The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: how smart are Beavers?  (Read 11725 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
how smart are Beavers?
« on: 05/05/2007 07:29:51 »
just how smart are Beavers, and other animals? If a new born Beaver was removed from the mother, would it know how to build a dam if it was reintroduced in an area where there were no Beavers?


 

Offline Seany

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4209
  • Live your life to the full!
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #1 on: 05/05/2007 15:24:46 »
Lets ask DoctorBeaver? ;)
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #2 on: 06/05/2007 02:34:24 »
Due to the esteem with which I hold (?) Our Good Doctor Beaver, I will make no remarks about "just another stinking rodent." Please Dr., elucidate.
 

Offline logicat5

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #3 on: 09/05/2007 22:26:22 »
surely it would be instinctual? the building of dams I mean.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2007 22:33:53 by marzipan »
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #4 on: 09/05/2007 23:13:12 »
That does not explain ALL of the logical moves needed to build, and especially repair, a dam. I am of the opinion that the level of reasoning ability in the "lower' animals is greater than humans give them credit for. This arises, in just my opinion, from the Western idea that humans are the superior beings. Many non-western traditions have humans on a level, while not equal with, at least not more superior than animals. It is brother moose and sister snake.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #5 on: 10/05/2007 00:34:34 »
That does not explain ALL of the logical moves needed to build, and especially repair, a dam. I am of the opinion that the level of reasoning ability in the "lower' animals is greater than humans give them credit for. This arises, in just my opinion, from the Western idea that humans are the superior beings. Many non-western traditions have humans on a level, while not equal with, at least not more superior than animals. It is brother moose and sister snake.

I tend to agree with you, if not necessarily with your notion of brother moose or sister snake (particularly, snakes are generally, as far as I am aware, one of the dumber of vertebrates).

We know that rats are good at learning and navigating mazes - this is not a dumb animal.  I cannot see reason why beavers should be any dumber than a rat.
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #6 on: 10/05/2007 00:56:12 »
I tend to agree with you, if not necessarily with your notion of brother moose or sister snake (particularly, snakes are generally, as far as I am aware, one of the dumber of vertebrates).

We know that rats are good at learning and navigating mazes - this is not a dumb animal.  I cannot see reason why beavers should be any dumber than a rat.

my point was animals with abilities to do certain tasks, not neceserally limited to beavers. Please excuse th spelling...time of day and stuff!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #7 on: 12/05/2007 18:48:03 »
Of course beavers are smart. Just look at what we've invented as a result of our dam-building activities:-

Reinforced concrete
Hydro-power
JCB
Rubbish skip
Gelignite
Flouride toothpaste
Elastoplast & elastic bandages (well, accidents will happen)
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #8 on: 12/05/2007 20:11:56 »
Of course beavers are smart. Just look at what we've invented as a result of our dam-building activities:-

Reinforced concrete
Hydro-power
JCB
Rubbish skip
Gelignite
Flouride toothpaste
Elastoplast & elastic bandages (well, accidents will happen)

Let us not forget the quintessential achievement by beavers the world over ..

The Merkin  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin


how could ewe forget...shame on ewe !!  ;) ;) ;D
 

jolly

  • Guest
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #9 on: 13/05/2007 01:47:59 »
I dont know that it would be instintual. mamals- apes for example, when removed from the mother at an earily age, have to be taught, how to live in the wild! Spiders have an intuitive ability to to build webs.
but I dont think a beaver for one builds the dam alone it works with its mate. A lone beaver never having an education from its parents I dont feel could or would build a dam.
In the same way a chimp seperated from it's parents would'nt use a stick to collect ants, they need to be taught. Which is probably why most mamals seperated young- do not survive in the wild! most mamals have a childhood in which they learn from there parents how to live!
Especially social animals.
But how does that relate to inteligence? I'm not sure your looking at this correctly.. To acess an animals inteligence is really down to how well it can learn.. So a beaver without an education should'nt just start dam building- as with humans, a child that grew up alone probably would'nt have any language as it would'nt need to communicate- but it could learn to talk if introduced to other people- so inteligence is really an acessment of an animals ability to learn or adapt and the speed at which it does it!
« Last Edit: 13/05/2007 01:57:09 by jolly »
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #10 on: 13/05/2007 02:52:52 »
I agree with a lot of your points a about things not being instinctive..and more learned . You make some nice points. Nice post!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #11 on: 14/05/2007 11:13:22 »
Of course beavers are smart. Just look at what we've invented as a result of our dam-building activities:-

Reinforced concrete
Hydro-power
JCB
Rubbish skip
Gelignite
Flouride toothpaste
Elastoplast & elastic bandages (well, accidents will happen)

Let us not forget the quintessential achievement by beavers the world over ..

The Merkin  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin


how could ewe forget...shame on ewe !!  ;) ;) ;D

 >:(
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

how smart are Beavers?
« Reply #11 on: 14/05/2007 11:13:22 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums