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Brain-to-body mass ratio (also known as the Encephalization Quotient or EQ) is a rough estimate of the possible intelligence of an organism.
And how is bipedalism good for tool use? That's part of your hominid circular logic. You are assuming that it would need the human form to make tools to begin with. Why? the human form is good for tool use for earthly needs. But as you can tell by our robots, they don't need bipedalism for tool use. Every tool-using robot in a car factory stits upon a flat surface, like what a laying down creature would do. Every medical application tool using robot sits like a spider wit 4 legs, and its arms under it, because that tool use requires that form.
In the study, New Caledonian crows were presented with a trap-tube puzzle. In this task the crows had to extract food from a horizontal tube in a direction that avoids a trap. When the crows were presented with variations of the problem where arbitrary cues were removed, the crows continued to solve the problem. This suggested the crows had not simply associatively learnt to pull away from these arbitrary cues. The scientist then presented the crows with a trap-tube with two holes. One hole was bottomless, allowing food to fall through it and out of the trap. The other hole had a base and so trapped food that was pulled into it. The crows failed to consistently solve this problem and appeared reluctant to pull the food into either hole. This suggested the crows were using the position of the hole to guide their actions.
"Hands" or any other means of manipulation
(From Dickinson and Schaller)
The ability to recognize objects and to use them as a means to an end, in other words as tools, is one of the characteristics of higher intelligence. However, if an animal lacks the physical equipment to use a tool, in other words if it lacks some way of manipulating objects, it is difficult to see how it could develop the cognitive processes associated with tool-use. Humans are unique on our planet in using languages with grammars, but they are also unique in their dexterity at manipulating objects. The fossil record indicates that opposable thumbs came before the big increases in brain size.
It seems likely that any creature developing high intelligence will need to have some means of manipulation before that intelligence can really fulfill its potential.
The question immediately arises, what about the highly social insects, in that case? Certainly ants and bees, who have food sources that need memorization, who participate in complex societies, and who can manipulate things to some degree, would seem to have all the facilitating factors mentioned. What they do not have is an evolutionary history that gives them the option to grow big enough to have a large brain. And without a large brain, much learning is impossible. Once learned, any particular behavior requires relatively fewer neurons, but the ability to do something new requires lots of excess capacity.In order to be capable of truly complex learning, and hence complex levels of intelligence, it is essential to have a long period during which learning can take place. However, learning carries at a high price in terms of survival because the whole process implies precisely that the animal in question does not know the answer. Not knowing the answer is often fatal in nature, so learning can only occur in a relatively protected environment. The period of parental care while an animal is young is such an environment. This means that learning in animals is limited to juvenile stages, the more primitive the animal the more limited. Animals with more highly developed brains that have evolved from these earlier forms are still constrained by their evolutionary history: that is, they can only learn as juveniles. The solution is to extend the period of juvenility into adulthood.
Originally posted by son of PC
I have never heard a single account of them taking in any form of nourishment.