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!)

33 Animal Intelligence News Articles
from 2nd Half of 2014

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12-23-14 Meeting a wild wolf pack
Meeting a wild wolf pack
Ellesmere Island is one of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth. This is the only place in the world where wolves are naive to man and have no fear. It allowed wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan and scientists an unparalleled opportunity to form bonds with a wild wolf family, revealing the remarkable story of their relationships and behaviour.

12-10-14 Is personality unique to humans?
Is personality unique to humans?
We like to think humans are pretty special. But most of our thoughts aren't consumed with the magnificence or otherwise of our species. If we're honest, most of our thoughts are taken up by us as individuals. What's more, not only are our personalities not quite as special as we might think, recent animal research tells us that personality is not even something unique to humans.

12-10-14 Eels use electricity to remote control prey movements
Eels use electricity to remote control prey movements
ZAP! Zap! Electric eels are well known for shocking their prey with 600-volt blasts. But the way they orchestrate their attack is more sophisticated than anyone thought. It turns out the animals use one shock pattern to find their prey and another to paralyse it.

12-4-14 Electric eels 'remotely control their prey'
Electric eels 'remotely control their prey'
A jolt from an electric eel does more than stun its prey, scientists say.

12-4-14 Bat nav: Animals' 3D brain compass found
Bat nav: Animals' 3D brain compass found
By recording from the brains of bats as they flew and landed, scientists have found that the animals have a "neural compass" - allowing them to keep track of exactly where and even which way up they are. These head-direction cells track bats in three dimensions as they manoeuvre. The researchers think a similar 3D internal navigation system is likely to be found throughout the animal kingdom.

12-3-14 Root intelligence: Plants can think, feel and learn
Root intelligence: Plants can think, feel and learn
With an underground "brain network" and the ability to react and remember, plants have their own kind of intelligence - and may even cry out in pain.

11-27-14 The rodent with a taste for spines
The rodent with a taste for spines
For a white-throated woodrat, a small rodent commonly found in the deserts of the south-western US, spines are the equivalent of a neon sign pointing to an all-you-can-eat buffet. In fact, when offered a choice it prefers a cactus bristling with spines to one without.

11-26-14 Dog head-turning shows they do understand what you say
Dog head-turning shows they do understand what you say
YOU'RE just so right-sided. The left hemisphere of our brains seems to tune into the phonemes in speech that combine to form words, and the right hemisphere focuses on the rhythm and intonation of words, which can carry emotional information. Animals may do the same when processing sounds of their own species, and perhaps even when hearing humans speak.

11-12-14 Bats jam each other's sonar to steal meals
Bats jam each other's sonar to steal meals
IT'S frustrating when your phone loses its signal. But for bats, a sudden loss of sonar means missing out on an insect meal in mid-flight. Now there is evidence to suggest that bats are sneakily using sonar jamming to deprive their fellow hunters of their tasty targets.

11-6-14 Bats sabotage rivals' senses with sound in food race
Bats sabotage rivals' senses with sound in food race
A species of bat can interfere with the sound signals of competitors to "steal" their food. Bats were "jammed" the moment they were about to hone in on their insect prey, making them miss their target. The rival that emitted the call was then able to capture and eat the insect for itself.

10-22-14 Chimps filmed raiding farms to find food
Chimps filmed raiding farms to find food
Camera traps have caught wild chimpanzees in the act as they carried out night-time raids on farmland. The footage, captured by researchers from the Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, shows the chimps adapting to human pressure on their habitat.

10-14-14 Missing US parrot ditches English to switch to Spanish
Missing US parrot ditches English to switch to Spanish
Four years after disappearing, a pet parrot has returned home in Torrance, California, having ditched his British accent and switched to Spanish. (Webmaster's comment: A bilingual parrot! Now that's what I call a brainy bird.)

10-8-14 The battle to make Tommy the chimp a person
The battle to make Tommy the chimp a person
Tommy is 26. He lives alone behind a trailer sales park in upstate New York. His hobbies include watching cartoons. A lawsuit submitted by a group called the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) seeks to have Tommy recognised as a person under law. (Webmaster's comment: Adult male chimps are very dangerous and will severly harm or kill you if they live with you. They are just being male chimps. They have no concept of your rights whatsover. Charging them with a crime would be like charging a 2 year old. Giving them human rights makes no sense.)

10-4-14 Archerfish mouth reveals spit secret
Archerfish mouth reveals spit secret
Shooting gobs of water at prey requires oral acrobatics.

10-1-14 Sharks can be 'social or solitary'
Sharks can be 'social or solitary'
The most feared predators in the sea have individual personalities that affect how readily they socialise, according to a study by UK scientists.

10-1-14 Chimps with tools: Wild ape culture caught on camera
Chimps with tools: Wild ape culture caught on camera
Researchers have captured the spread of a new type of tool use in a wild population of chimps. As the team filmed the animals at a field station in Uganda, they noticed that some of them started to make a new type of leaf sponge - something the animals use to drink. This new behaviour soon spread throughout the group. (Webmaster's comment: But they have yet been observed to chip-shape a rock like early primate humans first did 2.7 million years ago. A million years from now what evolves from chimps may also evolve the mental ability to do that.)

