NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

“True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view) consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.”
— Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Chicken-human behavioral similarities

The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken: Chickens are smart, and they understand their world, which raises troubling questions about how they are treated on factory farms
Excerpt: “ … [Chickens empathize] with individuals that are in danger.”
Comment: Or sick: On beautiful days, when my chickens would otherwise be eager to go out hunting for bugs, they'd instead sit inside next to one dying of cancer, also shunning food just to be with her hour after hour.

Think chicken: Think intelligent, caring and complex: Review looks at studies on chicken intelligence, social development and emotions
Excerpt: “Chickens are not as clueless or 'bird-brained' as people believe them to be. They have distinct personalities and can outmaneuver one another. They know their place in the pecking order, and can reason by deduction, which is an ability that humans develop by the age of seven. Chicken intelligence is therefore unnecessarily underestimated and overshadowed by other avian groups.”

Can some birds be just as smart as apes?

One very brainy bird: Study finds pigeons uncommonly good at distinguishing cancerous from normal breast tissue
Excerpt:Pigeons performed as well as humans in categorizing digitized slides and mammograms of benign and malignant human breast tissue [thus performing like pathologists or radiologists — doctors!].

Are Dogs 'Kids?': Owner-Dog Relationships Share Striking Similarities to Parent-Child Relationships

Chimpanzees learn rock-paper-scissors: New study shows that chimps' ability to learn simple circular relationships is on a par with that of 4-year-old children

When chimps outsmart humans

Reciprocity and parrots: Griffin the grey parrot appears to understand benefits of sharing, study suggests

New evidence of tool use discovered in parrots

Crows understand water displacement at the level of a small child: Show causal understanding of a 5- to 7-year-old child

Smarter than a first-grader? Crows can perform as well as 7- to 10-year-olds on cause-and-effect water displacement tasks

Crows Solve Puzzles Inspired by Aesop's Fables

Pigeons share our ability to place everyday things in categories

Pigeon power: Study suggests similarity between how pigeons learn the equivalent of words and the way children do

Pigeons can discriminate both space and time: Finding underscores that animals beyond humans and primates show abstract intelligence

Political ravens? Ravens notice the relationships among others, study shows

Ravens can plan ahead, similar to humans and great apes

Goats are far more clever than previously thought, and have an excellent memory

Chimpanzees Show Similar Personality Traits to Humans

Chimpanzees may know when they are right and move to prove it

Chimps can vary their smiles like humans

Fruit flies show mark of intelligence in thinking before they act, study suggests

I shouldn't have eaten there: Rats show behavior of 'regret' in choosing the wrong 'restaurant'

Mice not only experience regret, but also learn to avoid it in the future: Mice make and change their decisions in order to avoid future regret

Mice individuality is influenced by their relations

Monkeys also believe in winning streaks, study shows

The Social Genius of Animals (Scientific American Mind, Nov/Dec 2012)

Crows are smarter than you think: Crows join humans, apes and monkeys in exhibiting advanced rational thinking

Monkeys are seen making stone flakes so humans are 'not unique' after all: Wild-bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil deliberately break stones, unintentionally creating flakes that share many of the characteristics of those produced by early Stone Age hominins

Chickens and humans possess many similarities in behavior and social hierarchy. Although chickens are often disparaged as being dumb animals, observant chicken owners know otherwise.

Like many people, before I got chickens, I assumed they were stupid animals devoid of personalities—basically egg-laying machines. However, after I brought them home, I quickly fell in love with them; I call them my “kids” or my “babies.” Now it's not about the eggs, but a chance to give a wonderful life to animals that can indeed enjoy life, as I learned. Chickens exhibit surprising intelligence and marked individuality. I've noticed many parallels between chicken and human behavior. Here are some of them:

People obviously love tasty food. So do chickens. When my chickens were young, they would squeal with delight when given one of their treats, such as currants, but also simple pleasures such as fresh water, which they would instantly devour with zest. As adults, they slowly peck at crumble, their primary food they eat only if nothing else is available, but they peck like animated jackhammers when given something yummy, such as raisins, watermelon, other melons, black olives, flax, green and especially purple cabbage, oatmeal, corn on the cob (a favorite!), sweet potatoes, cheese, scrambled eggs, and egg shells. They also love blackberries, but what I can pick in 15 minutes, they can eat in seconds. But just as humans become accustomed to pleasures and eventually derive less thrill from them, so do chickens. The breakfast I served this morning once would have elicited prolonged Happy Baby sounds but instead evoked bored disappointment and rejection analogous to turning up one's nose—what I call turning up their beaks. Also as with humans, the best antidote is to withdraw the pleasure and later reintroduce it.

Just as humans often fiercely compete for the most desirable possessions and partners, chickens compete for the tastiest food but not the commonplace stuff. While chickens can be competitive (as evidenced by eating yummy food as rapidly as possible to get as much as possible when other chickens are near), they can also be remarkably altruistic by emitting a sound to call other chickens, essentially saying, “I found something really tasty. Come and get it!”

Taste matters to chickens, but so does color. They prefer brightly colored food: red, blue, purple, yellow, and green. Picking foods with such natural colors is a smart way to obtain powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients. A ScienceDaily article, Colorful Plates Boost a Picky Eater's Appetite, said:

“Parents of picky eaters can encourage their children to eat more nutritionally diverse diets by introducing more color to their meals, according to a new Cornell University study. The study finds that colorful food fare is more appealing to children than adults.”

It's more appealing to chickens, too. :-)

Chickens love sugar. I recently gave my chickens oatmeal as a treat, placing it on a paper plate I'd used to eat gluten-free pumpkin bread with a light sugar glaze, some of which stuck to the plate and dried. Chickens like oatmeal, but enjoy sugar even more; they seem to have radar for it. It took precisely one peck for the chicken to find the small nuggets of dried frosting adhering to the plate. She used that as a handle to pick the plate up, which dumped the oatmeal on the ground. She then walked around for a few minutes holding the now-vertical plate in her beak, as other chickens pecked at other sugar blobs on the plate. The amount of sugar totaled less than 1% of the oatmeal, which the chickens ignored even though it was in a surprisingly neat pile. Sugar is more yummy.

