How Smart Are Animals?

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9780152367701: How Smart Are Animals?
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Discusses recent research on levels of intelligence in both wild and domestic animals

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Grade 8-11-- A focused, objective work about animal intelligence, stressing the difficulties of first defining and then measuring it. Patent includes the historical research of brain-size comparisons between prehistoric and modern animals as well as the behavior studies of B. F. Skinner. Recent research exploring animal communication is also related. In-depth studies of birds, wolves, and dolphins each have their own chapter. Patent stresses the vagaries of defining intelligence based on the standards of one species; what is important for one creature's survival is not necessary for another's, and thus may not form what humans consider a facet of intelligence. For young scientists or students looking for research paper ideas, this book is an excellent starting point to pique curiosity about animal learning studies. The book's only drawback is the lack of specific documentation. A sentence stating that chimpanzees and humans differ by only 2.5% of their DNA is tantalizing and potentially controversial; readers are not told who said it and in what context. A listing of books and magazine articles is included, but it is difficult to pinpoint exact sources. Patent has presented both sides to many research questions, making it easier for students to see the difficulties and complexities in the arguments of what constitutes intelligence. A comparable title is Russell Freedman and James Morriss' The Brains of Animals and Man (Holiday, 1972), while further exploration of animal language is possible in Vinson Brown's The Secret Languages of Animals (Prentice Hall, 1987). --Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (1990)
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Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw
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