Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and - download pdf or read online

By Maddalena Bearzi

ISBN-10: 0674027817

ISBN-13: 9780674027817

Bearzi is the dolphin biologist and Stanford is the primatologist. The "parallels" among nice apes and dolphins that the authors communicate of include often within the use of what we name "intelligence" of their diversifications to lifestyles. for that reason this can be a comparability of dolphin intelligence with primate intelligence, and naturally implicitly with human intelligence.

The sections in the chapters are written first on one species after which at the different in order that dolphin social habit, for instance, may be in comparison with primate social habit (Chapter four) or that their navigation via their differing environments can equally be in comparison as in "Swimming with Dolphins, Swinging with Apes" (Chapter 3).

I was once semi-surprised to benefit that wild bottlenose dolphins even with no fingers have still been saw utilizing tools--or a t least one device, a sponge worn as "a nostril cap." the most hypothesis this is that the dolphins use the sponges "to shield themselves from a number of damaging and poisonous organisms close to the ocean ground and to prevent the abrasive sand, rocks, and damaged shells that clutter the deep waters..." (pp. 144-145).

Of direction dolphins in sea exhibits were taught to take advantage of balls and different items as "tools for entertainment"--which brings me to this attention: is dolphin intelligence constrained by means of the truth that dolphins don't have any arms with which to take advantage of instruments? The authors appear to imagine so, and at any price the sponge use is the one instance of instrument use within the wild that they document. Which brings up the query of ways a lot will we rather find out about dolphin habit and intelligence? watching animals in zoos or as a part of a theatric convey is something; gazing animals within the wild is one other. Animals within the wild behave in ways in which might shock us, and our wisdom of the use and quantity of dolphin intelligence will be restricted simply because we're not capable of systemically stick with them within the wild.

The comparable is correct for chimpanzees and different primates. within the February, 2010 factor of "National Geographic" there's a fascinating article by way of Joshua Foer (with pictures via Ian Nichols) approximately an come across with chimps within the Congo's Nouabale-Ndoki nationwide Park. not like different locations in Africa the chimps encountered right here had it appears by no means visible people earlier than. Their behavior--full of interest and "approach/avoidance" screens together with nesting in a single day within the bushes without delay above the camp of biologists Dave Morgan and Crickette Sanz--proved such a lot impressive. The chimps spent a part of the evening "testing" the people by means of throwing down urine and feces onto the tents and howling! this can be a bit various from different reviews that i've got read.

In "Beautiful Minds," the authors speculate on no matter if dolphins and apes have "a conception of mind"--that is, whether or not they are conscious of what others should be pondering and whether or not they have a feeling of self. a few dolphins have been "marked with black ink in a space in their our bodies now not noticeable to them. they can, in spite of the fact that, consider the ink. A reflect was once provided, and the dolphins have been watched to work out in the event that they have been visually tracking their our bodies to discover the ink spot." a few have been. (pp. 180-181) this implies self-awareness. In chimps it has lengthy been recognized that they realize themselves in mirrors and notice that the picture within the replicate isn't another chimp. the following it's mentioned that an Asian elephant "was additionally in a position to cross the reflect self-recognition attempt, many times touching a white X at the facet of her head along with her trunk." (p. 180)

What is obvious to me is that the good intelligence verified via chimps, bonobos and dolphins (and people, incidentally) is essentially the results of the necessity to comprehend and negotiate the complicated social relationships they've got with others. this can be the most important to the expansion of those large brains. yet intelligence outlined because the skill to unravel difficulties applies on to the quest for and procurement of nutrients. Dolphins use cooperative looking to enclose and strength to the outside colleges of fish in order that they can't simply break out. They even use bubbles to confuse and confine the fish. Apes use their minds to discover and remember the place and after they stumbled on culmination in season in an enormous forest.

Ape intelligence is outwardly constrained by means of their lack of ability to shape summary thoughts, specifically by way of language that might let them cross on info to others. in relation to dolphins this isn't so transparent considering we're at a loss whilst attempting to comprehend what they're "saying" or why they perform a little of the issues they do. it can be that we'll locate that dolphins do certainly have a few experience of the summary and will speak approximately issues equivalent to fish no longer instantly current or activities and occasions some time past or imagined, that's the essence of human conceptual skills. The trick is to have symbols similar to phrases to face for anything no longer current or for acts no longer in facts. Apes are restricted of their skill to represent. Are dolphins so restricted? we do not but know.

Bearzi and Stanford during this very readable publication have performed an outstanding task of bringing to a normal readership many of the most up-to-date rules and discoveries which are best us towards a better figuring out of those specific beings, and naturally to a greater comprehend of ourselves.

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Extra resources for Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins

Example text

It became time for monkey business in show business. After the immense success of King Kong, Hollywood went apecrazy, producing an average of a monkey movie every two years or so. S. president-tobe Ronald Reagan, apes were and continue to be profitable endeavors; the second major remake of King Kong appeared in theaters in 2005. Hollywood also produced a string of ape movie flops like King Kong vs. Godzilla and The Beast that Killed Women, a story of a murderous gorilla that tiptoes nightly into a nudist camp to prey on topless women.

A year of field observation in those days was considered a Herculean feat, but twelve m o n t h s limited the quantity and quality of information that could be gathered. Schaller used stealth to observe the gorillas, not the long, arduous process of accustoming the ape to one's presence. Not until 1960 did the veil truly lift on the great apes. It was not an animal behaviorist but a fossil hunter who instigated the modern era of primate study. Louis Leakey, the son of English missionaries in Kenya, had established himself as an authority on fossils with the discovery of an early h u m a n skull, dubbed "Nutcracker Man," in Olduvai Gorge in 1959.

Chinese and Tibetan legend speak of the great stone ape Sun Wukong, who was born from a rock with supernatural powers and rose quickly to become the king of the monkeys on Earth. Mischievous and egocentric, Sun Wukong lived peacefully until realizing to his dismay that he was mortal like other monkeys. In a quest for immortality, the Monkey King wandered the world in search of someone able to teach him the secrets of perpetual life. He eventually enlisted the help of a great Taoist sage who, among other things, uttered the words of illumination and taught him the secret of seventy-two transformations and how to fly a m o n g the clouds.

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Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins by Maddalena Bearzi


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