Human-like intelligence in animals is far more common than we thought

Exposing the Big Game

Stories of clever animals abound, from pigs playing video games to monkeys trading mobile phones – now tests reveal that they don’t merely act on instinct but can think flexibly, like usLIFE7 April 2021

ByDavid Robson

New Scientist Default Image
Brett Ryder

BARELY a month goes by without a new tale of animals behaving brightly. There are orangutans that craftumbrellas out of plant leaves, and chimps that employ stones as hammers with a technique that isuncannily similar to one seemingly used by our Stone Age ancestors. In Bali, long-tailed macaques steal from tourists and thenexchange their swag for edible rewards– and they have learned totarget high-value itemsas if they appreciate the basic principles of economics. Hyenas employ the art of deception, with low-status individualssounding an alarm callthat scares their rivals away from a tasty carcass.In one UK zoo, several parrots…

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