Chickens want what others have. Put a plate full of treats on the ground and the first chicken to reach it will often run off holding a treat in her beak while other hens run after her, trying to steal the food away, evidently thinking her treat is more valuable than the ones remaining on the plate: treats they could have all to themselves instead of chasing after a bird determined to keep what she has. Similarly, humans sometimes assume that what others have (such as a particular partner) is automatically more desirable than what they have. Cognizant of this, some women increase their appeal by inviting a male friend to accompany them.

Chickens are inquisitive and love to explore, even things that obviously contain no sources of food. For example, my chickens often hop onto my tractor or bulldozer while I work on their engines. They'll peer inside, tilt their heads, look at me, and keep doing that.

Chickens get bored eating and doing the same things. They crave variety. If they are free, they frequently move from one spot to another, such as hunting for bugs in the forest leaves, then in the grass, then in another grassy spot, and another. Then it might be time for a dust bath, or just basking in the sun, followed by more hunting in various places. Then they might hang out around me to see what I am doing or beg for treats, after which they might spend an hour or two in one of their favorite shady hang-out spots. Then more hunting for bugs as they slowly meander back to their coop in the evening. Once there, it's always time for a bedtime snack.

Unfortunately, most chickens in developed countries are either slaughtered for meat when they are very young or confined in cages so crowded they're like sardines in a can. Once chickens are given a taste of freedom, they—like humans—relish it, valuing it even more than safety and security.

As proof of that, consider my chickens, who know they are safe in the large pen attached to their coop that gives them considerably more square feet per bird than average. While in that pen, I've never seen them display the defensive behaviors they exhibit when they are free and exposed, such as frequently looking in the sky for predatory birds or listening and responding to potentially threatening sounds. In that pen, they have everything they need: water, food, and even a variety of tasty treats they attack like starved teenagers gobbling a pizza.

While chickens crave freedom once they experience it, chickens who don't know what it is like to be free are more tolerant of restrictions. My chickens rarely return to the safety of their pen or coop during the day unless they are terrified by a predator. Even when they are on high alert and are constantly looking and listening for sounds that signal danger, they would rather be free and in peril than safe and secure. Thus, chickens want freedom even if they have everything they need in captivity. Too bad most Americans don't.

My chickens are content in their pen only for a few minutes in the morning after exiting their coop. After a quick breakfast, they are eager to be freed so they can hunt for worms and assorted bugs on land that is strangely devoid of them. It doesn't matter. They often prefer hunting and striking out to eating crumble (their usual “chicken food” fare) or even platefuls of treats I know they love. If I don't free them to run around, they quickly get bored. Some will mope around as if they are depressed while the more vociferous ones make pitiful loud squawking sounds analogous to human crying, voicing their displeasure at being deprived of an accustomed pleasure.

Seconds after letting them loose, they make happy chicken sounds, analogous to happy baby sounds, and they are infused with energy as they scratch the ground and overturn leaves looking for something to eat. Hours of that activity yields less food than what they can wolf down in less than a minute while eating treats they clearly prefer to crumble. Thus, hunting for food is often more fun than eating it. Even when chickens have an endless supply of tasty food, they usually prefer to hunt for bugs, even if the search is fruitless.

The dumbest and smartest cause most of the problems.

The chicken at the top of the pecking order often isn't the smartest, just the most willing to ruthlessly attack others to put them in their place.

Those at the top of the pecking order get more resources (food in the case of chickens) that enables them to become larger and more powerful: the rich get richer.

Those at the top of the pecking order don't give a hoot about fairness or helping others even when there are more than enough resources for everyone. They hog resources and intimidate or attack others to deter them from getting their fair share.

Those at or near the bottom of the pecking order behave in a submissive manner and may appear stupid or unfriendly, but can come out of their shells and blossom if given a chance. This marked change in chickens can also happen in people, but few know how to catalyze such positive metamorphoses. Instead, people often enjoy bashing the imperfections and mistakes of others instead of helping them improve.

Interesting observation: After the alpha-chicken (the one at the top of the pecking order) died, the remaining chickens didn't fight to see who'd be #1; they all just got along in peace and harmony. With humans, the presumption is that we need leaders and government and would be lost without them. I have my doubts about that, and I wonder if they do us more harm than good. If the government collapsed, as it likely will, would you rob your neighbor? I wouldn't. If anything, I'd reach out more to others to see if they needed any help. Government enacts countless laws to force us to do what most of us would do on our own without any arm-twisting: treat others fairly and with respect, as we'd wish to be treated (the Golden Rule).

The most basic principle of civilization is cooperation. If chickens, often disparaged as bird-brains, can figure out how to share a plate of tasty food they all eagerly want, why can't humans cooperate and get along with one another without government? We could.

Cooperation is adaptive: that is, it enhances your probability of survival. If humans didn't innately realize the adaptive benefit of cooperation, they never would have survived long enough to form governments—governments of kings and dictators motivated not by the Golden Rule, but by usurping the lion's share for the rulers and their supporters. It is still the same way today, even in the United States, with politicians stealing our money to reward their special interests.

Arguably our most precious asset—our money—is controlled by the Federal Reserve System, not a part of the federal government as many people think, but a private corporation that acts in cahoots with our leaders to steal our money by diluting its value. They do that by literally creating money out of thin air. If you create money, you're a counterfeiter. That's a crime because it dilutes the value of existing money. The laws of economics are as immutable as the laws of physics; money cannot be created out of thin air and put into circulation without it lessening the value of existing money, such as the money in your bank account and 401(k) plan.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
Henry Ford

Chickens have favorite buddies to hang out with, but their friendships may change over time. Relevant research: Birds choose their neighbors based on personality.

Chickens have favorite hang-out spots, which may also change in time.

Chickens love to be comfortable. I discussed this with a chicken-loving expert who said that nature gives chickens and other animals the insulation and metabolism they need to stay warm in winter. Wrong; nature enables them to survive (usually), not be comfortable! Here's proof: My chickens hate to be in their coop, except during the winter when it is heated. At other times, as soon as I open the door to let them out in the morning, they almost climb over one another to exit first. However, when I open their door during winter, they will often whimper and refuse to come out during a 40° day even when tempted by a treat, such as scrambled eggs, they would otherwise rush to get (they're often so eager to get it they'll hop up before I have a chance to set the plates on the ground).

