Maddalena Bearzi's Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and PDF

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 normally within the use of what we name "intelligence" of their diversifications to lifestyles. as a result it is 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, will 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 used to be semi-surprised to profit that wild bottlenose dolphins even with no arms have still been saw utilizing tools--or a t least one instrument, a sponge worn as "a nostril cap." the most hypothesis this is that the dolphins use the sponges "to safeguard themselves from quite a few destructive and poisonous organisms close to the ocean flooring and to prevent the abrasive sand, rocks, and damaged shells that clutter the deep waters..." (pp. 144-145).

Of path dolphins in sea exhibits were taught to take advantage of balls and different gadgets as "tools for entertainment"--which brings me to this attention: is dolphin intelligence restricted by means of the truth that dolphins don't have any palms with which to take advantage of instruments? The authors appear to imagine so, and at any fee the sponge use is the one instance of software use within the wild that they record. Which brings up the query of ways a lot will we rather find out about dolphin habit and intelligence? gazing animals in zoos or as a part of a theatric exhibit is something; watching 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 can be constrained simply because we aren't in a position to systemically keep on with them within the wild.

The comparable is right for chimpanzees and different primates. within the February, 2010 factor of "National Geographic" there's an engaging article by means of Joshua Foer (with images via Ian Nichols) approximately an come upon with chimps within the Congo's Nouabale-Ndoki nationwide Park. not like different areas in Africa the chimps encountered the following had it seems that by no means noticeable people ahead of. Their behavior--full of interest and "approach/avoidance" monitors together with nesting in a single day within the bushes without delay above the camp of biologists Dave Morgan and Crickette Sanz--proved so much marvelous. The chimps spent a part of the evening "testing" the people by way of throwing down urine and feces onto the tents and howling! it is a bit varied from different studies 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 will 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 obvious to them. they can, even though, believe 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 means self-awareness. In chimps it has lengthy been identified that they realize themselves in mirrors and notice that the picture within the replicate isn't another chimp. the following it truly is said that an Asian elephant "was additionally capable of go the replicate self-recognition try, many times touching a white X at the facet of her head along with her trunk." (p. 180)

What is apparent to me is that the nice intelligence validated by means of chimps, bonobos and dolphins (and people, incidentally) is basically the results of the necessity to comprehend and negotiate the advanced social relationships they've got with others. this is often the foremost to the expansion of those enormous brains. yet intelligence outlined because the skill to unravel difficulties applies on to the quest for and procurement of nutrients. Dolphins use cooperative searching to enclose and strength to the outside faculties of fish so they can't simply get away. They even use bubbles to confuse and confine the fish. Apes use their minds to discover and keep in mind the place and once they stumbled on culmination in season in an unlimited forest.

Ape intelligence is seemingly constrained via their lack of ability to shape summary ideas, specifically when it comes to language that might let them cross on info to others. on the subject of dolphins this isn't so transparent on account that we're at a loss whilst attempting to comprehend what they're "saying" or why they do 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 resembling fish now not instantly current or activities and occasions long ago or imagined, that is the essence of human conceptual talents. The trick is to have symbols resembling phrases to face for whatever no longer current or for acts no longer in proof. Apes are constrained of their skill to represent. Are dolphins so constrained? we do not but know.

Bearzi and Stanford during this very readable booklet have performed a very good task of bringing to a normal readership a few of the most modern principles and discoveries which are prime us towards a better knowing of those detailed beings, and naturally to a greater comprehend of ourselves.

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Additional info for Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins

Example text

He is lying calmly in the deep shade of the forest, his broad, black back gleaming. Ruchina is a young adult male, a blackbuck, so-called because the saddle of silver hair has just begun to spread across his torso. He sits only a 31 BEAUTIFUL MINDS few yards from me, having decided to take his midday rest in this spot. He made a grand entrance a few minutes earlier, charging through a thicket, grabbing at a sapling tree, and cracking it in half before coming to rest like a runaway sixteenwheeler.

I would like to believe that in some peculiar way, my boat and its researchers, jam-packed with cameras, hydrophones, and computers, had become part of their everyday life's scenery. The morning was foggy and cold, and the dol- 24 An Eternal Fascination phins were moving north and then south, stopping here and there for short inspecting dives. I was following and recording their activities as they encircled a large school of sardines just off the Malibu pier. The fish were trapped ingeniously, as if in a net shaped by a tight formation of nine dolphins.

Gorillas were the most sought after, because of their imposing size. If they survived the sea voyage to London or New York, they rarely lived more than a few months. " Keepers had little idea what their dietary needs were, let alone their psychological welfare behind the bars of antiquated zoological parks. They were treated as highly dangerous, even savage animals, although a caged gorilla is generally an apathetic, bored creature unlikely to harm others. The public image of gorillas has evolved from savage beast to gentle giant.

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


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