It is time that humanity understand once and for all that we are all creatures of this Earth and as such are ALL deserving of respect and concern.
The results of this study are not really news to those of us who have known all along that Mankind is not superior to other creatures on this planet. It is however, a wake up call to all those who have for so long believed and lived their lives behaving as if they are God’s gift to this planet.
With the revelations made here can anyone honestly say that animal testing is humane or even ethical?
To those who have always based their acquiescence to vivisection and the like with the off the cuff statement…..”They are just dumb animals”.
It appears that the only dumb animals involved are the two legged variety that believe themselves above reproach and entitled to mistreat and torture other creatures under the guise of superiority……..
A single cue—the taste of a madeleine, a small cake, dipped in lime tea—was all Marcel Proust needed to be transported down memory lane. He had what scientists term an autobiographical memory of the events, a type of memory that many researchers consider unique to humans. Now, a new study argues that at least two species of great apes — chimpanzees and orangutans — have a similar ability; in zoo experiments, the animals drew on 3-year-old memories to solve a problem. Their findings are the first report of such a long-lasting memory in nonhuman animals. The work supports the idea that autobiographical memory may have evolved as a problem-solving aid, but researchers caution that the type of memory system the apes used remains an open question.
Elephants can remember, they say, but many scientists think that animals have a very different kind of memory than our own. Many can recall details about their environment and routes they’ve traveled. But having explicit autobiographical memories of things “I” did, or remembering events that occurred in the past, or imagining those in the future—so-called mental time travel—are considered by many psychologists to be uniquely human skills.
Until recently, scientists argued that animals are stuck in time, meaning that they have no sense of the past or future and that they aren’t able to recall specific events from their lives—that is, they don’t have episodic memories, the what-where-when of an event that happened.
Yet, several studies have shown that even jays have something like episodic memory, remembering when and where they’ve hidden food, and that rats recall their journeys through mazes, and use these to imagine future maze-travels. “There is good evidence challenging the idea that nonhuman animals are stuck in time,” says Gema Martin-Ordas, a comparative psychologist at Aarhus University in Denmark and the lead author of the new study. But trying to show that apes also have a conscious recollection of autobiographical events is “the tricky part,” Martin-Ordas admits.
To see if chimpanzees and orangutans have autobiographical memories that can later be triggered with a cue (as were Proust’s by eating the pastry), Martin-Ordas and two other researchers devised a memorable event for the apes at the Leipzig Zoo. In 2009, eight chimps and four orangutans individually watched Martin-Ordas place a piece of a banana on a platform attached to the outside of a caged testing room. The apes could get the treat only by reaching through a slot with a long stick. The researcher then hid two sticks, only one of which was long enough to reach the banana. The animals watched as she hid each tool in a box in two different rooms. The chimp or orangutan observing her actions was then released into the area with the hidden tools. They had to find the correct tool, return to the room with the tempting banana, and use the tool to retrieve the treat.
Each ape took the test four times. “We set it up to see if cues—like Proust’s madeleine—would trigger a memory event for them,” Martin-Ordas says. But instead of using a single cue like a scent or a taste, the researchers offered the apes “a constellation of cues: me, the room, and the specific problem,” Martin-Ordas says. They hoped that this combination would act as a trigger—that whenever the chimpanzees encountered this specific task with Martin-Ordas again, they would remember that they needed to search for the correct tool.