Quicklinks: Animal intelligence, abuse and some cool posts

To keep to on a topic I’ve put a bit of effort into documenting I have a short press release about a metacognition in chimps.

This pattern of behavior reflects a controlled information-seeking capacity that serves to support intelligent responding, and it strongly suggests that our closest living relative has metacognitive abilities closely related to those of humans.

This is also important when considering the next two links, about bills in the US designed to prevent documenting of animal abuse. There is an attempt to disrupt animal rights activists by making it a crime to infiltrate farming facilities and record abuse of animals. This isn’t about them doing anything disruptive, merely to stop them building a case and reporting abuse to authorities. This deliberately prevents people from knowing what is going on in the industry and there are fears similar laws could spread around the world.

Then to buoy your spirit you can see these two cool stories. One about bees moving each other with electrical fields (and there’s a link to more about bees and electricity inside) and one about the historical value of island weapons. If you don’t want the history then let me say it’s also a chance to see swords made from shark teeth!

Don’t blame animals for human behaviour

Just over a week ago a Scottish woman visitng South Africa was injured while in a Cheetah enclosure. Then another woman claimed that she had also been attacked by the same cheetahs a few years earlier. The manager of the facility then admitted there had been other minor incidents. I’ve petted a tame cheetah before and it really is a great experience because it’s the sort of animal that you admire because of it’s physical attributes. At the same time you need to realise that those same attributes make it a dangerous creature that is probably physically superior to you. Continue reading