I don’t really follow animal behavior research very closely but this Live Science report (via MSNBC) raises some interesting issues in the old “what is intelligence?” debate.
Chimps and orangutans plan for the future just like us.
They are capable of exercising self-control to postpone gratification and to imagine future events via “mental time travel,” according to new research from Lunds University Cognitive Science in Sweden.
The skill of future planning was commonly thought to be exclusive to humans, although some studies of apes and crows have challenged this idea, say researchers Mathias and Helena Osvath. Now, for the first time, there is “conclusive evidence of advanced planning capacities in non-human species,” they say.
The results are detailed online this week in the journal Animal Cognition.