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Latest Animal intelligence Stories

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2011-06-30 06:05:00

According to a new study, happier orangutans are more likely to live longer. Researchers used a low cost method to measure the happiness of captive orangutans. The scientists found in a follow-up study seven years later that the happier primates were, the more likely they were to still be alive. The team asked the people who worked closely with each captive orangutan to participate in the study.  The researchers asked the keepers and carers to complete a questionnaire about individual...

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2011-06-13 06:20:00

The kea, a New Zealand parrot, and the New Caledonian crow are members of the two most intelligent avian families. Researchers from the Department of Cognitive Biology of the University of Vienna investigated their problem solving abilities as well as their innovative capacities. They are publishing two new studies "“ one in cooperation with members of the Behavioral Ecology Research Group in Oxford "“ in the scientific journals PLoS ONE and Biology Letters. Parrots and Corvids...

2011-05-02 23:37:50

These bird brains are proving to be smarter than we thought When African Grey parrots talk, do they mimic sounds or consciously understand their speech? Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist at both Brandeis and Harvard universities believes African Greys actually know what they're talking about. "They understand things like categories of color, material and shape, number concepts, and concepts of bigger and smaller, concepts of similarity and difference, and absence; things we once...

2011-03-30 00:00:30

Lukas, the World's Smartest Horse (according to the World Records Academy) and Guinness World Record Holder, will participate in an experiment designed to determine his level of self-awareness. Lukas' owner/trainer Karen Murdock was a recent guest on Horse Conscious (http://www.horseconscious.com), and this prompted a lively discussion and her further investigation into animal cognition and perception. For a long time, experts have claimed that humans and animals differ in two primary ways:...

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2011-03-09 14:43:42

In the thick of whale season, researchers from Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shed new light on the wintering grounds of the humpback whale. The primary breeding ground for the North Pacific was always thought to be the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). However, a new study has shown that these grounds extend all the way throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago and into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), also known as...

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2011-02-10 11:15:00

Cheryl Knott's NSF-supported work helps us understand why orangutans require protection and conservation For the last 18 years, Cheryl Knott of Boston University has been racing the clock. While she researches orangutans in the rainforests of Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo, the numbers of this magnificent ape steadily plummet. The outlook for orangutans--one of human's closest relatives--is dire because there are only a few tens of thousands of them currently left in the wild, and they...

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2011-02-07 09:51:10

How smart are copy cats? Maybe it depends on your species You know the saying "monkey see, monkey do?" How about "orangutan see, orangutan do?" If that holds true, the small orangutan peering over his mother's shoulder in an enclosure at Zoo Atlanta should learn how to get a tasty treat just by watching how she gets one. "One of the questions that we were looking at is how individuals learn from one another," says Marietta Dindo, a primatologist studying orangutans and their behaviors. With...

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2010-11-17 13:36:50

Orangutans threatened with extinction could be brought back from the brink with help from a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) statistician. Professor Kerrie Mengersen, from the School of Mathematical Sciences, is part of a study to guide efforts for saving the Indonesian primate whose name means "person of the forest". Professor Mengersen said the study had found a quarter of villagers who lived side-by-side with orangutans did not know it was illegal under Indonesian law to kill the...

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2010-08-04 11:56:54

Pass the chips and hand over the remote. In a study involving the first-ever daily energy expenditure measurements in apes, a researcher from Washington University in St. Louis and his team have determined that orangutans living in a large indoor/outdoor habitat used less energy, relative to body mass, than nearly any eutherian mammal ever measured, including sedentary humans. All this despite activity levels similar to orangutans in the wild. "It's like finding a sloth in your family tree,"...

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2010-08-03 09:12:06

Blue whales are able to synchronize the pitch of their calls with an extremely high level of accuracy, and a very slim margin of error from call to call, according to a new study of the blue whale population in the eastern North Pacific. Results were published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The authors suggest that the uniform pitch used by blue whale populations could allow individual whales to locate potential mates by swimming toward them or away from them. "Blue...