Wild animals are often miserable during winter, which is why I make shelters for them and created a site about that topic. One of the shelters I made is about 200 feet long and home to lots of animals who clearly prefer the coziness of this Hilton for Critters that blocks wind and provides insulation.

Chickens are more likely to behave if they had their fill of fun that day. If they had only a couple hours of freedom that day, it is often difficult to coax them back into their pen and then coop. If they didn't obtain their MDR (minimum daily requirement) of fun, they will stay out past the time when darkness—and its associated dangers—otherwise compels them to head in for the night. However, if they were free most of the day, getting them into the pen and coop is much easier.

As much as chickens love eating, foraging for food, and dust baths, I saw evidence of the depth of chicken emotion when two of the three birds in the flock spent days sitting with a dying one who couldn't walk.

Chickens have a long-term memory of danger, which I discussed in another article after showing a picture of Mark Zuckerberg holding a dead chicken he likely killed. “Birds, reptiles and mammals are all descended from a common ancestor,” so by slitting the throats of chickens, Zuckerberg is slitting the throats of relatives—very distant ones, of course, but still relatives.

One more thing: I've learned much more from chickens than they've learned from me. That valuable lesson should be extrapolated by educators who think imparting knowledge is a one-way street with students the inevitable receivers and teachers or professors always the transmitters. That attitude spills over to others, such as LinkedIn influencers who never engage with readers, as if they always know more even though some of them possess amateurish levels of knowledge.


