By Donald R. Griffin
"Animal Minds tackles a query that's either interesting and significant. the overpowering physique of proof that Donald Griffin has assembled places past average doubt the case for spotting that many non-human animals . . . are in a position to even more refined pondering than many scientists were ready to believe."--Peter Singer, writer of Animal Liberation.
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Extra resources for Animal Minds
There are elements of accuracy to both views. The tits certainly did not comprehend the nature of milk bottles, the properties of glass and metal foil, or the nature and source of cream. But in hungrily exploring the environment of village streets, sidewalks, and doorsteps, they found that pulling off' a sheet of shiny, pliable stuff allowed them to get at a new and tasty sort of liquid food; and they went on to exploit this new Finding Food 43 food source. Other tits presumably picked up the habit by watching their companions, as in the experiments of Krebs and his colleagues.
Darwin's finches live in a harsh environment where food is often very difficult to obtain, except after the occasional rains when vegetation and insects become much more abundant than during the usual dry periods. Their diet tends to be opportunistic; as Grant (1986, 393) summarizes it: As a group, Darwin's Finches rip open rotting cactus pads, strip the bark off dead branches, kick over stones, probe flowers, rolled leaves, and cavities in trees, and search for arthropods on the exposed rocks of the shoreline at low tide.
Extensive evidence shows that what animals learn is strongly constrained by species-specific capabilities; some behavior patterns are learned much more easily than others that the animal is quite capable of performing. Furthennore, the widespread interest in sociobiology has led to a strong emphasis on the adaptive value of behavior-how it increases the likelihood of an animal's survival and reproduction and, hence, its evolutionary fimess. Claim II has also been greatly modified due to the cognitive revolution in psychology.