I can't speak for anyone else here, but from what I've read about and seen in nature shows, birds (specifically corvine and psittacine species) usually are included in "Most Intelligent Animals" lists. If you re-read my post, you'll note that the Travel Channel special included both crows (corvine) and parrots (psittacine). In fact, in animal behaviorist Konrad Lorenz's groundbreaking book KING SOLOMON'S RING, he devoted several pages to his personal experience of highly intelligent behavior in jackdaws (corvines similar to crows).
My only personal experience with birds as pets were as a child, when at various times I owned parakeets, one canary, and one Java temple bird, and as far as I could see they were all.... well, birdbrains. But then I was a little kid and didn't do any controlled studies of them.
As for reptiles, I've always had a sneaking suspicion that giant tortoises know a lot more than they're letting on to us. In fact, as I type this, they may be plotting to take over the world. Then who'll have the last laugh, huh?
Hey Kevin, cool! I thought I was the only MTHC fan around these parts. I first saw his story on a Believe-It-or-Not-type TV show, and later was delighted to find that his memory was being kept alive online as well. Personally I don't know whether the story says more about chicken intelligence or Fruita, CO citizens' intelligence, but either way it has some profound cosmic meaning that I have yet to grasp. (Or maybe it just proves that even chickens sometimes run around like a chicken without a head.)
"Well, I think I'm goin' outta my head...."
-- Little Anthony & The Imperials
Early Paleozoic Era, Post-Doo-Wop Period
So I take it you didn't see SLEEPY HOLLOW? A shame -- it's worth a few nightmares just to watch Johnny Depp at his 17th-century Hottie-est!
Besides, some veggies do have a head -- lettuce and cabbage, f'rinstance. Which already gives them an edge over the average US Senator, Congressperson, or Ad Hoc [fill in the blank] Committee Member.
(Of course, this would be the perfect opportunity to segué into a "Monica/head" joke, but since the other Melissa already got bleeped by Tony for a similar remark, I will leave that to your collective warped imaginations.... 8) )
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Episode #1, while it lacked Squiddage, was duly impressive -- I especially loved the Deathgleaners, which resembled winged versions of Tolkien's nazgul or Rowling's dementors. And the Gannetwhales were extremely huggable -- at least until they started projectile-vomiting stomach acid onto their attacker. (Well, it was a perfect defense!) Plus, the mating ritual of the Spinks managed to be simultaneously romantic and cute-as-a-button.
But if you long for Squiddage, fear not -- I know from viewing the abridged version of the show that there will be at least four different Future Cephs to brighten your next three Tuesday evenings: Swampuses, Rainbow Squid, Mega-Squid, and Squibbons. And if you'd still like to catch Episode #1, Animal Planet will be running it once more this Sunday, 13 July, at 6 p.m. Eastern US Time.
Meantime, remember to calendar Tuesdays, 15, 22, and 29 July, at 9 p.m. Eastern US Time, when Episodes #2, #3, and #4 of THE FUTURE IS WILD will premiere on Animal Planet.
Gotta go now -- I think the Carakillas are after me.