smart cows and karabau

Maybe cows are smarter than you think!

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+13 1. huldu commented 6 years ago

Some of those cows actually impressed me quite a bit because the action that was required was a bit "complicated" with multiple steps, especially the one in India(?) at ~1 min - and of course the last one! Obviously the cows have been paying attention to what humans have been doing for quite some time, but unlike "normal" cows these could perform similar actions. My mind was literally blown, cows aren't exactly the most clever creatures around so this, just wow. Great video!
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-2 2. Judge-Jake commented 6 years ago

You none vegetarian, murdering, meat eating, barstards really ought to stop eating these intelligent creatures<3
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+1 3. kirkelicious commented 6 years ago

#1 I doubt cows learn those things by imitation. Don't get me wrong: I am not saying they're stupid, but the ability to learn complex tasks by imitation from another species requires reasoning skills, or a really close social connection like we find in dogs and humans for example. And even dogs are not good at it unless you teach them to.
What you see here is the result of operant conditioning. The organism gets rewarded for an initially random action and learns to increase the frequency of the behavior through positive reinforcement. A thirsty cow that is nervously waiting for some water near a pump is bound to hit the handle sooner or later and gets rewarded for that action by getting some water. No higher mental capacity is needed to learn new behaviors that way. You can even teach crabs to ring a bell by pulling a string to get food by positive reinforcement.
The more complex behaviors are a result of confinement and a deprivation syndrome that lets them resort to meaningless actions like licking random things. Once in a while a cow figures out something new this way. With hundreds of millions of cows confined to inappropriate conditions some will figure out something amazing inevitably.
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+4 4. Judge-Jake commented 6 years ago

#3 Lighten up Kirk for fecks sake, try reading the beano for a change.:S
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+5 5. monkeyboy commented 6 years ago

#3 cows and pigs are intelligent emotional animals actually. If you teach a pig something when it is a piglet and then test it ten years later it will still remember. thats a better memory than a human. Its sad people have trouble giving animals the credit they deserve.
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+3 6. kirkelicious commented 6 years ago

#5 No arguing about that. Especially not with an antispeciesist like myself. My excoursion into behavioral biology leaves issues like emotional complexity and intelligence completely untouched. I only challenged the idea that these behaviors where acquired by mimicking humans. I spend most of my free time training animals and am in awe of their mental capacities. Learning through observation is a skillset they mostly lack, though, which makes Skinnerian learning mechanisms much more plausible in these instances.
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0 7. sux2bu commented 6 years ago

#6 What tricks have you been able to teach your Blobfish? They look really smart. :D
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+1 8. kirkelicious commented 6 years ago

#7 he can look ugly on cue.