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Yes, Even Lizards Can Be Smart

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A green lizard eyeing the camera If you catch them at the right time. But can we give machines what the lizard has by nature?

We sometimes assume that reptiles cannot be as smart as mammals because they are exothermic (cold-blooded) rather than endothermic (warm-blooded), and the brain is a high metabolic area. Here, though, we find some surprises.

Reptiles lack some brain structures found in mammals but they can use what they’ve got for behavior that we would describe as intelligent: Crocodilians (alligators and crocodiles) have been reported to use sticks as decoysplay, and work in teams.

Exothermy slows intelligence but does not absolutely prevent it: Anole lizards were found as capable as tits (birds) in a problem-solving test for a food reward. But the anoles, being exothermic, don’t need much food — which, of course, hinders research.

Even fish have shown signs of what seems like intelligence… “Yes, Even Lizards Can Be Smart” at Miind Matters

See also: Crows can be as smart as apes


Is the octopus a “second genesis” of intelligence?


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