What separates your mind from the mind of an animal?
Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future - all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the pre-eminent species on Earth. But in recent decades, claims of human superiority have been eroded by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools, or how elephants can classify humans by age, gender, and language. Take Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University who demonstrates his species' exceptional photographic memory.
Based on research on a range of animals, including crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and, of course, chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores the scope and depth of animal intelligence, revealing how we have grossly underestimated non-human brains. He overturns the view of animals as stimulus-response beings and opens our eyes to their complex and intricate minds. With astonishing stories of animal cognition, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? challenges everything you thought you knew about animal - and human - intelligence.
Frans de Waal has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. The author of Our Inner Ape(Granta, 2005) among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University's Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.