Saturday, November 10, 2012

Revised Title

1) Boysen, Sally and Deborah Custance. The Smartest Animals on the Planet: Revised & Updated. 2012. Firefly Books. Paperback: 192 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: This compelling book is from a world authority in animal intelligence and brings together the cumulative research relating to non-human "smart" species. It reveals how intelligent animals communicate, how they learn behavior, how they show feelings and emotions -- and for some species, how they use tools, count, and pick up a foreign language!
     Fully illustrated with photographs and step-by-step graphics, and drawing on data from historical and current experiments and observations, the book examines intelligence in the great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans), monkeys, and a surprisingly long list of non-primate species: sea otters, eagles, elephants, dolphins, lions, whales, parrots, honeybees, beetles, rats, woodpeckers, crows, and dogs.
     The book's chapters are:

*Comparing Animal Skills and Intelligence -- with each other and with humans
*Animal Tool Use -- in nature, in captivity, environmental adaptation
*Communication in Animals -- language, intention, meaning, alarms
*Imitation and Social Learning -- culture, observational learning
*Social Cognition and Emotion -- cooperation, altruism, empathy, deception
*Self-recognition and Awareness -- consciousness, mirror self-recognition
*Numerical Abilities in Animals -- counting, uses of quantity
*Animals and Human Non-verbal Language -- sign language, shapes, graphic symbols.

This new edition's updates reflect the massive surge in research on animal cognitiion in the last 3 years -- in companion dogs, birds, insects, stingrays and mongooses.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in animal behavior.

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