Friday, May 4, 2012

Baboons Identifying Words? Really?

Just this past week I read a short article in our local area newspaper, The Herald-Times, about an experiment with baboons and identifying words with four letters.  The baboons were shown groups of four letters, some of which made actual words, and others which did not.  Astonishingly, the baboons were highly accurate in identifying the real words!

Image provided by Classroom Clipart

Now this big guy doesn't look as if he is too interested in being involved in the reading experiment.  However, those that were did an amazing job of picking out the groups of four letters that made an actual word.  They indicated that it was a word by pushing a green button.  It was noted in the article that this is a form of pre-reading, and that pre-reading may be more instinctual than first thought.  However, in my opinion, this test of animal "intelligence" is just another example of how smart animals really are, and that the reason we aren't aware of it is because we don't speak their "languages." 

This post written by Pam Todd, whose Art Fire Studio, Bags and More by Pam features high-quality hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  Pam is a member of the Crafting for Animals guild on Art Fire, loves learning about animals of all kinds, and supports the Elephant Sanctuary  in Hohenwald, Tennessee.  Here is one selection from Pam's Art Fire Studio. Click on her studio name above to see more.

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