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Intelligence of the big cats...

Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#1

I propose a new topic about big cats' intelligence. Not a biased topic like the previous one " tigers 16% brainier than..." titled. It sounded like a fanboy fanzine...

But a topic also about the advantages, or not, of the social life. As such I come to discover this account of the scientific american :

https://www.scientificamerican.com/artic...-big-cats/

OK, the title seems categorical. I feel me a little bit contradictal by what I have introduced this new topic. At least, for those who would reproach me for choosing it, there are as many truths as there are scientific men...
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India brotherbear Offline
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#2

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017...study-spd/  
  
Are Dogs Smarter Than Cats? Science Has an Answer

A team of researchers counted the number of neurons in dog and cat brains and found one had twice as many as the other.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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United States paul cooper Offline
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#3

Spalea, that has already been discussed in the other thread. That is a pretty dumb study, the woman who made it is also not a good scientist. The study is self explainable, not including factors such as.. duh, 7 captive tigers to 21 semi wild lions. Oh, and that that isnt a great number. That is some serious bias.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#4

(12-28-2018, 01:42 PM)paul cooper Wrote: Spalea, that has already been discussed in the other thread. That is a pretty dumb study, the woman who made it is also not a good scientist. The study is self explainable, not including factors such as.. duh, 7 captive tigers to 21 semi wild lions. Oh, and that that isnt a great number. That is some serious bias.

I didn't know that... Like I said, I just discovered this account.

OK ! You may be right. I'm perhaps not a good scientist enough to assert if this woman is a good one or not. Do you mention the other thread ? Because of its title I didn't never waste my time to read carefully the posts. By this way, you can see the missdeeds of a biased title. 

Perhaps the social life can induce some advantages in terms of collectiv behaviour, and these advantages to have an impact on each individual of the pride. Let us wait for the opinions of eminent interveners !
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Finland Shadow Offline
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#5

(12-28-2018, 02:25 PM)Spalea Wrote:
(12-28-2018, 01:42 PM)paul cooper Wrote: Spalea, that has already been discussed in the other thread. That is a pretty dumb study, the woman who made it is also not a good scientist. The study is self explainable, not including factors such as.. duh, 7 captive tigers to 21 semi wild lions. Oh, and that that isnt a great number. That is some serious bias.

I didn't know that... Like I said, I just discovered this account.

OK ! You may be right. I'm perhaps not a good scientist enough to assert if this woman is a good one or not. Do you mention the other thread ? Because of its title I didn't never waste my time to read carefully the posts. By this way, you can see the missdeeds of a biased title. 

Perhaps the social life can induce some advantages in terms of collectiv behaviour, and these advantages to have an impact on each individual of the pride. Let us wait for the opinions of eminent interveners !

Here is link to that research. Just that everyone can see original and look themselves what they think about it, if interested about this topic. Articles can have some inaccurate quotes sometimes.

https://www.cbs.umn.edu/sites/cbs.umn.ed...havior.pdf
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Finland Shadow Offline
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#6

Here is a little bit about Borrego and one video about testing. I found that interesting to watch and see a little bit how these tests have been made. At least this Borrego can be found and seems to be acknowledged researcher with doctoral degree. So I think, that her research can´t be skipped just like that, even though anything can be criticized. I am also curious to hear, that how this research is biased? I don´t know Borrego and I have no idea if she has done something to justify calling her biased in some way.

https://lioncenter.umn.edu/natalia-borrego/
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#7

@Shadow :

About #5 and #6: The proof is made that the tigers are not the only "intellectuals" cats among the felids. That's fine !
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Finland Shadow Offline
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#8
( This post was last modified: 12-28-2018, 06:08 PM by Shadow )

(12-28-2018, 05:24 PM)Spalea Wrote: @Shadow :

About #5 and #6: The proof is made that the tigers are not the only "intellectuals" cats among the felids. That's fine !

Well, we have many interesting animals, some birds are able to quite impressive things. Look at drongo bird for instance and how it tricks other animals :)





Then raven, here one example:




 

So we can´t rely on brain size alone when trying to figure out intelligence of some animals. That is of course a self-evidence. But if we want to learn about animal intelligence, this kind of tests are one way to get knowledge and always interesting. I don´t feel, that I know enough to make too big conclusions, but for sure there are many animals with surprising abilities what comes to using brains. I don´t see any reason why tiger could be called only intelligent big cat, if someone has said so. It for sure has intelligence, but obviously so have others too :) I can´t say which big cat I like most, one day it is a lion, another day tiger, then again sometimes leopards. And not forgetting jaguar and cheetah...  and so on....
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United States paul cooper Offline
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#9

QI never said that tigers are the only intelligent cat. I also never denied lions are intelligent. Maybe borrego didnt know, but certainly that is very weak "science". Come on, this is science, scientific method, not nazi Propogation. She compared semi wild lions who live in a safari, to tigers and leopards who lived in a zoo their whole lives. Not just that, but only 7 tigers. And tigers at big cat rescue which some are highly inbreeded and sick from where ever they are rescued from. It should also be well known, there was a study showing both lions and tigers significantly lose their cranial volume in captivity. Specifically obviously zoos. This is hardly proving that social animals are smarter than solitary. It also depends on the species of animals. Oh, and why do tigers have significantly bigger brains than lions? Why did they get such a drastic adaptation? I do agree brain size is not relevant when comparing animals. But when you compare cat to cat, it matters. The brain size is a significant and sudden adaptation. 

 There are arguments that can be made to counter this social vs solitary thing. One argument is that lions are particularly asocial animals living in prides, rather not work together and are only living together for the control of territory (packer), meaning there are different levels of sociality. For example, hyenas work together smarter and better than lions obviously. They say social are more smart because they have interactions with other members of the same species. Tigers also have this, and it depends what interactions. Its also good to note tigers have wider range of vocalization.