  1. Empathy, Morality, Community, Culture—Apes Have It All: Primatologist Frans de Waal takes exception with human exceptionalism.
  2. NOVA: Bird Brain
  3. “Birdbrain” Turns from Insult to Praise: Some avian species use tools and can recognize themselves in the mirror. How do tiny brains pull off such big feats?
  4. Birds use massive magnetic maps to migrate—some could cover the whole world
  5. Bird brains' cortex-like structure may be behind complex cognition, and even consciousness
  6. Bird Brains Are Far More Humanlike Than Once Thought: The avian cortex had been hiding in plain sight all along. Humans were just too birdbrained to see it
  7. Birds from different species recognize each other and cooperate
  8. A Journey Into the Animal Mind: What science can tell us about how other creatures experience the world
  9. July 29, 2021: NFTs by chimpanzees, like 1950s primate art, raise questions about the nature of creativity
  10. Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot: A machine learning algorithm helped decode the squeaks Egyptian fruit bats make in their roost, revealing that they “speak” to one another as individuals
  11. Bats have different song cultures and chatter about food, sleep, sex and other bats
  12. Baby bats babble like human infants
  13. Young infant's laughter found to share features with ape laughter
  14. Dairy Cows Have Individual Temperaments
  15. Dairy calves are natural optimists or pessimists, just like us
  16. Personal Touch In Farming: Giving A Cow A Name Boosts Her Milk Production
  17. Finding signs of happiness in chickens could help us understand their lives in captivity
  18. Slower growing chickens experience higher welfare, commercial scale study finds
    Excerpt: “Slower growing broiler chickens are healthier and have more fun …”
  19. These birds communicate by fluttering their feathers—and they have different accents
    Related: Fluttering Feathers Could Spawn New Species
  20. If the birds can expect a larger profit in the future, they forego their desire for immediate reward
    Comment: Something many humans cannot do very well.
    Related: Discounting the future (1, 2).
  21. July 21, 2021: Plants Feel Pain and Might Even See: It's time to retire the hierarchical classification of living things.
  22. Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens)
    Comment: Chimpanzees performed superior to humans (more corroboration of this).
  23. Neuroscientist Lori Marino: Eating someone: Farmed animals have personalities, smarts, even a sense of agency. Why then do we saddle them with lives of utter despair?
  24. Quick-learning cuttlefish pass 'the marshmallow test'
    Comment: Performing better than many humans.
  25. Unlike humans, cuttlefish retain sharp memory of specific events in old age, study finds
  26. Five ways fish are more like humans than you realize
    Excerpt: “… like the same drugs as humans … remember their friends … feel pain … can be impatient …”
  27. Study shows experimental evidence of an altruistic nature in small convict cichlid fish
  28. You probably score worse than monkeys on questions about the world
  29. Monkeys outperform humans when it comes to cognitive flexibility, study finds
  30. Monkeys may share a key grammar-related skill with humans: A capacity for recursion evolved early in primate evolution, a contested study suggests
  31. Dogs Can Feel Rejected and Fall in Love Like Humans: According to researchers, the romantic lives of dogs include as much sex and misery as ours.
  32. Dogs tell the difference between intentional and unintentional action
  33. Exceptional learning capacities revealed in some gifted dogs
  34. 11 Most Common Dog Facial Expressions and What They Mean
  35. Can dogs rapidly learn words? Dogs can learn new words after hearing them only four times
  36. Dogs can tell when people are lying to them, study finds
  37. New dog, old tricks? Stray dogs can understand human cues: A new study shows that untrained stray dogs respond to gestures from people, suggesting that understanding between humans and dogs transcends training
  38. Humans not smarter than animals, just different, experts say
  39. Economic Decision-Making in Parrots
  40. Parrots get probability, use stats to make choices: study
  41. Prosocial and tolerant parrots help others to obtain food
    Related: Parrots give each other gifts without promise of reward: African grey parrots show a type of insightful generosity recorded in only humans, orangutans and a few other species.
  42. No hands, no problem: clever parrots craft and wield tools: The Goffin's cockatoo joins chimpanzees and others in the small club of animals that can make implements.
  43. Embryonic education: How learning begins long before birth
  44. Chickens 'cleverer than toddlers': Chickens may be brighter than young children in numeracy and basic skills, according to a new study.
    Comment: Thanks to Sue for telling me about that article. I commented on it at the end of another article.
  45. Primate mothers may carry infants after death as a way of grieving, study finds
  46. Optimism remains in chickens in enriched environments despite exposure to stress
  47. Seals have been trained to sing the Star Wars theme - have a listen
  48. World's smallest bears' facial expressions throw doubt on human superiority: First time exact facial mimicry has been seen outside of humans and gorillas
  49. Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests
  50. Gorillas found to live in 'complex' societies, suggesting deep roots of human social evolution
  51. Gorillas gather around and groom their dead (+ video)
    Comment: Very touching!
  52. Gorillas can tell human voices apart
  53. Wild mountain gorillas enjoy playing in water just like we do
  54. July 19, 2021: Meet the puzzle-solving gorillas shedding light on how speech evolved
  55. Neuroscientists find first evidence animals can mentally replay past events
  56. Despite their small brains, ravens and crows may be just as clever as chimps, research suggests
  57. December 10, 2020: Cognitive performance of four-months-old ravens may parallel adult apes
  58. December 22, 2020: Ravens Measure Up to Great Apes on Intelligence
  59. Crows could be the smartest animal other than primates: Crows have long been considered cunning. But their intelligence may be far more advanced than we ever thought possible.
  60. To lift a crow’s mood, give it a toolkit: Clever crows are more cheerful after wielding simple instruments
  61. Some birds observed stealing hair from living mammals
  62. New Caledonian Crows Are Even Smarter and Scarier Than We Thought: They seem to be able to learn from each others’ tools.
  63. The Crow Whisperer: What happens when we talk to animals?
  64. After using tools, crows behave more optimistically, study suggests
  65. Confirmed: A duck named Ripper learned how to say “You bloody fool!”: "At first I thought, 'It's a hoax, it can't be true.' But it turned out to be true."
  66. Death of mother prompts adolescent chimps to look after their siblings
  67. We may have a basic form of sign language in common with chimpanzees
  68. What it means when animals have beliefs: Chimpanzees, some dog species and even scrub jay and crows have beliefs. Philosophers from Bochum have been debating how to define the term.
  69. Tropical crow species is highly skilled tool user
  70. Capuchin monkeys produce sharp stone flakes similar to tools
  71. Monkeys can use basic logic to decipher the order of items in a list
  72. Do hens have friends?
    Comment: That research “found no evidence to suggest that modern hens reared in commercial conditions form … friendships,” but having raised chickens in better conditions, I know they obviously DO form friendships when treated properly.
  73. July 29, 2021: New study shows rats can make friends
  74. A primate's response to death: Researchers review 200 years of non-human primate 'comparative thanatology'
  75. Birds and primates share brain cell types linked to intelligence
  76. Bird Brain? Birds and Humans Have Similar Brain Wiring based on Large-scale network organization in the avian forebrain: a connectivity matrix and theoretical analysis
  77. Jackdaws learn from each other about 'dangerous' humans
  78. The Brains of the Animal Kingdom: New research shows that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Primatologist Frans de Waal on memory-champ chimps, tool-using elephants and rats capable of empathy.
  79. Researchers study elephants' unique interactions with their dead
  80. Asian elephants are capable of using water as a tool
  81. Researchers and rats play 'hide and seek,' illuminating playful behavior in animals
  82. Rats taught to drive tiny cars to lower their stress levels
  83. Ayumu (chimpanzee)
    Excerpt:His performance in the tasks was superior to that of comparably trained university students, leading to a conclusion that young chimpanzees have better working memory than adult humans.”
  84. Asian elephants have different personality traits just like humans
  85. Asian elephants could be the math kings of the jungle: Experimental evidence shows that Asian elephants possess numerical skills similar to those in humans based on Unique numerical competence of Asian elephants on the relative numerosity judgment task
  86. Elephants solve problems with personality
    Excerpt: “Just as humans have their own individual personalities, new research … shows that elephants have personalities, too. Moreover, an elephant's personality may play an important role in how well that elephant can solve novel problems.”
