animal intelligence

13 Stories

How a Dog IQ Test Could Help Humans

How well 'Mensa mutts' do on cognitive tasks could help with human health, too

(Newser) - In a move that researcher Dr. Rosalind Arden says could have "far-reaching implications for understanding human health and disease," scientists from the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh set out to understand the link between intelligence and health by studying … dogs. Per the Independent ... More »

How My Dog Learned a Toddler-Level Vocabulary

Patience and play helped Chaser learn 1K words: John Pilley

(Newser) - Chaser the border collie knows about 1,000 words, and if you believe a Duke researcher, she may be "the most scientifically important dog in over a century." But her skills aren't necessarily out of your dog's reach, writes Chaser's owner, John Pilley, in Time... More »

Baboon 'Readers' Pick Out Real Words

Points to instincts behind reading

(Newser) - Don't expect him to pick up a novel anytime soon—but Dan the baboon and five buddies know real English words when they see them. For instance, if Dan sees the letters BRRU, ITCS, and KITE, he'll pick out the last one as the real word, even though... More »

Pigeons Ace Math Tests

Perform as well as monkeys at abstract number quiz

(Newser) - Don't let those blank stares fool you: Pigeons, it seems, are the math nerds of the bird world. Researchers found that the creatures can do more than count—they can handle numbers in the abstract sense, an ability never before seen outside primates, the New York Times reports. Pigeons... More »

How Dolphins Can Help Us Meet Aliens

Before we talk to ET, let's chat with our fellow Earthlings

(Newser) - Scientists have been discovering plenty of new planets, and eventually, perhaps one will contain life—but we’d have no way to talk to the aliens. Until then, we can practice on creatures here on Earth: dolphins, who are capable of some surprisingly sophisticated thinking. We’ve tried to chat... More »

Dogs Trounce Cats in Battle of the Brains

Social demands boost pooch intelligence, say researchers

(Newser) - The latest salvo in the battle regarding the relative intelligence of felines and dogs is bound to leave cat owners howling. Researchers are now claiming that dogs' intelligence has grown at faster rates historically than cats, spurred by canines' more social nature. They've discovered a historical link between the size... More »

Whales Suffer Like Humans

Biologists cite studies as case against whaling

(Newser) - As the International Whaling Commission meets this week to debate the future of whaling, marine biologists say that whales are similar to humans in their capacity to feel and suffer. Recent studies show that whales—like great apes and dolphins—possess a self-awareness, which one neurobiologist says allows them to... More »

What Your Dog's Thinking

Guess what: When he slobbers all over your face, that's not love

(Newser) - When your dog licks your face, he's not trying to “kiss” you or demonstrate his affection; he's hoping to lap up any regurgitated food you might have to offer him. That's just one of the many unsettling revelations doled out by Alexandra Horowitz in an interview with ABC News... More »

Scientists: Dolphins Are 'Non-Human Persons'

New research shows them to be smarter than chimps

(Newser) - Dolphins are not only the world's smartest animal after humans, they're so intelligent they deserve to be classed as "non-human persons." So say scientists who argue their research on dolphins' brains shows it is unethical to keep such animals captive in amusement parks or to kill them for... More »

Dogs as Smart as 2-Year-Olds

(Newser) - It won't surprise most dog owners, but now scientists know it: The average dog is as smart as a 2-year-old child, reports the Telegraph. Dogs understand up to 250 words and gestures, can count to 5, and do basic calculations, researchers have found. "Obviously, you can't have a conversation... More »

Rock-Throwing Chimp 'Proves' He Can Plan

(Newser) - A male chimp in Sweden has stirred excitement by storing a cache of stones to hurl at visitors, the BBC reports. Santino, a chimpanzee in a zoo north of Stockholm, proves that animals can prepare for future events, said scientist Mathias Osvath. "These observations convincingly show that our fellow... More »

Cute Dog Craze Yields Dumber, Weaker Breeds

Shift from function to fashion impairs dog brains: study

(Newser) - Humans' quest for beautiful, quirky "leash candy" is making man's best friend dumber, weaker, and more introverted, reports the Times of London. Bred less and less to be hunters, guard dogs, and herders, current breeds can do little more than look pretty, a Swedish study of dog behavior has... More »

Sure, Pat That Nose— It's Only a Great White

The feared predator is sociable, curious, and will let you ride its fin

(Newser) - Want to pat a great white shark's nose? Or ride its fin for 100 yards? Experts say the much-feared predators are so sociable and curious, you can swim with them or even tread water by their open jaws. "Unlike most fish, white sharks are intelligent, highly inquisitive creatures,"... More »

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