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How intelligent are animals really? Take a look.

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posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 08:00 PM
I came across this fascinating video of an Elephant really showing his artistic abilities. Makes me wonder how much credit we really give animals.

click here to see video

[edit on 29-3-2008 by ready4whatever]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 08:04 PM
I am amazed at how clever some animals are. Infact today i was watching a program about dolphins. Nothing else on TV so i just had it on in the background whilst i was on lap top. Within minutes i was captivated by TV and was seriously overwhelmed by the intelligence of dolphins. More so their capability to communicate with humans

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 08:25 PM
Both preceding posts bring up a further question:

Can "intelligence" of other species be accurately measured by comparing their ability imitate human acts with our performances of the same act? For instance, is a dolphin only intelligent because it can communicate with humans, or a cat because it can play a classical piece by DeBussy?

[edit on 3/29/2008 by Mr Jackdaw]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 11:07 PM
Mr Jackdaw makes a good point in his post and I agree with animals being much more intelligent than we give them credit for.

There's many, many reasons why I'm a vegetarian and this is one of them.

I am very open to the possibility of this video being a fake however. The camera angle means that somebody could be using an elephant trunk looking arm covering to paint most of the time.

The way it zooms out by the end though makes it more credible. If it is real it's fairly mindblowing even for me.

I'm a skeptic to the end though.

[edit on 29/3/08 by Duality]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 11:18 PM
I think animals are a lot smarter than they usually get credit for. I had a newfoundland dog a few years back, I'd had her for years before she passed away, and I swear she could understand me. Didn't matter what tone of voice I used, if I was talking about something sad she looked sad, if I was talking about something good she'd get excited. Now I have a dog that has figured out how to open his cage door and the bathroom door just by watching me do it. Humans aren't the only animals capable of intelligent thought.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 01:36 PM
Perhaps the (largely) unspoken attribute with which we measure intelligence is the ability to adapt. Certainly, our existence in this time is due to adaptability and survival: However, other species have also adapted and survived, otherwise they wouldn't be here either.

It took our species thousands of years to create the global civilization we have today -- and even then, it was built with only humans in mind. We can't expect other species to adapt very quickly to it. If we were to interact with another planet, and we found ourselves unable to understand its civilization or technology, would we call ourselves an 'unintelligent' species? I think instead, we would give lofty speeches about 'differences in evolution.'

A paint-brush-wielding elephant may have no aesthetic appreciation for the 'art' s/he creates. To the elephant, it may just be that this imitation of a human action earns him/her adulation and more peanuts from the little hominids. In this light, the elephant is still intelligent -- although perhaps more so than is thought, since s/he would be manipulating his/her caretakers for treats. But to an extent, we may appear less intelligent -- perhaps naive -- if we simply swallow the act as a deliberate creation of 'art.'

Humans frequently anthropomorphize other species, because it is sometimes the best initiation of an inter-species relationship (for us). Still, we shouldn't get carried away. Nature is not 'dumb,' no matter how one chooses to look at it: If intelligence is measured by adaptability and survival, or by an organism's ability to process (any) information, then all biological organisms possess the trait.

posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 07:32 PM
that elephant had to have been trained no doubt but they are also smart creaturs. look at the cave man if they can draw so can an elephant

posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 07:47 PM
I find the camera work suspect too. Also, that is obviously an elephant 'painting workshop' of some kind as there were elephants with easels all over the place.

My second, and biggest, problem with the footage is with the actual picture. The elephant drew an elephant holding a flower in it's trunk. Now, I seriously doubt an elephant came up with this using his own imagination. How could an elephant hold the same 'artistic' value to a flower as humans do?

How could the inclusion of the flower mean the same thing to the elephant as to a person watching? It's obvious to me that the elephant was either trained to paint that one picture, day after day for tourists or he was taught to trace lines that are already there.

The flower is a dead giveaway.

posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 07:53 PM
reply to post by Mr Jackdaw

Exactly. Are we measuring their intellegence against that of ours? And is that truly fair? Just because they can perform the same actions as us, in the same capacity, does that make them intellegent? And on the same token, just because they can't construct the Eifle Tower, or write a Math Proof...does that mean that they aren't?

Perhaps each species is intellegent in its own class of smart.....afterall, the animals in the wild are surviving...their life cycle is still continuing.... And maybe we will never understand the way their brains work....

Originally posted by Duality
Mr Jackdaw makes a good point in his post and I agree with animals being much more intelligent than we give them credit for.

I am very open to the possibility of this video being a fake however. The camera angle means that somebody could be using an elephant trunk looking arm covering to paint most of the time.

The way it zooms out by the end though makes it more credible.

I was going to say the same thing....Not to take away from the video, because it opens up a great few topics to discuss...but I am also open to the possibility of it being a fake...But the way the video zooms out, does provide a sense of legitimacy...

Either way, great topic!

posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 08:40 PM
i believe some animals do have quite a bit of intelligence- i watched a doe one day at work and she was teaching her fawns to look before they crossed the road. she would look both ways and nudge one to cross and if it didn't look she would bite it's ear and pull it back. we had a blast watching them!!! lol also look at the octopus- if you put a live lobster in a sealed jar it will figure out how to unscrew the lid. and one of my friends had a cat that could open a closed door by grabbing the knob with both paws and swinging back ond forth until it opened. my 2 cats know there names and what certain words mean. is this just a matter of conditioning and adaptation or intelligence? i don't know- but it does make hunting more challenging knowing i can be outsmarted!!! lol
and i know people that a bag of hammers have more intelligence than so not just the lower species we should wonder i guess

posted on Apr, 11 2008 @ 03:22 PM
It is interesting that every instance you have cited deals with another species interacting with human technology:

Doe crossing road.
Lobster opens jar.
Cat opens door.
Cats understand words.

And this is precisely what I would like to point out; we seem to associate intelligence with a thing's ability to interact with our environment.

What if tomorrow, all cats could suddenly open doors (using the described technique)? What if, besides this achievement, their individual behavior remained the same? I believe we would still think of them as "just cats."

I think the world would be a very different place if we could see animals cry. I mean actually cry: fully functional tear-ducts, excessive sniffling, and enactments of grief that aren't uncommon amongst our species. It's hard to identify with another creature when the only similarity you share is the color of your blood. I mean, look at our species.

Intelligence is not an absolute, and should be measured relative to the environment that an organism interacts with -- unless the purpose is to measure how quickly a [non-human] organism/creature/being can adapt to a human environment.

[edit on 4/11/2008 by Mr Jackdaw]

posted on Apr, 11 2008 @ 03:34 PM
I think animals are more intelligent than we think a lot of the time, but since sometimes we judge intelligence as an animals ability to do the things we do like add numbers, rather than things we can't do like how a bat can use ultra-fast calculations in it's tiny brain to locate itself with just echoes.

Even cavemen had the same mental capacity as us today, but we would consider them less intelligent as didn't use that intelligence for the things we use it today.

We can't tell what animals are thinking, so I guess we should think twice before thinking them less intelligent than us; they could know the secrets of the universe for all we know!!

[edit on 11-4-2008 by GrooveCat]

posted on Apr, 11 2008 @ 07:38 PM
i think intelligence has more to do with being able to reason than having an iq of 180 if you know what i mean. i don't expect my cats to be able to meow out the total of 136x52 but they did figure out they can climb up a room divider to jump on the sewer line to be able to run across and sit in the basement window. so that does show a capability of reasoning i believe. and they also have different meows for what they want- i'm not fluent in catese but am learning. they also have excellent memories- better than me lanyway lol-as i am sure most animals do

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