Scolding "pig brain"? In fact, the pig's IQ is so high
A long time ago, scientists believed that only humans could use tools, and believed that it was this feature that set humans apart from the rest of the animals on Earth. However, subsequent animal behavior research has gradually made people realize that the use of tools is not a human patent, and animals such as crows, otters, chimpanzees can also use tools. For example, a crow can bend a tree branch into a "hook" for prey, an otter will break a shell with a stone, and a chimpanzee, highly similar to human genes, is a tool expert. Therefore, the use of tools has become a proof of high IQ for animals. Today, pigs have joined the ranks.
Meredith Ruth Bernstein, an ecologist at the University of Sacramente in Paris, accidentally found a Visaya wild boar, holding a bark with his mouth, while visiting a zoo in France. To dig the soil. This phenomenon aroused her interest, and Bernstein decided to study it. Bernstein and team members observed the Visayan boars for a period of three years, and found that they only used tools when making nests, that is, digging holes using tree bark and branches. Among them, the mother pig named Priscilla is a "master" of using tools, and her daughter has made the same move.
Bernstein was excited by such a discovery, but she also pointed out that the study was flawed. Aside from the small sample size, a controversial issue in the study is that the behavior of using tools is observed under captive conditions, and that captive animals may behave differently from wild animals. However, Bernstein also pointed out that the behaviors usually caused by captives are characterized by frequent repetitions, and this behavior that occurs only when nesting is difficult to attribute to captives, and more likely to be boars themselves. Bernstein speculates that wild-skinned wild boars may also use tools.
It is believed that as research continues, humans will have a deeper understanding of pig behavior using tools. In addition, pigs have also shown amazing intelligence in other aspects, including good memory, learning ability, spatial positioning ability, symbolic language understanding ability, cooperation and social skills.
A paper published in "Applied Animal Behavioral Science" states that when exposed to something new for 2 days, the relevant memory of domestic pigs lasts at least 5 days. Research has also found pigs' curiosity: They show a stronger preference for new things than they are familiar with.
Another study demonstrated the ability of pigs to remember spatial locations. In this experiment, researchers placed food in a complex field and then allowed pigs to enter the field for food. After the pigs had finished eating, they let the pigs leave the field and reposition the food at the same location on the field. When the pigs entered the field again, they quickly found food and avoided unnecessary searches. Other studies have also demonstrated that pigs have a strong ability to recognize space, and they can learn how to walk out of complex mazes.
As a social animal, pigs not only have high IQs, they also have low EQs. A research team from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands published in "Physiology and Behavior" in 2013 showed that pigs not only show various emotions, but also have the ability to empathize, and can feel the joy and sorrow of their peers and make corresponding responses. reaction. In this test, some of the experimental pigs in each group were trained in advance to predict whether the upcoming rewards (such as snacks) or punishments (isolated separately) were based on the color of the lights or alarm sounds; others were Nothing about this.
When researchers manipulated the lights and alarms in the room, the trained pigs were able to judge the expected events based on the instructions and respond accordingly. Not only that, whenever these pigs showed emotions of joy or sadness, although their companions knew nothing about what was going to happen, they were still infected and showed the same emotions. For example, when their companions are happy, they will also play, howl, and flick their tails happily; when their companions are sad, they will tremble, scream, try to escape, and their tails will droop. The researchers also collected saliva from pigs and found changes in stress-related cortisol levels, which also confirmed changes in their mood. Such empathy may enhance group feelings and help understanding and communication between peers.
Communicate with humans
In addition to communicating with peers, pet pigs can also communicate well with humans. Especially when they are rewarded with food, they can even compete with dogs. In a study published this year in Animal Cognition, scientists recruited ten pet pigs and pet dogs, and left each animal in the same room as its owner and a female tester. Subjects were fed every two minutes. As a result, puppies and piglets ran and touched subjects with equal frequency. However, if the temptation of food is lost, the puppies will still interact with the experimenter, and the piglet will ignore the experimenter. It seems that the "pig brain" is much smarter than we think.
Written by: Yu Yingzhuo
Source: Global Science