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Humans Not As Unique As They Figure

A recent article in New Scientist magazine says human beings are not as unique as they imagine.

Above is a photo of sheep living in Austria. Here is a story about the minds of sheep. 

The article says animals have newly discovered and surprising abilities in ways people once thought as specific to humans.

For example, killer whales have been found to have distinct ways of communicating and hunting depending on if they live in a stable pod or are more transient. This speaks to culture among non-human species.

Some chimps use tools. Many people have seen the pictures of chimps using sticks to fish termites out of the termite mound. This is an example of tool use by animals.

Elephants grieve for dead herd members. Many animals have been noted for apparently emotional reactions. Humans are not the only species that experience emotion. 

Beyond culture, tool use and emotion, some animals may possess distinctive personalities, morality, and the ability to understand the mind and intent of another.

Humans are clearly unique. 

We are just not as special as we figure.

Who is as special as they figure?

Here is a BBC article on the subject of the minds of animals.

Below are lyrics from the Talking Heads song Animals.

They say they don’t need money
They’re living on nuts and berries
They say animals don’t worry
You know animals are hairy?
They think they know what’s best
They’re making a fool of us
They ought to be more careful
They’re setting a bad example
They have untroubled lives
They think everything’s nice
They like to laugh at people
They’re setting a bad example

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Music, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment