Chimpanzees don’t easily understand the pointing gesture even though they have fingers. Puppies don’t have fingers but can easily learn to understand the pointing gesture.
U Buffalo: “Researchers analyzed the dog’s mitochondrial genome, and concluded that the animal belonged to a lineage of dogs whose evolutionary history diverged from that of Siberian dogs as early as 16,700 years ago.”
Mammals, birds, and reptiles differ by ability but those that have been studied seem to have individual personalities within the frame of their intelligence. What they don’t have or make little use of is abstract reasoning.
Maybe they are descended from wolves but never really became dogs?
Interspecies comparisons are difficult but if we are going to compare, a better matchup would be between cats and wolves because both species have generally had to solve their own problems, as opposed to dogs which are bred to wait for human guidance.
What dogs really excel at is understanding humans. It’s the key to their well-being. Naturally, when they succeed, we think they are very clever. Are wolves more clever because they survive on their own? Well, they are more clever in certain ways, such as group co-operation and problem-solving, but not in understanding human communications. It really depends on what type of intelligence we want to measure.
These people read too much Darwin and his followers. The lioness has not read any of those sources, as it happens.
“The researchers point out that, although the kind of coordination shown in the present study may rely on more simple mechanisms than full, conscious cooperation, … ” Surely no one thinks that dogs or wolves have a theory of co-operation?
Their assertion shows, of course, what as mess the biological species concept is. If anyone does think all those breeds of dogs are really species, well…
Perhaps most groups of canines have never been very separate for any length of time and that fact may have served them well.
Maybe greater social intelligence is the outcome of a much higher order of underlying intelligence in humans?
From ScienceDaily: People who think dogs are exceptionally intelligent are barking up the wrong tree, new research shows. Scientists reviewed evidence that compared the brain power of dogs with other domestic animals, other social hunters and other carnivorans (an order including animals such as dogs, wolves, bears, lions and hyenas). The researchers, from the University Read More…