Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Parrot Communication

Hi, it's my birthday and a friend of mine sent me a couple of very sweet links to me for my birthday... the first one is just lovely and I hope you check it out. It's
The second link is and is a bbc story about a bird who seams to be able to talk in english creatively, not just saying things but evidently understanding what it is talking about.
After I read the second link I started to respond to the letter and found myself going on for ages about the cognitive abilities of animals... and I decided that I might as well post it here.... so what follows is the letter I sent back to my friend with a few paragraphs and lines taken out since they are about her life and not my opinions:
Thank you for the birthday wishes.

The first video I think is simply fantastic, it's downright inspiring actually.

The second article is interesting, I don't know if it's the same parrot as one I have heard of before with similar abilities... I actually don't find it too suprising because parrots live a long time and so have time to develop the cognitive abilities.

I might be wrong about this but you hear about animals showing interspecies affection and such, and it seams to me that the longer an animal lives the bigger the ability to do that bond seams to be. there was a recent one with a tortoise and I think it was a baby hipo or something like that. there was the lioness who adopted gazelles completely against her nature.

But that said we keep pet pigs, even though it is our nature to eat pigs.

I think it is ludicrous to believe we are the only species that has the capability to adopt within species into our lives... after all cats and dogs adopt us.

As for communication, most animals appear to have words but not syntax... so a cat would say foood food food now food... not "Can i have some food please?", but it is becoming apparent that dolphins do have syntax and parrots if it does not exist naturally are able to learn it in english. (although rarely)

The thing that truely sets us apart from animals is not the oposible thumb or technology, which is what most people say, other species can manipulate things quite well, or are able to use tools to some degree or another.... what sets us apart is written language... which gives us the abilitty to hand down knowledge and experiences through generations unmodified.


chribo said...

Happy Birthday Shelly!
I wish you all the best.


Lex said...

Hi Shelly, many belated happy returns.