Smart animals: bees trained to push a ball for food (Animals)

by dhw, Friday, February 24, 2017, 13:10 (360 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: "Joint lead author Dr Olli J. Loukola, said: "The bees solved the task in a different way than what was demonstrated, suggesting that observer bees did not simply copy what they saw, but improved on it. This shows an impressive amount of cognitive flexibility, especially for an insect."

"Dr Loukola added: "It may be that bumblebees, along with many other animals, have the cognitive capabilities to solve such complex tasks, but will only do so if environmental pressures are applied to necessitate such behaviours.'"

DAVID’s comment: A tiny brain can still learn with training. But the untrained bees could not innovate, showing that training is required.

Yet more evidence that insects are intelligent. Not as intelligent as humans, of course, and applying their intelligence only to what is useful for survival. For innovation, we would have to go back to the origins of bee society and bee behaviour – long, long, long before humans came on the scene. Either they worked it all out for themselves, or your God provided the first cells with a special bee-behaviour programme, or your God dabbled with an existing species (wasp?) to show them what to do. I wonder which you think is most likely.

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