Natures wonders: Crocodile tools (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 05, 2013, 16:04 (2085 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Nor do we know how intelligence is developed. Nor do we know where to draw the borderline between instinct and intelligence. Instinct is normally pretty standardized, but if one croc uses sticks as bait and another doesn't, or one crow can solve puzzles while another can't, or one rat can exit the maze more quickly than another, is it not possible that the one is simply more intelligent than the other?

Or luckier in trial and error. But Sheldrake's work on animal consciousness shows that one lucky fellow will be immitated by the others until the whole species is doing it. There is no question this happens. The "100th monkey" story is one the classics.

dhw: One intelligent croc and maybe a couple of intelligent ants are all you need to come up with a stick-baiting or ant-rafting idea that can then be passed on to subsequent generations.

I like the way you tuck in the word intelligent.

Here is an article on the recent discovery that ants teach each other one to one in the hunt for food, after which the pupil becomes a teacher, and so on. Why would pupils need to be taught what you think is an instinctive activity?

Excellent article and right to the point Sheldrake makes.

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