Animal Cognition

tool use

  • Spear-Hunting Chimps
    Spear-Hunting Chimps
    Posted in: Mammals

    Fashioning spears and wielding them to hunt – these sound like typical activities of our human ancestors. But the surprising fact is that not only are tool-use and tool-building carried out by other animal species, they’re done in the context of hunting as well. Chimpanzees in the Fongoli savanna of Senegal have been observed

  • Crows Crack 8-Level Conundrums
    Posted in: Birds

    Crows have become rather famous for their cleverness. They have been observed using and making a variety of tools,1 and also seem to be able to understand the basic concept of cause and effect.2 Dr. Alex Taylor specializes in corvid cognition, and is researching the problem solving abilities of New Caledonian crows. In one of […]

  • 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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