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Monday, July 2, 2012

Studies show that animals are smarter than we thought

Science and techno world topic: Biology
*It was identified in the bonobo monkey DNA that there is only 1.3% of differences with humans.

Studies and trials by scientists in the world increase every year, particularly in primates, it was shown that they can plan their future, set goals and follow their progress

WASHINGTON, USA (29/JUN/2012.) - The more we study animals; we are less human than them.

Baboons can distinguish between real and false words. The monkeys seem to be able to multiply. Apes can delay instant gratification for longer than a child and can plan ahead. They are also able to make war and peace, empathy and sharing.

Photo: It was shown that monkeys can set goals and track your progress. AFP
"It's not a question of whether or not they think. Is how they think," says scientist Brian Hare at Duke University. Now scientists wonder whether monkeys are capable of thinking about what others think of apes.

Evidences that animals are smarter and more social than we thought seem to increase every year, especially the primates of the world.

It is a field of science which is increasingly sought. The number of studies of cognition between apes and monkeys doubled in recent years, often through better technology and neuroscience, which pave the way for unusual discoveries. This month, scientists mapped the DNA of bonobo ape discovered that, like the chimpanzee, has only a 1.3% difference with humans.

"Every year we discover things we thought could not be," says Josep Call, director of the Primate Research Center of the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Call says one of his most striking recent studies showed that monkeys can set goals in their world and track progress.

In a zoo, scientists offered eight possible tools to orangutans and bonobos, two of which could help them get food. Sometimes when I chose the right tool, the researchers moved to a different area before they could get food, and then kept on hold until 14 hours.

In almost all cases, when the monkeys realized they were being moved, they took the tool so it can be used to get food the next day, even remembering to take it after sleep. Apes do not forget your goal or series of steps.

Call says this is like what a person to pack their luggage one day before traveling: "For humans it is very important core skill."

In recent years, scientists have observed how chimpanzees in zoos stones collected and stored for use later as weapons. In May, a new study found that even make use of deception. Chimpanzees created a haystack to hide caches of stones from their rivals, just as nations do with bombs.

Hare says there are studies in chimpanzees carried rivals a place where some food hidden from view, except from one monkey. The chimp can see the hidden food, quickly realizes that his enemy can not see and use that in your favor, demonstrating the ability to perceive the situation of another monkey.
That's a trait that humans developed from being young children, but it's something we thought we were not able to do other animals, said Hare. Then there is the incredible memory of monkeys.

According to French research, at least two baboons continued to memorize as many pictures "several thousand" that after three years the researchers ran out of time before the baboons reached their limit. The researcher Joel Fagot, National Research Center Scientifique in France believe they are able to memorize at least 10 000 photos and probably more.

A chimpanzee in Japan, named Ayumu, who see series of numbers flashing on a screen for a split second defeat humans regularly doubling the number accurately. The video is a YouTube sensation, along with the Miami Zoo orangutans using iPads.

Not only primates show amazing abilities. The dolphins, whose brains are 25% heavier than humans, are recognized in a mirror, like elephants. A study in June concluded that black bears can rely on a primitive, something that even the pigeons have been made in an experiment by putting two points before five, or 10 before 20.

The trend of research is to identify some new thinking skills that chimpanzees can do, revealing that certain skills are not "uniquely human," the primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University. Then scientists discovered that same ability in other primates genetically distant from humans. Then find it in dogs and elephants.

At Duke, Professor Elizabeth Brannon shows videos of monkeys that appear to be doing a "fuzzy representation" of multiplication, tracking the number of points that go to a box on a computer screen and select the correct response of the total. This is after they already made additions and subtractions.

During the second quarter, in France, the researchers showed that six baboons could distinguish between real and fake words of four letters: CASA and BRRU, for example. They also sought to make their computer exercises at will, either for fun or for a snack.

It was once thought that the skills to manage emotions, empathize and socialize separated us from our primate cousins, but chimpanzees are comforted and fight. They also try to calm an upset partner.

When scientists study another of our closest relatives, the bonobo, they found  one important difference: Bonobos do not kill. Hare says his experiments show that bonobos offer food to the newcomer bonobos, even when they might prefer to stay with all the food.

Yet there are limits on what you can do non-human primates. Animals, for example, lack the ability to communicate with the complexity of human language.

In the French study, baboons can recognize the letters form a word HOUSE true because after trial and error, learning the letters tend to go together in some order. However, baboons have no idea what it means to CASA. That emptiness is the key. "The boundaries are not as sharp as people think, but there are certain things that can not be overcome and language is one of them," said Herbert Terrace, animal cognition researcher at Columbia University.

And that brings us to another difference, Ross said. Because the apes have no language skills, only learn by watching and imitating. Humans teach the language and explanation, which is faster and better, he added.

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