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“No, after you”: Japanese bird gestures to its mate to go first, study reports

Birds never cease to amaze observers with their versatile intelligence. Flying birds experience time and space in radically different ways than humans; urban birds like pigeons adapted with remarkable ease to the COVID-19 pandemic; and even the supposedly stupid turkeys can survive in a wide range of habitats and endlessly frustrate hunters with their cleverness....

Originally posted on salon.com

Not clowning around: Clown fish can count each other’s stripes and will fight enemies they recognize

Even before the Disney Pixar vehicle “Finding Nemo” turned a pair of clown fish into popular ocean-dwelling protagonists, these distinctive orange and white fish were adored for their charismatic coloring and habit of turning venomous sea anemones into their apartments. These qualities have made clown fish (Amphiprion ocellaris) some of the jewels of home aquariums but these flashy bars serve a purpose beyond looking festive....

Originally posted on salon.com

Landmark study suggests mice can pass the mirror test, a standard for measuring self-awareness

A study in the journal Neuron revealed something surprising about mouse intelligence — specifically, that they can recognize their own reflections. That may seem insignificant, but sociologists starting with Charles H. Cooley in 1912 argue that animals which pass the so-called “mirror test” possess an advanced sense of self-awareness, which has intriguing implications for the evolution of our own intelligence....

Originally posted on salon.com

Inside the canine mind: A “talking” dog’s owner on how to best connect with your furry pal

In her new book “I Am Bunny: How a ‘Talking’ Dog Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Being Human,” author and dog trainer Alexis Devine discusses — what else? — the story of her “talking” pet Sheepadoodle, Bunny.

Although Bunny does not literally use her mouth to speak human language, the canny canine has a series of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) buttons....

Originally posted on salon.com