Books et al.Ethology

Animal acumen

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Science  29 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6285, pp. 525
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2217

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Summary

Ever since the seminal writings of Charles Darwin, it has been well established that minds, like bodies, have evolved through the processes of natural and sexual selection. As a consequence, Darwin himself once argued that any difference between human and nonhuman animals "is one of degree, not kind." In Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, primatologist Frans de Waal explores whether our mode of investigating animal cognition is inherently biased against manifestations of intelligence that are decidedly non-humanlike. Reviewer Nicola Clayton praises the book as "inspiring," while acknowledging that its provocative premise will likely inflame skeptics.