National News

Animal Intelligence

animal intellegence
Credit: @emerge_behavior

Are humans the most intelligent mammals on earth? Not exactly, most people are ignorant to the fact that most animals are just as intelligent as humans are.

“Marine invertebrates are found to be surprisingly intelligent, one of the most intelligent ones for example are octopi,” commented Dr. Ellis, biology professor at Saint Leo University.

Along with some marine invertebrate, chimps, crows, and pigs are part of the top ten smartest animals, according Science on NBC News.

The theory of evolution considers that human beings are evolved from different species, one being chimpanzees. Chimpanzees have many similar qualities to humans, and they even surpass humans in certain aspects. According to The Guardian, “They [chimps] are better than us at climbing trees, they have a more impressive bite and they would make a formidable opponent in a fight.”

Many people assume that humans are the most superior concerning intellect, until recently. The Guardian also states the Japanese researchers found the youngest three chimps were able to exceed humans in a numerical memory task, even when the experiments were leveled up in order to make it harder to pass. This caused the researchers to believe that chimps have the capability to have a photographic memory.

The study also showed that the tested chimpanzees were able to recollect a series of numbers, surpassing adult humans who were given the same tests, even when the researchers made the tests harder to pass. The game was changed so all the numbers except for the first one hit by the chimps would disappear, only showing blank spaces. The chimps had to place the hidden numbers in the correct order they disappeared in, once again showing to scientists they have excellent memory skills. There was a 40 percent difference between the chimps and human scores, with chimps having the higher percentage.

Birds are another animal that exceeded researchers’ expectations when it came to recognizing symbols, and figuring out creative ways to deal with daily struggles.

Robins did the best job when it came to motor skills, recognizing colors, and special memory tests. Science stated, “Shaw’s team found that between 34% and 45% of the differences in the robins’ overall performances could be explained by a similar general intelligence factor, suggesting that the birds’ performance is not due to their talent on individual tests, but to their overall level of smarts.”

Crows also showed excellent outcomes, creating resourceful ways to gather food and inspect their surroundings.

Scientists from New Zealand and Oxford worked together to make a three-stage process to test out their theories about how crows would respond to certain obstacles. The Guardian explained the first part of the stage problem, “They [the crows] had to get a short stick by pulling up a string, use that stick to winkle out a long stick from a toolbox, and then use the long stick to extract food from a hole. They managed it successfully.”

The data that the researchers found have now caused them to believe that crows have the capability to plan out their actions before they do them.

“It isn’t just that they’re responding in a pre-programmed sort of way. It seems possible they may potentially view a problem and know what the answer is,” stated Joanna Wimpenny, zoologist member of the Oxford team.

The scientists also observed the crows using sticks to inspect their surroundings in order to tell whether the inspected object is dangerous or not. This was the researchers’ first time observing birds using tools for multiple purposes.

Pigs are another animal that are very intelligent as they are able to be taught human skills, such as playing video games.

Wired states, “The animals’ skills show that, at least in some respects, pigs could be as smart as chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates.”

This data tells the researchers that pigs may have the capability one day to communicate with humans how they feel concerning the way they are forced to live.

Stanley Curtis, professor of animal sciences at Pennsylvania State University, who was interviewed by Wired, explained that the video games can improve the pig’s cognitive skills, allowing them to learn symbolic language.

Pigs showed their advanced social skills, revealing they are able to interact with one another similar to how primates socialize, according to Farm Sanctuary.

There are many studies currently, showing the advancement in animal intelligence, helping animal rights activists argue their points even further.

In Dec. of 2016, animal rights activists set protest in a San Francisco Costco. Activists protested against the “horrific violence at Costco meat suppliers”, according to Direct Action. A video of the violence showed a farm overfilling their pigs with antibiotics, and one of their egg farms having a common occurrence of cannibalism.

The protesters surrounded the deli part of the store, blocking anyone trying to get to the counter. Their goal was to get people understand their message of sorrow for slaughtered animals, ultimately wanting to gain more animal rights in 2017.

“I don’t think that the amount of intellect it [an animal] has should determine the way they are treated. They shouldn’t be treated any less ethically than anything else in this world,” mentioned Ellis, “Nothing should be treated less, even though they don’t have the intellect to know that they are being treated bad.”



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