Like a baseball player running to make a catch, dragonflies are also capable of predicting the trajectory of a moving object, typically its next meal. New research is revealing the mechanisms behind this complex cognitive task, which was once thought to be exclusive to mammals. It’s hoped that these insights will lead…
New research shows that ravens can plan ahead for different types of events, and even resist the urge to take an immediate reward in favor of getting a better one in the future. These capacities are often considered the exclusive domain of humans and great apes, so their presence in birds comes as a surprise.
Everyone is talking about ticks this year, for good reason: This year’s tick forecast is especially bad. But humans aren’t the only ones worried about the horrible little buggers. It seems like at least one bird species safeguards its nests against ticks with a surprising piece of litter. Cigarette butts.
Yesterday, a New York state appeals court rejected an appeal filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) seeking legal rights for a pair of captive chimpanzees. It’s a major setback for the group, but the battle to secure human-like legal protections for highly intelligent and self-aware animals is far from over.
It’s hard to know how smart animals are for the simple reason that they’re not able to come right out and tell us. Scientists have developed various methods over the years to assess animal intelligence, but a simple new body-awareness test involving elephants may be a promising new tool to add to the arsenal.
Given their size and limited brain power, ants have an uncanny ability to find their way home after lengthy foraging excursions. To figure out how they do it, scientists from Germany have developed an innovative, but surprisingly simple spherical ant treadmill made from styrofoam.
The ability to look into a mirror and recognize oneself is a cognitive skill we all take for granted, but very few animals outside of humans are able to do it. New research shows that monkeys can be trained to pass the so-called “mirror test,” suggesting that more species may be self-aware than previously thought.…
You know that thing you do where you talk to your dog like it’s a baby? New research shows that puppies respond well to this silly form of speech, but older dogs could give a crap. So, stop doing it when your dog grows up.
New research shows that macaques have a vocal tract capable of emitting human-like speech, but they lack the brain circuitry to make words happen. That may be a good thing, because their simulated speech is creepy as hell.
Ever wonder if your dog recalls those times you were were a really shitty owner? The latest science shows they most certainly do.
Unbelievable footage from Australia shows a whale calf as it desperately tries to free its mother from a sandbank.
By scanning the brains of dogs, researchers from Hungary have learned that our canine companions don’t just care about what we say, it’s also very important about how how we say it. Which means they can tell when you’re feeding them a load of crap.
Birds are capable of extraordinary behavioral feats, from solving complex puzzles to tool making. There may be good reason for that. A new study shows that, pound for pound, birds pack more neurons into their small brains than mammals, including primates.
We don’t usually think of fish as being particularly smart, but a new experiment reveals that at least one species of tropical fish is capable of distinguishing between human faces. Scientists have never seen fish do this before, and it’s changing our understanding of these creatures and how brains work.
The backlash has been vicious since zookeepers killed a gorilla named Harambe in order to protect a boy who fell into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Now, police are investigating the parents in a misguided effort to administer blame, but one thing is more clear than ever: Zoos are awful places for animals to…
Very few animals are capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror. New research suggests that manta rays are capable of this unique cognitive feat—a possible sign that these fish are self-aware.
In a world’s first, researchers from the US and UK have created an impression of a submerged human as recorded by a dolphin’s echolocation.
To do it, a team led by Jack Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin.com used an imaging system known as a Cymascope. The system, developed by John Stuart Reid (who also assisted with the…
Millions of landmines remain strewn across Angola, remnants of the country’s long civil war. Remarkably, some elephants have learned to sniff out and avoid these hazards, and even alert an entire herd to the danger. Intrigued, the U.S. Army is now testing the ability of elephants to detect chemicals found in landmines…
Since the time of Aristotle, scientists have debated the degree to which animals are capable of exhibiting rational, independent thought. But as this new TED-Ed video demonstrates, our ruminations on animal intelligence tend to say more about ourselves than anything else.