One argument, is that tigers are also very social. Check the "are tigers social animals thread?". Read Gaute gorjiras post, post #5. 

One is from a study which is posted in the other thread, showing social is not more intelligent than solitary. Not just that, but they tested lions and tigers. This opening box thing test itself is pretty weak science because you dont know if it can be coincidental, or if the animal doesnt care, and so on. Several lions were tested, not a single one open the box. The tigers had much higher "Exploration" behavior than the lions. Significantly in fact. These tigers clearly were better at opening boxes than tigers from boreggos study. 

 
I recommend reading this paper. Which does criticize borregos study, and talks about solitary vs social. https://escholarship.org/content/qt61363...363164.pdf

Is it nature or nurture? What is intelligence? Are there different types of intelligence? Is it relative to brain size?
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Finland Shadow Offline
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#10

That Vonk and Leese study is interesting. I didn´t see there criticism what comes to tests made by Borrego and Gaines. Thing what Vonk and Leese pointed out was: "conclusions concerning the role of sociality should be made carefully.". Otherwise there was no criticism as far as I noticed about the results of tests or test methods. They had also discussed with Borrego about that subject.

I find tests like this interesting and hopefully there is more footage available about these tests, I haven´t had yet time to look closer. Michael Gaines seems to be also a respected scientists, so I don´t see any reason to suspect any biased motivations in studies by Borrego and Gaines. Of course what comes to animals and how comparable groups representing lions and tigers were is a thing, which can be questioned. Still it is nice and interesting see, that this kind of research is happening and there are clear methods which can be repeated in future too if someone else wants to repeat this study and see if results are same kind or different.

As I said before, I personally don´t feel comfortable to make too big conclusions, but of course this study show, that lion is one candidate to be the most intelligent big cat. I don´t really care which one is, but of course it would be nice to know one day :) Hopefully in near future there would be more studies where these animals show capability to learn and remember.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#11

About #9: I never said that lions were more intelligent than tigers. Never. But I have to admit to have been happy to discover the account mentionned at #1. For once I see an account arguing that lions are the smartest cats ! Compared with tigers, lions are always discriminated and mocked, forum after forum, wildfact excepted. I acknowledge that tigers, physically speaking, embodies a sort of plastic animal perfection. Not lions. But the lions have other things, other assets. Otherwise they would never be spread all over the world during the Pleistocene period. One of their assets is probably their social life, even if, as you say, is not as evolved as the hyenas' one (hyena, wolf, african wild dog and so on). Relationships between members of a same pride are rather rough, yes !

One of the good point, I think, of this study is to state that a lion by watching his other congeners can solve a test. Good point because that demonstrates the advantages of a social life for this felid. A second point is to see that, once solved, they can recall the solution several months later... Nothing extraordinary would you say, but nevertheless, I just speak about lions.

Now, I don't want to claim that lions outperform the tigers, leopards and other big cats. I don't want to classify the felids in intelligence order.

So, perhaps as you say this study is biased. Biased because it compares wild lions with captiv tigers. OK, it isn't fair. Agree with you. I tell you again I don't want to remember in this study that lions would succeed some test that other felids would fail. I just retain that lions aren't dumb animals and that they can perform in the intelligence tests.

I know that tigers can be social animals, I crossed a biologist having traveled in India in order to write a book about tigers during the 80's. And his book was one of the first to show several photos of a complete family of tigers: the adult male and female, and their cubs, all resting around a water source. I was impressed to see for the first time such a photo like these ones...

I know that tigers and lions during prehistoric times have crossed several other huge predators (sabertooth cats, big bears and so on), perhaps even more powerful. They have survived them. As concerns the lions thank to their social life perhaps. As concerns the solitary tiger thank to other factors, intelligence and elusiv felid... ?
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Czech Republic Amnon242 Offline
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#12
( This post was last modified: 12-29-2018, 03:23 PM by Amnon242 )

Tiger fans usually point to larger brains size of tigers and opinions of scientists, trainers and breeders who say that tigers are smartest. Lion fans say that social animals are said to be smarter and they also point to this study, which supports this claim (btw as social animals lions proved the ability to learn from each other). So I would say that its 2:2 so far. And I would also say that tigers are more effective (I dont want to use the misleading word "intelligent") as individuals while lions are more effective as a group. And its probably foolish to implement human understanding of intelligence towards animals - they are as intelligent as they need to be in their own environment. 

Every being (or each group of people for example) has their own abilities and different kind of intelligence. Who is more intelligent, men or women? Managers or experts? Programmers or lawyers? 

Einstein: "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
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Czech Republic Amnon242 Offline
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#13

Spalea: "lions are always discriminated and mocked," 

You cant take this seriously. Fanboys (on both sides) have their own psychological issues. Some of them are children...and some of them are simply childish.

I think this has someting to do with projection and with so called "anima" (C.G.Jung), but Im not a psychologist. 
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India brotherbear Offline
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#14

Perhaps for survival, some of the smaller cats are smarter. I'm thinking cougar and leopard being smart cats. Both are excellent hunters and survivors in multiple environments.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#15

(12-29-2018, 03:30 PM)Amnon242 Wrote: Spalea: "lions are always discriminated and mocked," 

You cant take this seriously. Fanboys (on both sides) have their own psychological issues. Some of them are children...and some of them are simply childish.

I think this has someting to do with projection and with so called "anima" (C.G.Jung), but Im not a psychologist. 

But there is... We always heard "male lions do nothing but sleep" and so on...
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