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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

by Frans de Waal - £9.99  Granta Books (2017)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781783783069 | ISBN 10: 1783783060

What separates your mind from the mind of an animal? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future - all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the pre-eminent species on Earth. But in recent decades, claims of human superiority have been eroded by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools, or how elephants can classify humans by age, gender, and language. Take Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University who demonstrates his species' exceptional photographic memory.
 
Based on research on a range of animals, including crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and, of course, chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores the scope and depth of animal intelligence, revealing how we have grossly underestimated non-human brains. He overturns the view of animals as stimulus-response beings and opens our eyes to their complex and intricate minds.
 
With astonishing stories of animal cognition, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? challenges everything you thought you knew about animal - and human - intelligence.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2017)

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In booklists: Science, Animals and Pets,
In categories: Environment & Animal Rights,

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