Thursday, July 21


A study published in the latest Animal Behavior says that "Chickens do not just live in the present, but can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control, something previously attributed only to humans and other primates," says this Discovery News article. The researchers tested hens with colored buttons. When the birds pecked on one of the buttons, they received a food reward. If the chicken waited two to three seconds, it received a small amount of food. If the bird held out for 22 seconds, it received a "jackpot" that paid out with much more to eat. Hens chose to wait and hold out for more 9 out of 10 times.

Just another indication that our mantra of "that's what separates us from the animals" (and its corrolary, "that's why it's OK to exploit animals") is woefully out of date and, essentially, fictitious.

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