[Neuroscience] Parrot's oratory stuns scientists

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au)
Thu Jan 4 22:38:29 EST 2007

There was a report a couple of years ago wherein the scientists claimed
that the mice appeared to be giggling. I don't know why people think
laughter or humour is unique to humans, it seems the more we look at
animal behavior the more we realise animals are much smarter than we
ever gave them credit for. For example, in one interview with a woman
who owned a magpie and a couple of dogs she commented on how the
magpie, which was tame and would perch on her lounge, would fool the
dogs into running off off the lounge. The magpie soon learned that
whenever the ducks squawked in the pond in the backyard, the dogs would
jump off the couch and run down to the pond. So the magpie learned to
mimic the duck sounds and sure enough off the dogs ran, which is rather
odd giving the magpie was perched above them; but then again the dogs
were responding reflexively. Now you'd think the dogs would learn after
a while but apparently they are dumber than magpies. The owner said
that once the dogs had left the magpie would jump onto the couch and
begin to preen itself, as if immensely satisfied with its achievement.
The fact that animals can master language and such trickery does not so
much speak about their intelligence as it does challenge our notions
about "higher level" cognition and the "special" nature of language.
Instead of raising our ideas about animal intelligence, perhaps we
should reduce our ideas about human intelligence.


Parrot's oratory stuns scientists


He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung
upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on
the camera."

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