9-30-14 Chimp social network shows how new ideas catch on
Chimp social network shows how new ideas catch on
Three years ago, an adult chimpanzee called Nick dipped a piece of moss into a watering hole in Uganda's Budongo Forest. Watched by a female, Nambi, he lifted the moss to his mouth and squeezed the water out. Nambi copied him and, over the next six days, moss sponging began to spread through the community. A chimp trend was born.

9-18-14 Murder 'comes naturally' to chimpanzees
Murder 'comes naturally' to chimpanzees
A major study suggests that killing among chimpanzees results from normal competition, not human interference. Apart from humans, chimpanzees are the only primates known to gang up on their neighbours with lethal results. Murder rates in different chimp communities simply reflect the numerical make-up of the local population.

9-10-14 Fish that picks its work partners wisely
Fish that picks its work partners wisely
TO COOPERATE or not, that is the question, and trout know the answer. Coral trout have joined the exclusive club of species, including humans and chimps, that can decide whether to work with animals of another species on a task.

9-10-14 Archerfish spit turbo-powered water jets to catch prey
Archerfish spit turbo-powered water jets to catch prey
ARCHERFISH are the sharpshooters of the animal kingdom. They spit jets of water into the air to fell flying insects with startling accuracy. Now it seems they fine-tune their jets to pack an extra punch.

9-9-14 Are dolphins cleverer than dogs?
Are dolphins cleverer than dogs?
For decades now, dolphins and dogs have vied for the title of most intelligent animal. But which is actually cleverer, and can the two even be compared?

9-4-14 Spitting fish 'adjust for distance' when shooting
Spitting fish 'adjust for distance' when shooting
The jets of water that archer fish use to shoot down prey are "tuned" to arrive with maximum impact over a range of distances, according to a study.

9-3-14 Cockatoos learn to make and use a tool
Cockatoos learn to make and use a tool
THERE'S no stopping these birds. After a lone Goffin cockatoo figured out how to make and use a simple tool, others have learned the same trick by watching him. It's more evidence that the species is unusually innovative.

9-2-14 Cockatoos teach tool-making tricks
Cockatoos teach tool-making tricks
They may be in a battle with the crow family for the title of most intelligent bird. And Goffin cockatoos have now shown an impressive ability to learn from one another how to use and even how to make tools. A team of researchers has discovered that the birds emulate tool-making tricks when they are demonstrated to them by another bird.

8-26-14 'Two simple rules' explain sheepdog behaviour
'Two simple rules' explain sheepdog behaviour
The relationship between a shepherd and his sheepdog has always seemed almost magical, but scientists now say it can be explained by two simple rules. The first rule: The sheepdog learns how to make the sheep come together in a flock. The second rule: Whenever the sheep are in a tightly knit group, the dog pushes them forwards.

8-17-14 River turtle mothers 'talk' to their hatchlings
River turtle mothers 'talk' to their hatchlings
Scientists in Brazil have managed to eavesdrop on underwater "turtle talk". Their recordings have revealed that, in the nesting season, river turtles appear to exchange information vocally - communicating with each other using at least six different sounds.

8-5-14 Horses' mobile ears are 'communication tool'
Horses' mobile ears are 'communication tool'
Very mobile ears help many animals direct their attention to the rustle of a possible predator. But a study in horses suggests they also pay close attention to the direction another's ears are pointing in order to work out what they are thinking.

7-23-14 Jealous wags: Dogs show envy is 'primordial' emotion
Jealous wags: Dogs show envy is 'primordial' emotion
Jealousy is not just a human condition according to researchers, as it appears to be hard wired into the brains of dogs as well.

7-23-14 Bats 'fly by polarised light'
Bats 'fly by polarised light'
Bats use the pattern of polarised light in the evening sky to get their bearings, according to a new study. As well as having unusual echolocation skills and their own magnetic compass, bats are now the first mammals known to make use of polarised light. Other animals with this ability include birds, anchovies and dung beetles.

7-11-14 How much science is there in new Planet of the Apes film?
How much science is there in new Planet of the Apes film?
The latest instalment in the Planet of the Apes film franchise opens in the US on Friday. The rubber masks of the 60s and 70s films have been discarded in favour of motion capture suits and CGI. But how much did science inform the new movie's portrayal of our close relatives? (Webmaster's comment: Frans De Waal compares the film's ape behavior with real life ape behavior. The film gets much of it wrong but the comparison is educational.)

7-10-14 Chimpanzee brain power is strongly heritable
Chimpanzee brain power is strongly heritable
If a chimpanzee appears unusually intelligent, it probably had bright parents. That's the message from the first study to check if chimp brain power is heritable

7-3-14 Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated
Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated
Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate.

7-2-14 Cichlid fish memory lasts for days, not seconds
Cichlid fish memory lasts for days, not seconds
African cichlid fish have a memory span of up to twelve days, a new study has shown. "Fish that remember where food is located have an evolutionary advantage over those that do not." (Webmaster's comment: It is OBVIOUS that any animal that can't remember where food is, is doomed to quick extinction and won't even be around for scientists to study. Of COURSE animals remember were food is!)

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33 Animal Intelligence News Articles
from 2nd Half of 2014

Animal Intelligence News Articles from 1st Half of 2014