Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)


Sioux Falls Zoologists is a group made up of people with open minds who love animals as well as zoologists themselves. This website provides news articles, movies, books, and other information related to animals, and especially to animal intelligence. Located in Sioux Falls, SD, the Sioux Falls Zoologists have meetings and social gatherings where people of free thought and open minds that love animals meet, share ideas, support each other, and have fun with other animal lovers.   

To become a member of this group join
Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com

Our meetings and social gatherings are posted at Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com. Sioux Falls Free Thinkers Upcoming Events can be seen on the Meetup.com Calendar.

The Sioux Falls Zoologists group will never have any dues. Membership is not required to attend our meetings. This group will probably never have any formal rules except treating other members and their opinions with respect and giving everyone equal time to speak. This group will never purge members for expressing their opinions or for forming their own group of animal lovers. The only loose requirement is that members, and those attending our meetings, have an interest in one of the subjects of the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers websites.

Life Changing Event: Tuna: When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade when the class was learning about fish I told the teacher that Tuna could be as large as 1,000 pounds. She laughed at me. She asked how did I think they got those big fish got into those little tuna fish cans in the store. The whole class looked and laughed at me as if I were the dumbest kid on the planet. The next day she apologized and admitted I was right. I realized even then that I knew more about some things than did the teacher or my fellow classmates.

Life Changing Event: Bullheads: Once the eggs hatch, the male takes over parental care. He will continue to protect the young until they reach the size of about 1 inch in length. The young fish swim around in a tight little ball and any stragglers are chased back into the ball by the parents. Even after the parents leave, the young will continue to swim in a group (called a school) for many days as they begin to feed. Watch for these schools in the shallows of most lakes in early summer.
When in 3rd or 4th grade I observed a bullhead herding a 1-2 foot school of its young along the shore. Obviously even fish cared for their young. This observation had a profound effect on me. It began my lifelong belief that animals were much more intelligent than I was being taught to believe.

Latest Animal Intelligence News

3-29-17 Inside knowledge: What’s really going on in the minds of animals
Inside knowledge: What’s really going on in the minds of animals
Bright animals from chimps to crows know what they know and what others are thinking. But when it comes to abstract knowledge, the picture is more mixed. WORKERS at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya, claim that elephants know they will be looked after at its rescue centre, even if the animals have never been there. Elephants that have had no contact with the centre, but know others who have, often turn up with injuries that need attention. That suggests not only abstract knowledge, but relatively sophisticated communication of that knowledge. Either that, or wishful thinking on our part. The extent to which non-human animals “know” things is difficult to assess. The attribute known as “theory of mind” – the ability to know what others are aware of – has been demonstrated, although not always conclusively, in elephants, chimps, parrots, dolphins and ravens, for example. Dolphins are even aware of lacking knowledge. Train a dolphin to answer a question such as “was that a high or low-frequency tone you just heard?” and they give sensible answers, even giving a “don’t know” when the right response isn’t clear. Some primates spontaneously seek further information when posed a question that they can’t answer, suggesting they know both that they don’t know and that they can change that. Things look more mixed when we consider abstract knowledge: the ability we have to understand abstract properties such as weight or force, and squirrel away knowledge gained in one situation to be applied in some future, different context. Great apes instinctively know that, of two identical cups on a seesaw, the lower one is more likely to contain food. “They have a spontaneous preference, from the first time, for the lower cup,” says Christoph Voelter, who researches animal cognition at the University of St Andrews, UK. “They seem to have certain physical knowledge about the world.” New Caledonian crows, on the other hand, don’t have this know-how and make “mistakes” when assessing which stones will exert the most force on a lever to release food. “Crows aren’t using knowledge of force when initially solving the problem,” says Alex Taylor of the University of Auckland, New Zealand – rather, they seem to use trial and error.

Our "slogan" above comes from the following quote:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our events and meetings!

Welcome Sioux Falls Animal Lovers!