The Smartest Animals on the Planet

Front Cover
Firefly Books, 2009 - Nature - 192 pages
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How animals communicate and learn -- sometimes better than humans do, actually.

This fascinating book, written by a world authority on animal intelligence, brings together the cumulative research on the comparative intelligence levels of nonhuman "smart" species. Sally Boysen reveals how these intelligent animals communicate, learn behavior, show feelings and emotions and, for some species, how they use tools, count and sometimes pick up a foreign language.

Fully illustrated with photographs and step-by-step graphics, the book draws on data from historical and current experiments and observations to examine intelligence in the great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans) and in a surprising list of other species, including sea otters, eagles, elephants, dolphins, birds, bees, beetles, rats, raccoons and parrots.

The book's chapters are:

  • Comparing Animal Skills and Intelligence
  • Animal Tool Use
  • Communication in Animals
  • Imitation and Social Learning
  • Social Cognition and Emotion
  • Self-recognition and Awareness
  • Numerical Abilities in Animals
  • Animals and Human Nonverbal Language.

The Smartest Animals on the Planet is a beautiful, authoritative and up-to-date presentation on the remarkable intelligence of the animal kingdom.

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About the author (2009)

Sally Boysen, PhD, is internationally recognized for her work in chimpanzee cognition. She is currently a consulting editor for the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and her research has been featured on the PBS series NOVA and on BBC Horizons.

Deborah Custance, PhD, has conducted research on social learning in several species of primates and published papers in international journals.

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