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Colin A. Chapman and Michael A. Huffman, Why do we want to think humans are different?

Abstract

Chapman & Huffman have highlighted observations of animals performing, in nature, complex behaviour once thought to be unique to humans. Just as relevant to their argument are examples of cognition shown by domesticated species tested in controlled conditions. These strengthen the case for human/nonhuman similarities in behaviour and cognition. Recent research has brought to our attention the ability of nonhuman species to perform many tasks previously considered to be the hallmark of humans. Even though different species may use different ways of solving these tasks, the very fact that they can do it undermines the notion of human superiority.

Author Biography

Lesley J. Rogers is Professor Emeritus at the University of New England, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She has studied animal behaviour for many years and is well-known for her research on development and lateralized behaviour in the chicken. She has also published on welfare in domestic chickens and other species. Website

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