  87. Giraffes are as socially complex as elephants, study finds
  88. Animals that can do math understand more language than we think
  89. Animals Can Count and Use Zero. How Far Does Their Number Sense Go? Crows recently demonstrated an understanding of the concept of zero. It's only the latest evidence of animals' talents for numerical abstraction — which may still differ from our own grasp of numbers.
  90. Empathy more common in animals than thought
  91. 80 percent of Burmese long-tailed macaques use stone-tools to hammer food
  92. Experiments suggest macaques are capable of making decisions based on inference
  93. Chimps that mash potatoes challenge our understanding of tool use
  94. Chimpanzees' working memory similar to ours: Contrary to humans, chimpanzees did not use search strategies to facilitate their task
  95. Chimps caught crabbing
    Excerpt: “At some point eons ago, our primarily fruit-eating ancestors put their hands in the water to catch and eat aquatic life, inadvertently supplementing their diet with nutrients that initiated a brain development process that eventually led to us. But how did this begin?”
  96. Chimpanzees Show Altruism While Gathering Around the Juice Fountain
  97. Chimpanzees Are Rational, Not Conformists, Researchers Find based on Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) Flexibly Adjust Their Behaviour in Order to Maximize Payoffs, Not to Conform to Majorities
  98. Chimpanzees and Orangutans Remember Distant Past Events based on Memory for Distant Past Events in Chimpanzees and Orangutans
  99. Cherry or rhubarb? Orangutan mixes tasty cocktails in its mind
  100. Orangutans can play the kazoo – here's what this tells us about the evolution of speech
  101. Chimpanzees shown spontaneously 'taking turns' to solve number puzzle
  102. Majority-Biased Learning: In Humans and Chimpanzees Knowledge Is Transmitted Within a Group by Means of a Majority Principle based on Majority-Biased Transmission in Chimpanzees and Human Children, but Not Orangutans
  103. Cooking up cognition: Study suggests chimps have cognitive capacity for cooking
  104. Maybe Our Species Should Become Rather More Humble
  105. Homolog of Mammalian Neocortex Found in Bird Brain based on Cell-type homologies and the origins of the neocortex
  106. Our Brains Are More Like Birds' Than We Thought based on Laminar and columnar auditory cortex in avian brain
  107. Do Animals Have Reflective Minds Able to Self-Regulate Perception, Reasoning, Memory?
  108. Chimps: Ability to 'Think About Thinking' Not Limited to Humans
    Comment: Metacognition—amazing!
  109. Chimps Play Like Humans: Playful Behavior of Young Chimps Develops Like That of Children
  110. Show us how you play and it may tell us who you are
  111. Animals that play with objects learn how to use them as tools
  112. Humans and monkeys show similar thinking patterns
  113. Apes may be closer to speaking than many scientists think
  114. Modern apes smarter than pre-humans
  115. Great apes pass a false-belief test, hinting at a theory of mind: Apes may anticipate when a person will wind up believing something in error.
  116. Young Apes Manage Emotions Like Humans Do based on Development of socio-emotional competence in bonobos
  117. Bonobos help strangers without being asked: Humans aren't the only species eager to make a good first impression
  118. Apes understand that some things are all in your head: Humans aren't the only ones who can tell when someone's beliefs don't match reality
  119. Young Female Chimpanzees Treat Sticks as Dolls: Growing Evidence of Biological Basis for Gender-Specific Play in Humans
  120. Wild Chimpanzees Exchange Meat For Sex, Researchers Find
    Comment: Are humans really very different?
  121. Chimps Have Better Short-term Memory Than Humans
  122. The Ultimate Chimp Challenge: Chimps Do Challenging Puzzles for the Fun of It (based on Effect of a Cognitive Challenge Device Containing Food and Non-Food Rewards on Chimpanzee Well-Being)
    Comment: How many humans do that?
  123. Unlike people, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands
  124. Do Animals Think Like Autistic Savants?
  125. Do animals think rationally?: Researcher suggests rational decision-making doesn't require language
  126. This is Dan. Dan is a Baboon. Read, Dan, Read
    Excerpt: “No one is exactly using the words "reading" and "baboons" in the same sentence, but a study published Thursday comes close.”
  127. Baboons And Pigeons Are Capable Of Higher-Level Cognition, Behavioral Studies Show
  128. Pigeons better at multitasking than humans
  129. Bird brain? Pigeons have quite a way with words
  130. Listening to Chickens Could Improve Poultry Production
  131. Birds Can Recognize People's Faces and Know Their Voices based on (1) Have we met before? Pigeons recognize familiar human faces (2) You sound familiar: carrion crows can differentiate between the calls of known and unknown heterospecifics
    Comment: My chickens know my voice and respond to it, even when they cannot see me.
  132. Something to crow about: New Caledonian crows show strong evidence of social learning
  133. New Caledonian crows can create compound tools
  134. Crows Are No Bird-Brains: Neurobiologists Investigate Neuronal Basis of Crows' Intelligence based on Abstract rule neurons in the endbrain support intelligent behaviour in corvid songbirds
  135. Crows React to Threats in Human-Like Way based on Brain imaging reveals neuronal circuitry underlying the crow’s perception of human faces
  136. Wild Crows Reveal Tool Skills based on Tool use by wild New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides at natural foraging sites
  137. Foraging for Fat: Crafty Crows Use Tools to Fish for Nutritious Morsels based on The Ecological Significance of Tool Use in New Caledonian Crows
  138. Crows Can Use 'Up To Three Tools' In Correct Sequence Without Training
  139. Crows Using Automobiles as Nutcrackers: The Evidence
  140. Crows 'hooked' on fast food: New Caledonian crows extract prey faster with complex hooked tools
  141. Tiny Crow Camera Spies On Clever Birds
  142. Crows count on 'number neurons'
  143. Crows Smart Enough to Hold a Grudge
    Comment: has many similar stories.
  144. Tool-Making Birds: Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention For Clever Rooks
  145. From Fable To Fact: Rooks Use Stones And Water To Catch A Worm based on Rooks Use Stones to Raise the Water Level to Reach a Floating Worm
  146. Cockatoo 'Can Make Its Own Tools' and Clever Cockatoo With Skilled Craftmanship, both based on Spontaneous innovation in tool manufacture and use in a Goffin's cockatoo
  147. Skilful cockatoos able to shape same tool from different materials
  148. Goffin's cockatoos can create and manipulate novel tools
  149. Clever cockatoos bend hooks into straight wire to fish for food
    Excerpt: “Bending of a hook into wire to fish for the handle of a basket by crow Betty 15 years ago stunned the scientific world. … The birds manufactured hook tools out of straight wire without ever having seen or used a hook tool before.”
  150. Cockatoo select the right key to insert into a 'keyhole'
  151. Cockatoos keep their tools safe
  152. Even cockatoos draw conclusions
  153. Clever cockatoos learn through social interaction
  154. Pigs observed using tools for the first time
  155. September 4, 2021: A family of wild boars organized a cage breakout of 2 piglets, demonstrating high levels of intelligence and empathy
  156. Family pigs prefer their owner's company as dogs do, but they might not like strangers: Both dogs and pigs stay close to their owner if no other person is present; but if a stranger is also there, only dogs stay near humans, pigs prefer to stay away
  157. Pigs show potential for 'remarkable' level of behavioral, mental flexibility in new study
  158. Birds help each other partly for selfish reasons
  159. Chimp See, Chimp Learn: First Evidence for Chimps Improving Tool Use Techniques by Watching Others
  160. Chimpanzees Learn a More Efficient Tool Technique by Watching Others
  161. Chimpanzees Develop 'Specialized Tool Kits' To Catch Army Ants
  162. First Evidence Of Planned Animal Action? Chimp's Stone Throwing At Zoo Visitors Was 'Premeditated'
  163. Chimpanzee Uses Innovative Foresighted Methods to Fool Humans
  164. Whales Are Able to Learn from Others: Humpbacks Pass On Hunting Tips
  165. Puzzled otters learn from each other
  166. The secret call of the wild: how animals teach each other to survive: Cultural knowledge, passed from animal to animal, is key to how species adapt to change in the world around them
  167. Time management skills keep animals primed for survival
  168. Birds, Young Children Show Similar Solving Abilities for 'Aesop's Fable' Riddle: At About 8 Years Old, Children's Performance Changes and Aesop's Fable Unlocks How Crows and Kids Think (both based on How Do Children Solve Aesop's Fable?)
  169. New study shows birds can learn from others to be more daring
  170. Pigeons Never Forget a Face
  171. Pigeons Show Superior Self-Recognition Abilities To Three Year Old Humans
  172. Pigeons As Art Critics? Pigeons, Like Humans, Use Color And Pattern Cues To Evaluate Paintings
  173. Mockingbirds Are Better Musicians Than We Thought: Their complex songs have striking similarities to Beethoven; Tuvan throat-singing; a Disney musical; and Kendrick Lamar
