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Our little pup Cocoa is an affectionate animal. When people come over, she wags her tiny tail appreciatively. And, her puppy eyes are so inviting that even people who are scared of dogs bend down to pet her. Dogs are high on social cognition- and that’s one aspect of intelligence. But, is she intelligent in other ways as well? I mean dogs are intelligent creatures and they can be trained to do certain tasks such as guarding or helping very well. A bigger question is – do the standards of human intelligence apply to animals too in deciding how intelligent they are? An important question is how would we find out whether an animal is intelligent and another one is how do we measure that intelligence?

There are so many sprinkles of deep insights in this article that I find it difficult to just talk about a few. Here’s an article that talks about animal intelligence and more – how we interpret intelligence; what does intelligence mean to us; when we speak about intelligent birds, apes or animals in general, what we mean; how the concept of self is considered important by us; and how to understand animal minds. The author says that while trying to understand animal intelligence, it wouldn’t be right to check for human-intelligence markers in them. We will need to assess their intelligence differently. And, we perhaps can, if we ask the right questions.