Science and Nature

Animal IQ

We know animals are intelligent, but what we don’t know is how to compare the intelligence of one animal to another. Our Animal IQ Rubric helps us measure five domains of intelligence to finally answer the question: how smart are Earth’s animals?

Dolphins Can Use Technology!?

9m 42s

We all know they can jump through hoops, but just how much brainpower do dolphins have? Surely they can’t use a giant underwater touchscreen… can they? (they can!) This week Natalia called Dr. Diana Riess a dolphin intelligence expert from Hunter College and Ph.D student Diana Rocha of the World Cetacean Alliance and Dolphin Encountours to learn more about these precocious porpoises.

Episodes

  • Dolphins Can Use Technology!?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dolphins Can Use Technology!?

    S1 E8 - 9m 42s

    We all know they can jump through hoops, but just how much brainpower do dolphins have? Surely they can’t use a giant underwater touchscreen… can they? (they can!) This week Natalia called Dr. Diana Riess a dolphin intelligence expert from Hunter College and Ph.D student Diana Rocha of the World Cetacean Alliance and Dolphin Encountours to learn more about these precocious porpoises.

  • Otters: Cute, Playful, Geniuses?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Otters: Cute, Playful, Geniuses?

    S1 E6 - 8m 22s

    Otters are some of the most beloved creatures in the water. They draw crowds for their puppy-like playfulness, their social intelligence, and their tendency to hold hands for safety. Humans just can’t get enough! But have you thought about the intellect underneath that slick, furry exterior? We called Christy Sterling from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium to find out!

  • There Are No Actual ‘Lion Kings’: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    There Are No Actual ‘Lion Kings’

    S1 E7 - 8m 27s

    Lions are social animals living in small pride groups containing both males and females (a rarity in the animal kingdom). Some might think of the lion as all brawn and no brains, but they’re so much more. Dr. Natalia Borrego calls Brian Dowling from Lion Country Safari to talk about everything Panthera Leo!

  • This Rat Can Drive a Car?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Rat Can Drive a Car?

    S1 E5 - 7m 43s

    Rats are fascinating study subjects because of their unique status in the scientific community and laboratory environment! They aren’t just good at solving mazes, they can comprehend complex concepts like sharing and treat others as you would like to be treated. They understand when they’re being tested, and when they believe they are going to fail, some rats won’t even make an attempt.

  • Elephants: Do Giant Brains Mean More Smarts?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Elephants: Do Giant Brains Mean More Smarts?

    S1 E4 - 11m 38s

    African elephants are known to recognize groups of humans, to test electric fences with their tusks to avoid injury, and (of course) can remember paths to resources passed down to them decades earlier. But, can elephants cooperate to solve a puzzle? How good are they at understanding themselves and their place in the savannah? What does an elephant really know?

  • Elephants: Do Giant Brains Mean More Smarts?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Elephants: Do Giant Brains Mean More Smarts?

    S1 E5 - 11m 38s

    African elephants are known to recognize groups of humans, to test electric fences with their tusks to avoid injury, and (of course) can remember paths to resources passed down to them decades earlier. But, can elephants cooperate to solve a puzzle? How good are they at understanding themselves and their place in the savannah? What does an elephant really know?

  • Baby Penguins Can Navigate Better than You: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Baby Penguins Can Navigate Better than You

    S1 E3 - 7m 23s

    Penguins are fascinating creatures, not just because of their physical characteristics. They’re amazing at creating mental maps, can recognize each other’s calls, and hunt in a coordinated way. Penguins might not be the smartest animal on our list, but they’re pretty incredible in their own way.

  • Foxes: Dog Hardware, Cat Software: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Foxes: Dog Hardware, Cat Software

    S1 E2 - 8m 55s

    Foxes are described as “dog hardware running cat software.” These animals are incredible problem solvers, build extremely detailed mental maps of their environment, and can recognize individuals. Over the last 70 years, some foxes were selectively bred to be friendly to humans, and these descendants behave completely differently than their wild counterparts. What can we learn about IQ from them?

  • How Intelligent are Dogs, Really?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Intelligent are Dogs, Really?

    S1 E1 - 9m 17s

    The humble dog has been adapting and evolving alongside humanity since before we learned agriculture and how to make our own tools. This long history means dogs are incredible at human-canine interaction but is there a downside to this all human-focused adaptation? Hosts Natalia Borrego and Trace Dominguez talk to Laurie Santos, Director of the Yale Cognition Center, to find out.

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