Adrian Barnett

Clever Claws

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

By Frans de Waal

Granta Books 326pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence

By Nathan Emery

Ivy Press 192pp £20 order from our bookshop

An alien zoologist on an expedition to collect samples of intelligent life on Earth would probably take a few of us back for further observation. But what other species on Earth would also be on the alien’s specimen shelves? Our extraterrestrial Attenborough’s choice would probably very much surprise us: while many of us would like to think there is a huge and unbridgeable chasm between human intellect and the ways the minds of other animals work, in every aspect so far investigated the difference is one of degree rather than of kind.

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