February 9, 2013

Great story about animal intelligence

Check out this BBC article by Jason G. Goldman. I've always suspected that animals - particularly other primates - are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. And now it seems there is reliable evidence that they can imagine:
Kanzi, the famous bonobo, liked to pretend as well. Primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh described watching Kanzi hide invisible objects under blankets or leaves, later removing them from their hiding spots, and pretending to eat them. "Kanzi also engages the participation of others" in these games, Savage-Rumbaugh notes, "by giving them the pretend object and watching to see what they do with it."
How can you not love a story like that? There are other eye-opening behaviors reported in the article. It's worth reading, if such things interest you.

BTW, I've followed Jason Goldman's rise from lone blogger to respected science writer. He always wrote great posts and I'm glad he's seeing some success in the wider world of science writing. His words never fail to catch my interest -- and he seems to be a very decent fellow, to boot. Good for him!

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