While most of us can intuit that animals possess some emotional abilities, the specifics might elude us. Virginia Morell's book, Animal Wise
, gives us many examples of these qualities. Did you know, for example, that ants have a strong ability to teach and learn and that some parrots can understand abstract concepts like "same" and "different", or "larger" and "smaller"?
How can science prove the cognitive, emotional and social abilities of animals? Morell's book of popular science, an extension of her career as correspondent for National Geographic Magazine
, shows us how. It takes the reader on a journey through scientific research centers in different countries and sheds light on the experiments carried out at these laboratories. These studies focus on various animal genres from small invertebrates to...
Beyond the Book
In Virginia Morell's Animal Wise
, the reader learns many surprising things about a chimpanzee's skills. The book features one chimpanzee in Japan, Ayumu, who was has been extremely successful at sequence-memory tests. Ayumu lives with his mother Ai at the University of Kyoto's Primate Research Institute, headed by Professor Tetsuro Matsuzawa. In a test, the chimpanzee was shown a randomly distributed sequence of numerals over milliseconds, a blink of an eye, on a touchscreen. Then the numbers were hidden behind white blocks and Ayumu was expected to remember the location of the numerals and touch the white blocks in the correct ascending order. As the video of the experiment below, shows, the quickness and precision of Ayumu's responses were extremely impressive.