
What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
Baker & Taylor
A Time magazine top-100 influential notable and the author of Our Inner Ape presents a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence that offers a revolutionary exploration of the intricate and complex nature of the animal mind.
Frans de Waal, the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, is author of Our Inner Ape and nine other books on primate research for general readers. In this accessible book for general readers and students, he uses plain language and many b&w illustrations to explain past and present research on animal intelligence, highlighting gaps and problems in the research. Offering many stories from his own observations of primates, as well as evidence from controlled experiments, he surveys recent research showing that animals, from insects to undersea creatures to primates, have the ability to design tools, carry out plans, and identify individuals of other species, and even demonstrate a sense of empathy and justice. The book includes an extensive glossary and a wealth of b&w illustrations explaining research concepts. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
A groundbreaking work on animal intelligence explores the intricate and complex nature of the animal mind, discussing how the study of animal cognition has revealed how humans have underestimated animals' intellectual abilities.
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Cognition is the mental transformation of sensory input into knowledge about the environment and the flexible application of this knowledge.
But those stories inspire observations and experiments that do help us sort out what’s going on. The science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov reportedly once said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny.
...food-deprived chickens that were not particularly good at noticing the finer distinctions of a maze task.
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