Quirks & Quarks

This Week: Do We Really Know How Smart Animals Are?

We are only now looking beyond a parochial view of intelligence, biased by our own experience and blind spots, to understand just how smart our fellow animals can really be.

One of the fascinating questions in science is: how smart are animals? Are their minds similar to ours or very different? How do they think, feel and make decisions, and are they self-aware? Pioneering primatologist Frans de Waal has studied these questions for his whole career, and thinks that one of the problems is that we've often not been smart enough to understand animal intelligence. We are only now looking beyond a parochial view of intelligence, biased by our own experience and blind spots, to understand just how smart our fellow animals can really be.

Plus - a triple planet system around a nearby star; new revelations from Ice Age DNA; and why some Labrador retrievers are dog-gone hungry.

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