13 November 2006

The Monkey Wrangler part 2

This is half of my dream pet.

I rarely vote for anything, but I like the idea of putting this question to the polls.

"Do you think animals have self-consciousness?"

Please reply to this post and vote. Please give a reason for your vote.

1 comment:

Russell said...

If, by "self-consciousness", you mean that they act differently when they are under observation, then absolutely yes. I video-taped Terry one day to see what he did all day. He mostly sat or walked back and forth. He didn't do a whole lot. When we are around, he plays and frolics, as frequently by himself as with us, and certainly looks to us to guage our reaction to his behaviors.
If, by "self-consciousness", you mean they are aware of themselves as individuals, then again, yes. Porter and Terry are very nearly the same behaviorially identifyable individual. If you were to describe Porter's behaviors and actions, I could easly mistake your description for the description of my dog, Terry. Also, I read a study done on sheepdogs that found that their memory is roughly equivalent to that of a 3-4 year old child, and they are able to retain memory of specific toys over a full year and are able to pick a specific toy out of a pile of toys up to one year after they learned to fetch it in the first place. I also thatk that Terry displays concern for his own welfare that is inconsistent with a lack of self awareness. I think he is more than instinctively concerned with his own self preservation, but also has learned from historical patterns when he might be threatened.