The Brainy Life of Bees Animals Biology 

The Brainy Life of Bees

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic The thought of worker bees buzzing about their colonies in service of the queen may not suggest a rich mental life at first. However, two experiments run by separate teams at Queen Mary University of London reveal a surprising potential for bumblebees to learn novel tasks as well as experience mental states similar to human optimism. The findings suggest that bees can transfer learned skills across generations—one of the primary requirements for primitive culture. I’m just pulling your string Crows, apes, and dolphins get plenty of…

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big, beautiful bird brains Animals Biology 

Big, Beautiful Bird Brains

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby It is probably not a coincidence that the verbs ape and parrot have such a similar meaning: to imitate an observed behavior. There is something suggestive of intelligence in the words, perhaps informed by knowing that babies mimic the behaviors of adults as their brains begin to mature. But the similarity may reflect something more fundamental.  Primates and certain birds—most notably parrots and corvids, the group that includes crows and jays—are well known as being among the smartest of animals. For apes this is no surprise,…

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