Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Apes, Whales, and Dolphin Books
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists

Sioux Falls Zoologists recommends the following books that describe the intelligence and behavior of Bonobos and Dolphins and Whales. Why Bonobos, the Gentle chimp? For exactly that wording, the Gentle chimp. Chimpanzees can be every bit as brutal as humans, maybe more so. Once they mature they are dangerous, they are driven to dominate and they will literally try to bite your face off. The chimps you see in movies are almost always immature, even infant chimps, mature chimps are just too dangerous and unpredictable. In the wild they go on war parties to kill male members of other chimp groups and to rape and steal their females. Not that chimps have not done acts of kindness in the wild or in zoo situations, but you can't count on it being the norm.

There are no such issues with Bonobos. Violent behavior has been observed in the wild between them, but it is very rare. They literally want to make love not war. Sex is their medium of exchange. This made it hard to get grants to study them because of their overt sexual behavior. They were considered "immoral" creatures. Seems a violent creature is more acceptable for humans to study, but not a sexual creature, and especially not an "immoral" creature who lives for sexual behavior. Seems that tells us more about ourselves than it does about what we are trying to study.

Sioux Falls Zoologists also include here the books on the unique Dolphin and Whale communication studies by Wade Doak. His approach to the subject was to let the Dolphins and Whales initiate the communications, rather than the humans initiating the communications. A novel idea with remarkable success.

The books are all available from Amazon.com but you are free to obtain them from many other sources. Amazon offers them on their website along with many alternate sources, often less expensive. You are free to choose whatever source you please. The book links on the following pages point to the book location at Amazon.

6 books and 3 novels on bonobos, elephants, whales, and dolphins are described on the following 9 pages:

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Apes, Whales, and Dolphin Books
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists