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The Real Intelligence of Animals

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posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:28 PM
Hello everyone,

I was browsing the forums and after a while I noticed a startling belief amongst some of our members that animals are simply dumb and purely instinctive. Many people here think they have very little intelligence!

I'm going to attempt to put that to rest in this video compilation, because when it comes to talking about intelligence, it is easier to recognize it then hear about it..

But First, here is a video talking about human superiority.


I think to begin, I am going to start with Alex the Grey Parrot. The reason is because Alex has shown understanding of identification of object, but he does not merely identify them as a preprogrammed response. He can actually differentiate between objects and can answer questions in regards to quantity, quantity of a certain color. He can identify objects within a collection also. This is not the most amazing thing though. Alex can communicate with us in our own medium. He can tell us what he wants and at one point as you can see notices his food is cold and makes a comment to that effect. Very amazing stuff here.

R.I.P. Alex..

Another sign of intelligence, thought to be absent in most nonhuman animals, is the ability to engage in complex, meaningful communication; only recently has the general perception of parrots as mindless mimics been shown to be incorrect.2 Prior to the 1970's, researchers lacked knowledge of psittacine communication in the wild, and assumed that natural behaviors would not differ greatly from what had been observed in captivity: the ability of parrots to reproduce, with great accuracy, sounds such as those of human speech,5 but little (if any) ability to use these vocalizations in a meaningful way.6 The few studies in the 1950's and 1960's to challenge these perceptions -- e.g., Mowrer's attempts to teach mimetic birds to engage in meaningful communication with humans -- used standard psychological laboratory training paradigms and were not successful.7,8 Since the 1970's however, researchers working both in the field and in aviary settings have provided data to indicate that natural psittacine vocalizations might indeed be meaningful: Vocalizations appear to mediate social interactions between mated pairs and among flock members, and not only the physical structure but also the appropriate use of these vocalizations seems to be learned.3,4,9 Such findings on sophisticated vocal behaviors, when taken in conjunction with the data on complex problem-solving abilities, suggested that the psychologists' failures to achieve meaningful communication with their birds might be due to inappropriate training techniques, rather than to any inherent lack of intelligence in the psittacine subjects.1


Alex is not where it ends! Grey parrots are not the only birds that show intelligence.

Yes I know they where trained to do it, but they understand the concept which is important. What about what ravens can do in the wild where they are not trained?

Next I would like to talk about Koko the gorilla. Koko learned American sign language, which was later turned into his own dialect gorilla sign language. The first video, is in regards to emotion and how an animal is capable of feeling.

Koko Describing the death of his mother.

Can an animal show artistic ability? Can they create works of art like we can? How about an elephant?

Who's memory is better? Us or chimps? Lets find out.

Chimp is distracted, but remembers anyway.

Time for some Comic releif!!

The octopus is the smartest of all invertebrates, they really do display uncanny intelligence. At least a billion times more than you would expect.



This one is really cool..


This is a great mako shark documentary. It's kind of long so be patient, it is really worth a watch all the way through. It will eventually get into real mako intelligence.

Mako Shark - Long Vid : Some Parts May Be Disturbing for Animal Lovers.

I will post more in the future but I hope you enjoy this compilation!!

[edit on 5-6-2009 by DaMod]

[edit on 5-6-2009 by DaMod]

[edit on 5-6-2009 by DaMod]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:31 PM
Absolutely wonderful thread. Starred and flagged. I don't have time to watch all of the videos now, but I will.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:45 PM
Under the right mix of circumstances, any one of us can re-incarnate in a "lower" life form. Your dog could be your grandfather, you cat your mother, the mouse you killed yesterday in your basement an aunt that was very attached to you or a past owner of the house. The spirit in the animal is the very same as in the human. Man humans are not fit for the human form, they simply earned the human birth. They may have been worms or insects or any form in a previous life. Many animals are obviously very intelligent and very aware. They're focus is on their daily existence. Instincts and an overseeing spirit provide each life form with heads up and guidance for survival. Every life and life form is precious and deserves it's chance to experience and express life as that form can provide it. Most humans don't want to face the reality of their existence. They want to image they are not the same. Yet man have come from a lower form and will return to one in their future. We all traverse the cycle of 84 over and over again.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:50 PM
Good thread!

Something else I also notice, not particularly in these forums, but in other places, is that people say that animals have no culture, only humans do.

They're argument is that if a human child is raised by a pack of wolves, he/she isn't able to integrate human society and culture like a normal child. Which there are some real cases.

However I say, that with the same logic, I could say exactly the reverse. If you take a young tiger from it's mother on the wild and have it raised and domesticated by humans, the same full-grown tiger will not have been teached the tigers hunting-survival techniques ("culture") from her mother. Consequently, and it is known, you can't put a domesticated tiger in the wild. It won't survive.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:52 PM
Animals are often underestimated! One of the many hats that I wear is animal lover and wildlife rehabilitator. A lady called me the other night and said her husband had found a deserted baby deer. They had had her for over a week, but her health was failing. I went and got her, got her on the proper formula and she is thriving. My point is this...she was in the living room, checking things out and entered into the kitchen which is a hard wood floor, she went sprawling and sliding all over the place. She did this once! Now she will walk over to the entry way into the kitchen and stop and turn around! If only we humans could learn that quickly!

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:58 PM
Just to let people know I am still adding vids to the OP, so refresh there might be some new ones.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 07:05 PM
reply to post by DaMod

Yeah I see that...

I know already of all these cases, I'll hang by to see if you find something I don't know about

I'm sure you can find more about elephants and also dolphins. I remember a doc which talked, among other things, about a situation where wild dolphins interacted with human fisherman in order to catch fish, a relation that was beneficial for both sides (except the fish).

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 07:10 PM
Yeah I haven't even gotten to whales and dolphins yet.

[edit on 5-6-2009 by DaMod]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:07 AM
I really enjoyed your post... The funny thing is I just finished reading a book "Next" by Michael Crichton and it has a parrot in it... I think I now know where he had his inspiration from.

To get back at your topic, I would never suggest animals are less intelligent than humans. But I do put question marks at every kind of intelligence that we declare intelligence.

From the stance of evolutionary biology a creature needs to be able to adapt in order to survive. Learning new skills is a form of adaptation. Animals that have a better ability to learn new skills will therefor survive longer and have a better chance of producing "better offspring".
So their offspring will have inherited their ability to learn and may even get better at it than their parents.. etc etc. This way animals will become more intelligent every generation.

The same goes for humans, who are in my humble opinion also animals. This is why I put question marks at every kind of intelligence.. We are judging other lifeforms but fail to see we are such a life form our selfs.

/edited for spelling mistake

[edit on 6-6-2009 by DrDragonfly]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:06 AM
these videos are awsome

i dont fully get the one with the gorrila has it been asked a question to witch it responded to with sign language that it had been taught or what??

my dog is a clever animal it knows when it is sundays as it comes with me to my nans for sunday dinner and it wont stop moaning geting its lead until we finaly go to my nans then he calms down its amazing really

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:25 AM
Some animals are dumb others are smart. They are not concious like us although i woudl argue some primate are pretty close. The main point however is that most animals are tasty.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:36 AM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

Uh yes they are concious....?

Many animals have very human emotions.

Also the main point is most humans are probably tasty.

p.s: it's also not all about intelligence from "OUR" view, they can be intelligent in their own ways, there are many things that animals can do WAY better than us, which people seem to ignore.

Also the understanding and connection a human can have between his pet can be unreal, a cat can truly feel and understand you as you can understand them, love them and they will love you.

I see a lot of humans try to belittle animals, try to say animals are nothing but meat, and are unworthy of any praise, and that humans are WAY above animals.

That truly is selfish thinking, and they do it to "convince" themselves that it's ok to eat animals.

Well I think it's ok to eat animals, but I think it goes too far when you have disrespect for the animals we share this planet with, the animals that without them we would NOT exist, without them the planet would become a VERY dull place.

[edit on 6-6-2009 by _Phoenix_]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:42 AM
Animals kill for survival, not for enjoyment or greed.

That's why I respect more animals than some humans.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:44 AM
I don't qualify anything that an animal has been taught to copy from humans as a sign of intelligence.
Better to observe them in the wild, in their natural habitat, and judge.
To date, the most amazing thing I ever saw, was on National Geographic, and it was a mother chimp, who carried her dead baby around, because she could not bear to part with it. Even protecting it from the others. When she finally let it go..she kissed it goodbye, then dropped it to the ground. The most gut wrenching thing I have ever seen. I was in tears..a blubbering mess...
You cannot teach an animal to have grief or have's just there.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:46 AM
Of course animals are conscious,just to varying degrees...of course conscious is quite a blanket term in the first place.I remember watching a video of a chimpanzee running his hand through a fast flowing river..i cant find the video,if you could damod it would be great
i cant describe just have to see it for yourself and then tell me other animals are not conscious,although im probably quite extreme in my views as i think primates should be given certain rights the same as humans.A baby chimpanzee is more aware of its surroundings and emotions when born than a human baby,yet they ship these little guys off in boxes half way around the world like they are simply a product,i dont think we would do this to a human baby...

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 11:13 AM
Wow really good thread!! I enjoyed it immensely. Star + flag for you

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 11:27 AM
Thank you for this thread!!

Animals are worth learning from. Remember the Boxing Day Tsunami? Many human lives could have been saved if only they had taken heed of the animals, who had been seen heading to higher ground in the few days before the tsunami hit.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by DaMod

Great thread OP!!

Starred and Flagged.

People who dismissed animals ("oh they are just animals!" they do not have feelings)-

That people need to look closer and beyond.

[edit on 6/6/09 by plutoxgirl]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 11:37 AM
there was another threadon this topic a few months ago.
and i agree you should watch animals in the wild and see how they adapt and respond to their habitat. i am a hunter and i have seen some neat things. i once watched a doe teach her fawns to look both ways before they crossed the road. i wish i had that on video!! one of the neatest things i have ever seen.
my cat is pretty darn smart too- she knows when it is me or my gf that pulls into the driveway and is waiting by the door for us. she doesn't do that with my roomies- so she must know the sound of our vehicles.
she also hides stuff and i won't see it for weeks even after searching and then suddenly there it is again! so she has a good memory and it is even possible she hid it so i can't take it in case she wants to play with it.
so yes i do believe animals have a degree of intelligence and reasoning- maybe not an iq of 180 but they do have some.
hell most animals are smarter than most humans i think
oh and i doubt humans taste good with all the prervatives and artificial crap we put in our bodies. probably why some animals kill us and then only take a bite or 2 before they realize that tastes like S#$%

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 11:44 AM
Great Thread.

I'm also a animal lover, I got three dogs and a cat.

What i find funny is that animals are smarter then some humans out there.

Alien Mind

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