Do animals posses intellegence?

Essay by Hikage24College, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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Do animals possess intelligence? This is a very controversial question, similar in nature to the age-old question. What came first, the chicken or the egg? What is intelligence? Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, as well as the faculty of thought and reason. I feel that animals possess intelligence beyond that of just survival instincts such as to eat, drink, and sleep.

In the short story " Dolphin Courtship: Brutal, Cunning, and Complex ", written by Natalie Angier, you are shown a few socialistic tendencies that involve dolphin's courtship rituals. It states that, " The purpose of these complex alliances is not exactly sportive. Males collude with their peers in order to steal fertile females from competing bands." One group of male dolphins will cooperate with another group of male dolphins, and during this strategic alliance they will gang up on a third party of dolphins.

They will forcefully remove a fertile female from the third group, and attempt to corral the female. During the under water pirate like battle the first two groups of dolphins are using extremely high levels of strategic battle planning, some of which could rival that of present day armed forces. The story also states, " After they succeed in spiriting a female away, the males remain in their tight-knit group and perform a series of feats." Once the female is removed from the third party, the males will perform spectacular leaping, painful belly flops and huge swirling somersaults, all in perfect unison. If the female tries to escape during the awesome underwater acrobats, the males will aggressively pursue her. The males have been known to bite, slap females with their fins, and even slam into her with their bodies. The female either will be submissive or be beaten into submission.