Forget porpoises and crows. Prairie dogs may be smarter.

Homepage Forums Science Forget porpoises and crows. Prairie dogs may be smarter.

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 week, 6 days ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #53160

    Unseen
    Participant

    If having a sophisticated language is your measure.

    It turns these little ground squirrels have an actual language built on nouns and adjectives (verbs are implied). They may not turn out to be the most intelligent nonhuman animal on Earth as science further examines other candidates, but right now these little guys seem to be the smartest animal we know about, at least when it comes to having a sophisticated language and using it in their daily lives.

    This research and researcher have been published in Scientific American.

    Last year, animal behaviourist from Northern Arizona University and founder of the Animal Language Institute, Con Slobodchikoff, discussed his research on the vocalisations of the Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) from Arizona and New Mexico. He discovered that this species’ communication system is so advanced, not only do they have different warning calls depending on the type of predator – coyote, domestic dog, human, hawk – they also construct sentences describing what a particular predator looks like. So, “a medium, rectangle-shaped dog with yellow fur (we call them German shepherds) is approaching”, or “Here comes a tall human being wearing a green t-shirt who is also fat.” (I’m teasing, prairie dogs, I’m sure your sentences sound much more elegant.)

    By showing captive prairie dogs a number of simple silhouetted shapes such as triangles, circles and squares, Slobodchikoff also determined that they can come up with new calls to communicate to each other about things they’ve never seen before.

     

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  Unseen.
    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  Unseen.
    #53288

    RichRaelian
    Participant

    Hi! I’m not looking at who is smarter or who is dumber merely how effective they can be in a service to others capacity and how much love they can give unconditionally too.

    #53289

    Unseen
    Participant

    Hi! I’m not looking at who is smarter or who is dumber merely how effective they can be in a service to others capacity and how much love they can give unconditionally too.

    Their language is all about “service to others” by warning their community about impending threats mainly. As for “unconditional love,” I don’t even know what you would look for.

    #53293

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    RichRaelian,

    Hi! I’m not looking at who is smarter or who is dumber merely how effective they can be in a service to others capacity and how much love they can give unconditionally too.

    So what you’re looking for is a Shmoo.👻😁
    Shmoo–Wikipedia
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmoo

    #53296

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Their language is all about “service to others” by warning their community about impending threats mainly. As for “unconditional love,” I don’t even know what you would look for.

    I would have thought that the group members would want to look after their alarm callers, unconditionally, since the alarm callers are essential to all their survival.

    #53298

    Unseen
    Participant

    Their language is all about “service to others” by warning their community about impending threats mainly. As for “unconditional love,” I don’t even know what you would look for.

    I would have thought that the group members would want to look after their alarm callers, unconditionally, since the alarm callers are essential to all their survival.

    But they all have a duty to alert the others when they see a threat. It’s not like they have dedicated duties the way it works in a human company where one person works in the stock room, someone else plays the cashier role, and someone else has HR duties. The only ones exempted form the lookout role are the pups.

    #53306

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s not like they have dedicated duties the way it works in a human company where one person works in the stock room, someone else plays the cashier role, and someone else has HR duties.

    Some species rely on other species to do the alarm calling.  I’ve heard of some animals giving different calls for different threats, but the prairie dogs sound very sophisticated in their language.

    I think it’s interesting how the language is used for prosocial purposes: to help everyone in the group survive.  There’s an analogy with human language and reasoning there, I would imagine.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.