Animal minds Intelligent Design

Seals are smarter than dogs?

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According to the media release from Seals Unlimited, that is. No, but seriously:

Dog lovers may be surprised (and displeased!) by a recent study of animal intelligence that dismisses the intelligence of dogs, compared to that of marine mammals:

… systematically reviewing the animal cognition literature, British psychologists Stephen Lea and Britta Osthaus found dogs to be unremarkable in their cognitive capabilities compared to wolves, cats, dolphins, chimpanzees, pigeons, and several other species. For example, dogs seem no better at learning associations—such as between a behavior and a reward—than other species. Similarly, dogs can spatially navigate within small spaces, but other species can, too. And while dogs have an excellent sense of smell, the “pig’s olfactory abilities are outstanding and might even be better than the dog’s.” DAVID Z. HAMBRICK, “Your Dog May Not Be a Genius, after All” at Scientific American

Hambrick, a cognitive psychologist, also notes that bottlenose dolphins and the grey seals were better able to follow human hand signals, even though dogs are bred to be sensitive to human communications. News, “Dogs are not as intelligent as seals? ” at Mind Matters

But it raises the question of how we assess intelligence.

See also: Crows can be as smart as apes

Yes, Even Lizards can be smart

Is the octopus a “second genesis” of intelligence?

and

Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds. Listen.

3 Replies to “Seals are smarter than dogs?

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    But are they smarter than cats?

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    As much as I tell myself I do NOT like living with dogs, I’ve never had ANY desire to have sea mammals flopping around the house instead.

    Dogs are BORN wanting to be be accepted as full members of their human man-pack. They desire human contact and recognition as much as food or air. They are INSTANTLY roused from sound sleep by the slightest sound of intrusion into their man-pack’s space, ready in an instant for a fight to the death with their human fellows.

    Etc., etc.

    Killer Whales might be REALLY smart, but they don’t give a damn about humans, and I sure don’t want one sleeping on top of the blankets at the foot of my bed.

    See any episode of “Too Cute Puppies”.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    There is s reason fishermen hate seals. Herring weirs are a passive means of trapping herring in large numbers. Porpoises sometimes follow the fish in but panic when they can’t get out. Fisherman will often help free them. Seals, on the other hand, get into the weir, eat their fill and then leave. They are definitely clever.

    But you don’t want to be bitten by a seal. Bites almost always become infected.

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