BBC Video: Proof that calling some politicians “bird-brained” is an insult to birds

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In the BBC video posted below, a complex puzzle is set up in an attempt to stump a crow. These birds are well-known for their intelligence and use of tools.

The crow’s problem-solving skills are amazing, which begs the questions: Should we elect crows to Congress? Could they do a better job of solving the economic problems the nation faces? Could they do a better job of promoting renewable and green energy sources? Could crows enact better protections for the environment? Would crows reject bribes from Big Oil and other special interests? Would crows be able to overturn the horrible Citizens United Supreme Court ruling with new legislation?

The answer, based on the video and other evidence collected over time, is a resounding YES to all of the above. Of course, even if the birds sat around all day and did nothing but eat treats, we would no worse off than we are now.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animals can be smarter than some people: Example No. 473

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My local city’s newspaper website runs mug shots on the main page of its website. News outlets are doing this all over and some areas have printed publications for this purpose.

So check these mug shots out every day and you will find photos of individuals who show cognitive abilities far lower than those seen in rats, mice and lizards.

Ever seen a lizard arrested for drunk driving? – No. Has a mouse or rat ever been locked up for domestic abuse? – No.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animals Can Be Smarter Than Some People: Example No. 863

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In my ongoing efforts to promote the level of intelligence found in animals, I’m offering examples of where animal smarts can exceed what we see in some humans.

Example No. 863: Clerical error leads to the release of dangerous criminal, who then kills Colorado prison chief. He was released from prison four years too early. He was probably laughing as soon as he was freed.

How is this possible? Clerical errors might be understandable on your car repair bill or property tax or something along those lines. But clerical errors that put dangerous criminals back on the streets, to put the public at risk, are inexcusable.

Animals are not that dumb. And animals do not engage in the sort of evil acts that took place as a result of this “error.”

(To fully disclose, I don’t have a list. I’m just making the specific number up each time.)

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Important study shows dogs recognize the faces of their own species

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An important study is advancing our knowledge of dogs, in showing they can recognize other dogs of their specific species, by viewing images of their faces.

Scientific American published the findings. And in the article I found about this news, I really like some other statements made about dogs, including this – “” When interacting with us, dogs can read and use our facial expressions to gauge where our attention lies and sometimes what we’re feeling. “”

And this one is equally as important – “” Dogs also display a range of facial expressions themselves, which researchers believe are used for communicating with other dogs, whether it’s to impart hostility, friendliness, fear, and so on. “”

I am really excited about the recent advancements made in the study of animals and their level of intelligence and their connections to us. We are learning so much about them.

But unfortunately, it will take more time to convince the anti-science side of the room. Over the last few years, too much press have been given to the anti-science side.

Science needs to be moved deeper into the discussion and debate about animal-welfare laws and regulations. We must advance these protections into the 21st Century.

 

Researchers: Apes have similar personalities to humans

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An article published last week by the Huffington Post reported on new research on the personalities of chimpanzees, conducted by an international team of researchers. The conclusion: chimpanzees and orangutans do share personality traits with humans.

The writer explains that to date some scientists are still challenging to the notion that suggests once again that other researchers are engaging in anthropomorphism, merely wishing human qualities on animals. But the naysayers seem to consistently overlook the fact that individual personalities and emotions can be shared by humans and animals.

So we are not at all engaging in anthropomorphism when we see emotion and personality in beings from apes to dogs to cats. The fact is, some of these qualities of self-awareness are shared. I fear some of these other scientists are putting up a wall to any new findings that show this, because they can’t bring themselves to come to the conclusion – for whatever reasoning.

From the article: “(Jane) Goodall’s impressions of the human-like personalities of the chimpanzees she studied reflected the chimpanzees’ individual behavioral differences,” the researchers wrote in their study.

We now know this is true for other animals, such as dogs and cats. We’ve personally adopted enough basset hounds and greyhounds, for example, to know that dogs within the same particular breed have their own, distinct personalities and self.

Study shows baboons have rudimentary reading skills

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A French university study has found baboons could very well have rudimentary reading skills. The baboons have been able to distinguish between actual words and scrambled letters.

Four-year-old Dan has an 80-percent success rate in identifying words and has reportedly learned 308 four-letter words.

An Associated Press reports makes this assertion –

“” The study shows that reading’s early steps are far more instinctive than scientists first thought and it also indicates that non-human primates may be smarter than we give them credit for. “”

The results of the study were published earlier this month in the journal Science.

And the best aspect of this story involves the testing methods used. The baboons were not locked in rooms and forced to engage in the testing. They could go into 10 computer booths any time they wanted to. Some worked more than others.