  174. Can animals use iridescent colours to communicate?
  175. Ravens Remember Relationships They Had With Others based on Long-Term Memory for Affiliates in Ravens
  176. Ravens Remember When They've Been Wronged
  177. Ravens cooperate, but not with just anyone: Ravens detect cheaters in cooperation
  178. A sad raven bums out its friends: Experiment shows how emotions can spread between birds.
  179. Scrub Jays React to Their Dead, Bird Study Shows: 'Funerals' Can Last for Up to Half an Hour based on Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics
  180. Pigeons Peck for Computerized Treat
  181. Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones
  182. Grey squirrels are quick learners, study shows
  183. Squirrels have long memory for problem solving
  184. Squirrels use 'chunking' to organize their favorite nuts: First study to show squirrels using sophisticated memorizing strategy to sort their bounty
    Excerpt: “Like trick-or-treaters sorting their Halloween candy haul, fox squirrels apparently organize their stashes of nuts by variety, quality and possibly even preference …”
  185. Squirrels listen in to birds' conversations as signal of safety
  186. Squirrels have personality traits similar to humans, new study shows
  187. Crabs Not Only Suffer Pain, But Retain Memory Of It based on Pain experience in hermit crabs?
  188. 'Shell-Shocked' Crabs Can Feel Pain based on Shock avoidance by discrimination learning in the shore crab (Carcinus maenas) is consistent with a key criterion for pain
    Comment: Human mistreatment of countless animals is simply unconscionable. Part of this stems from ignorance, part from callous indifference, and part from religious beliefs that God put all these animals on Earth for us to slaughter any frigging way we see fit, even if it inflicts terrible pain. Yup, God cares more about us eating more than we should and inflating our fat cells more than He cares about us doing the right thing. This is clearly an example of might makes right: killing in inhumane ways because we can, and because we can get away with it. This is a moral abomination, not something to tolerate. If you believe in God, do you really believe He gave many animals the ability to experience emotions and pain that permits people to intensify their misery? Isn't that needlessly cruel? What's the point in that? Some kind of sick joke? If you believe in religion, and you believe that God is good, you may wish to consider the possibility that He looks favorably upon people who treat animals with as much kindness and respect as possible.
  189. Guppies use ugly friends to seem more attractive
  190. Rats! Humans and Rodents Process Their Mistakes
  191. Bee brains challenge view that larger brains are superior at understanding conceptual relationships
  192. Bees can learn higher numbers than we thought – if we train them the right way
  193. Bees and the thought of naught
    Excerpt: “Since bees can count to five at least, the researchers taught them the inequality relations "greater than" and "less than." … Bees … can grasp zero.”
  194. Bees can do basic arithmetic
  195. Honeybees Can Put Two and Two Together
  196. Honeybees are able to calculate probability and use it to find food
  197. Bees are better at counting if they are penalised for their mistakes
  198. Bees can link symbols to numbers: Study
  199. Paper wasps capable of behavior that resembles logical reasoning
  200. Unexpected similarity between honey bee and human social life
  201. I Asked Leading Entomologists: ‘What’s The Smartest Bug In The World?’: Some insects can count, recognize human faces, even invent languages.
  202. Gulls pay attention to human eyes
  203. New Questions About Animal Empathy
  204. Rare Neurons Linked to Empathy and Self-Awareness Discovered in Monkey Brains based on Von Economo Neurons in the Anterior Insula of the Macaque Monkey
  205. Monkeys Enjoy Giving To Others, Study Finds based on Giving is self-rewarding for monkeys
  206. Do Monkeys Know What Others Need? based on Food-related tolerance in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) varies with knowledge of the partner's previous food-consumption
  207. Marmoset monkeys eavesdrop and understand conversations between other marmosets
  208. Monkeys Choose Variety for Variety's Sake based on How to spend a token? Trade-offs between food variety and food preference in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)
  209. Nut-Cracking Monkeys Use Shapes to Strategize Their Use of Tools based on Wild Bearded Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) Strategically Place Nuts in a Stable Position during Nut-Cracking
  210. The Symbolic Monkey? Animals Can Comprehend And Use Symbols, Study Of Tufted Capuchins Suggests based on Preference Transitivity and Symbolic Representation in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella)
  211. Black howler monkeys adapt mental maps like humans
  212. Female monkeys use males as 'hired guns' for defense against predators, study says
  213. Monkeys 'Understand' Rules Underlying Language Musicality
  214. Neurons In Primate Cortex Associate Numerical Meaning With Visual Signs
  215. Orangutans Smarter Than Previously Thought: Orangutan Nest Building Highly Sophisticated based on Nest-building orangutans demonstrate engineering know-how to produce safe, comfortable beds
  216. Orangutans spontaneously bend straight wires into hooks to fish for food
  217. Researchers show that orangutans do not need to be taught how to use a hammer
  218. Clever orangutans invent nutcrackers from scratch: Chimpanzees are not the only great apes to develop tools without tutoring.
  219. Orangutans Communicate As If They Were Playing Charades
  220. Great Apes Make Sophisticated Decisions: Research Suggests That Great Apes Are Capable of Calculating the Odds Before Taking Risks based on Great Apes' Risk-Taking Strategies in a Decision Making Task
  221. Great apes have you on their mind: Apes are shown to rely on self-experience to anticipate others' actions
  222. Great Apes Know They Could Be Wrong, Research Suggests based on Do apes know that they could be wrong?
  223. Apes Unwilling to Gamble When Odds Are Uncertain based on Chimpanzees and bonobos distinguish between risk and ambiguity
  224. Apes Get Emotional Over Games of Chance
  225. Like humans, apes communicate to start and end social interactions
  226. What was he thinking? Study turns to [impressive] ape intellect
  227. A chimpanzee who outperforms college students on a memory test
  228. Video of chimpanzee food sharing
  229. Chimpanzees Successfully Play the Ultimatum Game: Apes' Sense of Fairness Confirmed
  230. Chimpanzees' Contagious Yawning Evidence of Empathy, Not Just Sleepiness, Study Shows based on Ingroup-Outgroup Bias in Contagious Yawning by Chimpanzees Supports Link to Empathy
  231. Why Do You Care About Fairness? Ask A Chimp
  232. Chimps are sensitive to what is right and wrong: 'Bystander effect' seen in chimps that only react when one of their own group is harmed
  233. Chimps learn 'handshakes' according to social group: study
  234. Chimpanzees show ability to plan route in computer mazes
  235. Chimpanzees can learn how to use tools without observing others
  236. Chimpanzees unite against a common enemy
  237. Sensitivity to inequity is in wolves' and dogs' blood
  238. Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs
  239. Wolves show signs of self-cognition with innovative sniff test
  240. Dogs have a better ear for language than we thought
  241. Children Under Four and Children With Autism Don't Yawn Contagiously based on Contagious Yawning in Autistic and Typical Development
  242. Birds, bees and other critters have scruples, and for good reason
  243. Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems
  244. Birds Sing to Their Eggs, and This Song Might Help Their Babies Survive Climate Change: Embryonic learning—things birds pick up from their parents while still in the egg—may play a bigger role than imagined.
  245. 'Experienced' mouse mothers tutor other females to parent, helped by hormone oxytocin
  246. Dogs hear our words and how we say them
  247. Dogs understand both vocabulary and intonation of human speech
  248. Songbirds and humans share some common speech patterns: For both songbirds and humans, the longer the phrase the shorter the sounds
  249. Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words: New study focuses on the brain mechanisms dogs use to differentiate between words
  250. Dogs mouth-lick to communicate with angry humans
  251. Dogs may have body-awareness and understand consequences of own actions
  252. What's up, Skip? Kangaroos really can 'talk' to us, study finds: Kangaroos can intentionally communicate with humans, research reveals
  253. Dogs May Understand Human Point of View
  254. Dogs are more expressive when someone is looking
  255. Dogs Feel Envy, Austrian Study Finds
  256. Dogs respond to goal-directed behavior at similar level to infants
  257. Dogs know when they don't know: When they don't have enough information to make an accurate decision, dogs will search for more -- similarly to chimpanzees and humans
  258. Dogs give friends food
  259. Domestication of Dogs May Have Elaborated On a Pre-Existing Capacity of Wolves to Learn from Humans
  260. Too Dog Tired to Avoid Danger: Like Humans, Dogs Engage in Riskier Behaviors When Their Self-Control Is Depleted
    Comment: People are also more likely to say or do things they really don't mean, or later regret, when they are exhausted, such as some of my blog postings during my years of extreme sleep deprivation. Toward the end of a few long night shifts in the ER (especially if I began the 12 – 15-hour shift exhausted), I said some things I ordinarily wouldn't say. Nothing shocking, just a bit too much relaxation of the normal self-censoring most of us (except Vice President Biden) routinely do. I give him a pass because of his prior brain surgery, but dog-tired people deserve a bit of understanding that what comes out when they're drained is not them. If everyone were judged by their worst behavior, we'd all be in trouble. Or prison.
  261. Dogs' Intelligence On Par With Two-Year-Old Human, Canine Researcher Says
  262. Your dog remembers what you did
  263. Dogs May Mourn as Deeply as Humans Do
  264. Fido the dog: one of the most poignant stories ever told.
  265. Canine Comfort: Do Dogs Know When You're Sad? (Yes!)
  266. Human Yawns Unleash Dog Yawns
  267. A common underlying genetic basis for social behavior in dogs and humans
  268. Flockmate or loner? Identifying the genes behind sociality in chickens
  269. The sniff test of self-recognition confirmed: Dogs have self-awareness
  270. Older and wiser: Female elk can learn to avoid hunters with age
  271. Captive Animals Show Signs of Boredom, Study Finds and Bored Mink Snack Between Meals, Lie Awake in Bed; Enriching Surroundings Reduces Signs of Boredom in Caged Mink; both based on Environmental Enrichment Reduces Signs of Boredom in Caged Mink
  272. Self-Medication in Animals Much More Widespread Than Believed
  273. Brain maps show how empathetic mice feel each other's pain: A mouse sharing a companion's fear has different neural patterns to one sharing another animal’s pain.
  274. Mice may ‘catch’ each other's pain — and pain relief: After an hour of mingling, healthy mice mirror a companion's pain or morphine-induced relief
  275. Female mice that lose a male partner are wary of taking a new one
  276. Mice living with humans the longest found to be the best at problem-solving
  277. April 21, 2021: Simplifying our world: Mice master complex thinking with a remarkable capacity for abstraction
  278. Animal smarts: What do dolphins and dogs know?
  279. Dolphin Caught in Fishing Line Approaches Divers for Help
  280. Dolphins Keep Lifelong Social Memories, Longest in a Non-Human Species
  281. Dolphins form friendships through shared interests just like us, study finds
  282. Dolphins can learn from peers how to use shells as tools
  283. These manta rays form ‘friendships’ that last longer than a summer fling
  284. Know your ally: Cooperative male dolphins can tell who's on their team
  285. Dolphin Cognitive Abilities Raise Ethical Questions, Says Emory Neuroscientist
  286. Mysterious river dolphin helps crack the code of marine mammal communication
  287. Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
  288. Animal culture is so common that even fish and flies have it
  289. Fish just want to have fun, according to a new study that finds even fish 'play'
  290. Could fish have consciousness? 'Emotional fever' experiment suggests they might
  291. Fish have surprisingly complex personalities: Tiny fish called Trinidadian guppies have individual 'personalities,' new research shows
  292. Emotional states discovered in fish
  293. Squid brains approach those of dogs
  294. Female fish judge males on DIY skills, study shows
  295. Do fish feel pain? Research team says it's likely
  296. Fish Appear to Recognize Themselves in the Mirror
  297. Porpoises seem to cooperate in surprisingly sophisticated group hunting
  298. Hidden away: An enigmatic mammalian brain area revealed in reptiles
  299. Rats will try to save other rats from drowning
  300. Baboons prefer to spend time with others of the same age, status and even personality
    Comment: Just like people!
  301. Animal Personalities Are More Like Humans Than First Thought
  302. Bird personalities influenced by age and experience, study shows
  303. Birds prefer to live in luxury than in poor areas, study finds
  304. Birds can change their traditions for the better, study shows
  305. Watching TV helps birds make better food choices
  306. Crocodiles Are Cleverer Than Previously Thought: Some Crocodiles Use Lures to Hunt Their Prey
  307. Crocodiles just wanna have fun, too
  308. Sharks have personalities, study shows
  309. Tiger sharks have social preferences for one another
  310. Underwater tests reveal sharks may be smarter than you think: Sharks may be smarter than they seem. Recent experiments reveal they have a grasp of quantity and can learn cognitive skills from other sharks
  311. Baboons Display 'Reading' Skills, Study Suggests; Monkeys Identify Specific Combinations of Letters in Words based on Orthographic Processing in Baboons (Papio papio)
  312. Linguistic methods uncover sophisticated meanings, monkey dialects
  313. Fruit flies and mosquitos are 'brainier' than most people suspect, say scientists: Findings provide baseline number of brain cells likely needed for complex behaviors
    Excerpt: “‘Even though these brains are simple [in contrast to mammalian brains], they can do a lot of processing, even more than a supercomputer,’ says Christopher Potter, Ph.D., associate professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.”
  314. Cats seem to grasp the laws of physics
  315. Hello, kitty: Cats recognize their own names, according to new Japanese research
  316. To tool or not to tool? Clever cockatoos make economic decisions about tool use
  317. Chicken Sails Around The World With Her … Dad
  318. Chicken Was So Depressed — Until She Found An Orphaned Turkey
  319. When horses are in trouble they ask humans for help
  320. Horses can read our body language even when they don't know us
  321. Study finds horses remember facial expressions of people they've seen before
  322. Horses can read human emotions
    Comment: Carol, my old friend from high school, loved horses, connecting with them in a way that once mystified me. No longer.
  323. Horses may recognise themselves in a mirror, hinting at self-awareness
  324. Snorts indicate positive emotions in horses
  325. Dogs understand what's written all over your face
  326. Dogs act jealously even when they don't see their rival
  327. What would your dog do to help if you were upset? Quite a bit, study finds
  328. Could goats become our new best friend?
    Excerpt: “The researchers hope the study will lead to a better understanding of how skilled livestock are in their aptitude to solve problems and interact with humans based on their cognitive abilities …”
  329. Why Animals Don’t Get Lost: Birds do it. Bees do it. Learning about the astounding navigational feats of wild creatures can teach us a lot about where we’re going.
  330. Sick animals limit disease transmission by isolating themselves from their peers
    Comment: If only all humans were that smart!
  331. Fish lose their unique personality when they go to 'school'
    Excerpt: “Despite individual animals having their own personality, this gets suppressed when they make decisions together in a group …”
    Comment: Ditto for humans, and there's a name for this.
  332. Uncovering hidden intelligence of collectives
    Excerpt: “Scientists discover that information processing in animal groups occurs not only in the brains of animals but also in their social network.”
  333. Behavior study shows piglets prefer new toys
  334. Great tit birds have as much impulse control as chimpanzees
  335. Animal magnetism: Why dogs do their business pointing north: Dogs align north-south when defecating, foxes pounce north-east, and that's just the start. Where does this magnetic sense come from – and do we have it too?
  336. A Look at the World's Most Intelligent Animals
  337. Don't worry, bee happy: Bees found to have emotions and moods
  338. Dog intelligence 'not exceptional' based on In what sense are dogs special? Canine cognition in comparative context
  339. Ants: Jam-free traffic champions
  340. How fear of death affects human attitudes toward animal life
  341. A Journey Into the Animal Mind: What science can tell us about how other creatures experience the world.
  342. September 18, 2020: Psychologists suggest using magic tricks to learn more about how the minds of animals work
  343. The Mystery of Human Uniqueness: What, exactly, makes our biology special?
  344. The joy of being animal: Human exceptionalism is dead: for the sake of our own happiness and the planet we should embrace our true animal nature
    Excerpt: “Having a humanlike mind has become a moral dividing line. In our courts, we determine what we can and can't do to other sentient beings on the basis of the absence of a mind with features like ours.”
  345. April 29, 2021: Using AI to gauge the emotional state of cows and pigs
  346. Monkeys also learn to communicate: Behavioral study on common marmosets provides new insights into the evolution of language
  347. Monkeys Also Reason Through Analogy, Study Shows
  348. Math – In Animals?
    Comment: Yes.
  349. Mathematical Ability in the Animal World
  350. Scientists discover dogs can do math, too: Dogs and humans appear to use the same brain area to compute basic numbers.
  351. Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers
  352. Asian Elephants May Have Maths Skills Closer to Humans Than Any Other Animal

Video of monkey performing math better than many humans:

Comment: These (and other) studies suggest that some animals are more intelligent than some humans.

Video of a crow using a jar lid to repeatedly slide down a snowy roof demonstrates intelligence and playfulness:

Related topics

May 22, 2021: Tucker Carlson Mocks CDC Chicken Kissing Rules With Bachelor's Tiara Soleim
Excerpt: “In a brief video before the interview, Soleim described her chickens as her "babies" …”
Comment: Chickens are considerably more intelligent and emotionally expressive than most people suspect (or admit), as I proved beyond a reasonable doubt in this article including hundreds of references indicating that many animals are surprisingly intelligent (in some aspects equaling or surpassing human intelligence) and equally capable of being depressed or elated. Acknowledging this reality raises thorny questions about the morality of what we do to various animals so most people, conveniently, comfort themselves by thinking that humans are vastly superior and other animals are so inferior they can be treated like animals — or dirt. Kudos to Tiara Soleim.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Buying Eggs

Chickens and turkeys 'closer to dinosaur ancestors' than other birds

The meat paradox: “When we eat [meat], we do it in denial. … by referring to what we eat as "beef" instead of "cow", we have created a distance between our food and an animal with abilities to think and feel. Philosophers and animal rights activists have long claimed that we avoid thinking about the animal we eat, and that this reduces the feeling of unease.”

March 24, 2021: What a Songbird Lost at Sea Taught Me About Survival: Aboard a mission to explore the alien life of the deep ocean, a chance encounter with a migratory bird offered a point of connection—one that has felt poignant this past year.

Infants know what we like best, WashU study finds
Comment: Animals are smarter than we think. So are kids.

Moral motivations for wildlife conservation

“I dream of a better world—one where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.”

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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