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n45_w1150 by Biodiversity Heritage Library
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Animal Intelligence

Ever notice how they keep moving the goalposts when it comes to animal intelligence vs. human intelligence?

“Humans are completely unique. No other animal uses tools.”

“Actually, wild sea otters have been observed using rocks to open shellfish.”

“Okay, but that’s not true intelligence. They just pick the rocks up; they don’t alter them in any way.”

“Chimps peel the leaves from sticks to make more effective termite probes.”

“Well, that’s just technology. Only humans have art.”

“What about painting elephants? Art critics often can’t tell the difference between their work and a human’s.”

“Okay fine. But only humans have language. That’s the mark of true intelligence.”

“These African Grey Parrots use hundreds of words correctly and even ask original questions.”

“Oh yeah? Well, does any non-human species demonstrate self-awareness?”

“Dolphins pass the mirror test without training.”

“Pfft. How about problem-solving?”

“I can’t keep squirrels out of my bird feeder no matter what I do.”

“Aha! Bet you can’t think of a species that possesses all these traits! Only humans! We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!”

“Crows.”

“LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOOOOUUUUUUUUU…”

I’ve seen a lot of videos going around of urban-dwelling critters coming to humans for help with various problems, ranging from boxes stuck on their heads to young trapped down a storm drain, and it’s gotten me to thinking:

On the one hand, it’s kind of fascinating that they know to do that.

On the other hand, setting any questions of how this sort of behaviour must have arisen aside for the nonce, does it ever strike you how weird it is that we’ve got a whole collection of prey species whose basic problem-solving script ends with the step “if all else fails, go bother one of the local apex predators and maybe they’ll fix the problem for no reason”?

Mauritius ornate day gecko (Phelsuma ornata)

Mauritius ornate day gecko is a diurnal species of geckos. It occurs on the island Mauritius and some surrounding islands and typically inhabits different trees and bushes. The Mauritius ornate day gecko feeds on insects and nectar. This Gecko is one of the smallest day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 12 cm. The body colour is quite variable. It can be bluish green, green with a blue area on the front back, or completely blue.

photo credits: S Molteno

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The Okeanos Explorer has discovered a very cute octopus at a depth of 4,290 metres.

This is the deepest an octopus of this particular sub order of octopus has ever been seen. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted this is a completely unsubscribed species and perhaps not belonging to any specific genus. Highlighting how little we still know about the creatures in the depths of our oceans.

(Ocean Explorer)

thejesusofsucc replied to your post “vegans who know nothing about bees or bee keeping and think eating…”

honey is bees spit

It’s actually diluted bee regurgitation. Bees collect nectar and store it in a honey crop (sometimes called a “honey stomach” but it’s not a stomach at all, more of a storage sac), where it’s mixed with an enzyme. The nectar is then regurgitated into honey comb and that’s how honey is made.

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When Scientists Get Accidentally Artsy

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History lies right at the intersection of art and science, showcasing the inherent beauty of skeletons — that is, fish skeletons.

Here’s an incredible photo - this is a baby albino green sea turtle! It hatched on an Australian beach in 2016!

It is estimated that only 1 in 1000 hatchling Green Sea Turtles will survive to adulthood, sadly this beautiful animal faces even greater challenges than most. The loss of natural camouflage leaves albino wild animals more vulnerable to predators and makes them significantly more visible to their prey.