Animal Cognition

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  • reptiles learn through imitation
    Reptiles Can Learn Through Imitation
    Posted in: Reptiles

    Reptiles aren’t typically considered the most social of animals, but research has proven that they are actually capable of social learning. A study1 published in September 2014 reports that they can learn new skills through imitation. This is the first evidence for this type of learning in reptiles. Previously, it was thought to only […]

  • prairie dog language
    The Linguistic Genius of Prairie Dogs
    Posted in: Mammals

    Con Slobodchikoff, PhD1, has been studying prairie dogs for over 30 years. His studies have focused primarily on Gunnison’s prairie dogs, whose natural habitat is just outside the doors of Northern Arizona University, where Slobodchikoff is a professor emeritus. After first observing how a colony of prairie dogs reacted to the […]

  • sharks have personalities
    Study Shows Sharks Have Personalities
    Posted in: Fish

    In October 2014, the results of a study1 led by David M. P. Jacoby, Lauren N. Fear, David W. Sims, and Darren P. Croft of the University of Exeter and the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) were published in the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology journal. The study focused on captive populations of Small-spotted catsharks (Scyliorhinus canicula), and the results give strong […]

  • bullfrog saves tadpoles
    Bullfrog Digs Channel to Save Tadpoles
    Posted in: Amphibians

    For African bullfrogs, it’s the males that take responsibility for parenting. The bullfrogs wait to breed until after heavy rainfall. In the shallows of the temporary ponds and puddles left behind is where the bullfrogs will deposit their eggs. Once hatched, the male bullfrogs will watch over their brood until the tadpoles metamorphose. The males don’t […]

  • defensive tool use in octopuses
    Defensive Tool Use in Octopuses
    Posted in: Invertebrates

    You may have seen the recent photos of a mischievous octopus stealing a camera, turning the tables by snapping a few shots of the photographer.1 While it isn’t known exactly why the octopus chose to nab the cam, not all instances of octopuses grabbing objects have such unclear motivations. The veined octopus (also known as the coconut […]

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Elephant looking in mirror
List of Animals That Have Passed the Mirror Test
Posted in: General, Main

The mirror test was developed by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr.1 in 1970 as a method for determining whether a non-human animal has the ability of self-recognition. It’s also known as the “mark test” or “mirror self-recognition test” (MSR). When conducting the mirror test, scientists place a visual marking on an animal’s body, usually with scentless paints, […]

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altruism in chimpanzees
Altruism in Chimpanzees
Posted in: Main, Mammals

In 2005, Drs. Felix Warnecken and Michael Tomasello conducted a study on altruism in human infants and chimpanzees.1 Altruism is taking action to help someone else, even when that action won’t be reciprocated or otherwise benefit oneself. To put it simply, altruistic actions are motivated purely by the desire to […]

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Animal Cognition (.org) explores and covers research on the mental capacities of animals: how animals think, solve problems, understand concepts, communicate, and empathize.

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