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What Does the Crow Know?: The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence

Overview

Do animals think? Are they creative? Can they remember things that happened in the past? Do they learn and plan ahead? Are they aware of what they're doing--or are they just programmed by the built-in patterns of behavior called instinct?

Raises the issue of whether or not animals are capable of thought, learning, remembering, and creativity, with examples of animal behavior that appears to be truly intelligent.

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Overview

Do animals think? Are they creative? Can they remember things that happened in the past? Do they learn and plan ahead? Are they aware of what they're doing--or are they just programmed by the built-in patterns of behavior called instinct?

Raises the issue of whether or not animals are capable of thought, learning, remembering, and creativity, with examples of animal behavior that appears to be truly intelligent.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The intelligence of animals, a field only recently studied with intensity, has deep roots. Facklam provides a brief and informative history of the study of animal intelligence. Several examples are presented, beginning with Clever Hans, a horse that appeared to be able to perform simple arithmetic. Hans was indeed a clever horse, but he was also receiving hidden clues from his trainer, which led to the development of blind testing of animals. Different animals display different levels of intelligence, but one thing that Facklam is quick to point out is that it matters very little how animals score on human intelligence tests. Animals learn how to behave in order to survive in the wild. While many animals cannot read or write, they are clever enough to hunt for food and to figure out ways to fool prey and even humans. Johnson provides striking black-and-white drawings of the animals and situations mentioned in the book. 2001 (orig. 1994), Sierra Club Books for Children, $6.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This exceptionally well-written and easy-to-read title is sure to convince readers, through many examples of extended research, that animals can think, learn, plan ahead, and teach others. Fascinating stories are presented about parrots, chimps, elephants, and dolphins. Evidence shows that some of them are quite aware of what they do, and that they can be creative. A good explanation of how background, culture, and environment can affect intelligence-test scores in humans is applied to animals. To the inevitable question, which species is the smartest?, Facklam answers: ``Each animal is as smart as it needs to be, or it wouldn't survive.'' Fine black-and-white drawings add interest and appeal. This book is an excellent choice for leisure reading and a high-quality supplement for research; it will complement Helen Roney Sattler's Fish Facts and Bird Brains (Lodestar, 1984) or Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's How Smart Are Animals? (Harcourt, 1990).-Karen M. Kearns, Environmental Resource Center, Atlanta, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578050758
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/6/2001
  • Series: Books for Children Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Margery Facklam collaborated on three other titles in his highly acclaimed series: And Then There Was One: The Mysteries of Extinction; Do Not Disturb: The Mysteries of animal Hibernation and Sleep; and Bees Dance and Whales Sing; The Mysteries of Animal Communication. Ms Facklam lives in upstate New York.

Pamela Johnson collaborated on three other titles, such as And Then There was One: The Mysteries of Extinction. SHe lives in Sedgewick, Maine.

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Read an Excerpt

"How much is four plus five?" a man asked in the audience shouted at the horse.

What a question to ask a horse! But, his owner, Wilhelm von Osten, nodded to Hans, a signal to "go ahead." In the silent room, the only sound was the tapping of the horse's hoof--nine times.

Amazing, people said. What a smart horse!

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Table of Contents

Clever Hans and Bored Cats

Amazing Alex and Other Bird Brains

An Elephant Never Forgets

Count On It

Learning to Disobey

Index

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