Octos hit Top Ten again -- plus more FUTURE IS WILD!

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Clem said:
Hey Taningia,

Have you got the full list of "Most Intelligent" animals?

Also: are squirrels really on the list?

:shock:

Clem

Yep, on the Travel Channel show, squirrels -- that is, a particular breed of squirrel which I don't recall -- were #10, and Octos/Squid were #9 (given Steve-O's opinion of Squid intelligence, I suspect Octos and Cuttles would be more accurate). I also recall that dolphins were #2 and of course great apes were #1. The other six -- though I don't remember their exact order -- were crows, parrots, dogs, pigs, monkeys, and elephants. I do remember that pigs beat out dogs, which I've heard from several sources.

I've noticed that whenever someone compiles a list of "world's most intelligent non-human animals", they're all either mammals or birds, the only inverts being Cephs (usually Octos) and -- occasionally -- honeybees. I don't know if I'd agree with that last one.... not to negate the remarkable collective intelligence of honeybees, but the operative word there is collective: Each hive functions as a formidably efficient unified entity, and the individual bees are analogous to the cells of a body, each with its own specialized function. So perhaps including the vast honeybee community among non-collective intelligences is unfair to the other, individually-functioning animals.

Another thing I've noticed is the conspicuous absence of reptiles, amphibians, and fish from every "most intelligent animal" list I've ever seen. One wonders if there are, indeed, any intelligent species in those (families? phyla? classes? I'm not sure of the scientific classification). I've seen snakes do some awesome stuff on various nature shows. Croc Hunter had more than one encounter with spitting cobras, who always managed to aim at his eyes -- sometimes from several feet away -- with deadly accuracy. (Fortunately Irwin would put on shades before approaching the critters, but he still had to wash off the venom before it had the chance to damage his skin.) Such an attack would require the cobra to identify the location of eyes on a completely different species -- not an easy feat considering how different mammals are from reptiles.

As for fish, sharks and rays regularly visit "cleaning stations" where certain species of small fish remove parasites from their skin. How do the sharks and rays know that this "service" will be offered by the cleaner fish? Perhaps it is instinctive, but it still shows an active participation by the shark or ray in its own wellbeing.

Regarding amphibians -- well, most of them are kinda cute or at least interesting, but I can't think of any particularly intelligent things they do. Still, who knows?

NAKED MOLE RATS RULE!

Taningia
 

tomossan

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i think i have to agree with the people here, about reptiles, fish and birds... lets face it, theyre undeveloped in just about everything we would consider as an indicator for intelligence.

Tomossan
 
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Uh, whoa... on what scale are you folks rating intelligence? No offense intended, but comparative psychology is in its infancy at best. In my comp. pscyh. courses, we covered a lot more than Pavlov and determined that non-human intelligence is EXTREMELY hard to measure. Octopuses and their kin show hints of sentience, which also throws a monkey wrench in the tests. Maybe what's needed is to determine whether or not said beastie WANTS to take said test. Also, there are limitations due to brain structure and such. In short, we can't judge non-human intelligence based soley on ourselves.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong...

Sushi and Sake,

John
 
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tomossan said:
i think i have to agree with the people here, about reptiles, fish and birds... lets face it, theyre undeveloped in just about everything we would consider as an indicator for intelligence.

Tomossan

Hey there, Tomossan --

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?

Hiding out in cyberspace,
The Tanster
 
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Architeuthoceras said:
Who needs a brain anyway?

Mike the Headless Chicken


:heee:

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
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
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What a great story, never heard it 'till now. Will definitely share that link with loved ones. :smile:
 
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And those who don't sleep easily! I must not be the only one who could have nightmares of headless malevolent vegetables. Oogh, I'd take jellyfish over headless birdbrains any day.

Melissa
 
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