By Donald R. Griffin
"Animal Minds tackles a query that's either interesting and demanding. the overpowering physique of facts that Donald Griffin has assembled places past moderate doubt the case for spotting that many non-human animals . . . are able to even more refined considering than many scientists were ready to believe."--Peter Singer, writer of Animal Liberation.
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Extra resources for Animal Minds
At early stages in the development of any branch of science it is often necessary to do the best one can with fragmentary evidence and hypotheses that cannot be nearly formulated into crisp alternatives for the very reason that the subject is poorly understood. Limitations of the Objections To claim that it is impossible to study subjective experience scientifically is to overlook the fact that many scientific advances have begun byexploratory probes into unknown areas where clearcut evidence is not initially available.
Certainly our own thoughts and feelings vary enormously in their nature and complexity and in the relative importance of conscious and unconscious processes, as emphasized by Shallice (1978, 1988a, 1988b). But before we can hope to analyze how the content and quality of consciousness varies from species to species and from one situation to another, we must determine where and when it occurs. The relatively simple content of animal thoughts and subjective feelings is almost certainly relevant to the animal's own situation rather than to human concerns.
Woodpecker finches (CII&tospizII pallidll) and mangrove finches (C. heliobt#es) hold twigs, cactus spines or the petioles of leaves in the beak and use them as tools to pry arthropods of various kinds out of crevices. On two small islands, Wolf (or Wenman) and Darwin (or Culpepper), about 100 km from other islands of the archipelago, the sharp-beaked ground finches (GeospirA diffi&ilis) have developed the most unusual habit of feeding on the blood of boobies (genus SuIII). This habit probably began as a mutually advantageous feeding on ectoparasites; a related species of ground finch commonly eats ticks from the skin of marine iguanas some of which have ritualized displays to solicit tick removal by the birds.
Animal Minds by Donald R. Griffin