Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Intelligence of Beasts

Animal cognition studies have long focused on primates, in part on account of the assumption that the smartest creatures sharing Earth must be the ones most closely related to us. But, as my feature in the new issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education reveals, that's started to change.

Recent years have seen remarkable discoveries in regards to the mental abilities of dogs, dolphins, crows, elephants and other species not closely related to ourselves. That's changed how researchers think about the evolutionary pressures that foster higher intelligence and, for some, how they think about our place in life's great pecking order. The piece -which ran in the Chronicle Review section -- is freely available online.

Chronicle subscribers may enjoy my previous story on canine intelligence research, filed from Hungary in 2005.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting article on a related topic.
    Wesleyan, Issue 1, 2011
    No Laughing Matter
    Associate Professor of Philosophy Lori Gruen argues the time has come for humans to reconsider our relationship with chimpanzees.