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Author Topic: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?  (Read 2034 times)

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« on: 20/09/2012 04:16:59 »
I sometimes wonder what my dog and cat see me as. I must be this strange tall 'thing' that provides them with food and affection. And especially for the cat, everything in my house must be a constant 'What is THAT? What is THAT?' for him; shortly before pouncing everything thing he sees.

This gets me thinking:

How much brain power does it take to wonder? Does it take any?

How did curiosity survive as a trait? Wouldn't just fight or flight be smarter in the wild?

Main-Main question: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?


 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« Reply #1 on: 26/09/2012 17:28:06 »
Certainly not. A good example would be the Crow family.

No, I don't mean Mr & Mrs Crow at No. 17, I mean Crows, Jays, Magpies etc.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« Reply #2 on: 26/09/2012 17:59:32 »
Perhaps an adaptation in nature is a drive to explore new environments and new food sources.

Without exploration, one would not spread beyond one's confines, and might easily get snuffed out by exogenous changes.
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« Reply #3 on: 26/09/2012 23:36:31 »
Good point! I'm sure our ancestors survived to pass on their genes thanks to that curiosity; among other important things.


I wonder what that says for organisms that don't show that curiosity, though.

I guess some have just evolved and adapted to an environment where there's either no point or no safe time to stop and focus on anything but fight or flight.

Is anything you see at a zoo capable of curiosity? Do they ever look at all the humans passing by like 'What the hell are THOSE things?' Not saying they can think and ask something like that as a human could, but you get what I mean.

Because that comes back to my cat; I wonder how much of his (or any zoo animal's) curiosity is from his core instincts... and if any comes from him being a domestic cat with all sorts of weird stuff to stalk and test-pounce in a safe environment where food or becoming food is no issue :{o~
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« Reply #4 on: 27/09/2012 00:01:59 »
Primates, including those in captivity have a lot of curiosity, and some animals seem to watch the people, although I assume they get habituated to an endless stream of onlookers.

At the Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR, the ostriches will come up and look in the car's windows.  Sometimes pecking at the windows.  Perhaps they are just hoping for a snack, but it is a good idea to roll up the windows because they do bite.

Can one separate curiosity about food, boundaries, fences, predators, and etc...  from a general curiosity to see what makes things tick?
 

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Re: Is curiosity exclusive to mammals?
« Reply #4 on: 27/09/2012 00:01:59 »

 

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