Long Passages

Topics: Photosynthesis, Abraham Lincoln, Oxygen Pages: 6 (1614 words) Published: November 13, 2012
Passage 1
(1) An upsurge of new research suggests that animals have a much higher level of brainpower than previously thought. If animals do have intelligence, how do scientists measure it? Before defining animals' intelligence, scientists defined what is not intelligence. Instinct is not intelligence. It is a skill programmed into an animal's brain by its genetic heritage. Rote conditioning is also not intelligence. Tricks can be learned by repetition, but no real thinking is involved. Cuing, in which animals learn to do or not to do certain things by following outside signals, does not demonstrate intelligence. Scientists believe that insight, the ability to use tools, and communication using human language are all effective measures of the mental ability of animals. (2) When judging animal intelligence, scientists look for insight, which they define as a flash of sudden understanding. When a young gorilla could not reach fruit from a tree, she noticed crates scattered about the lawn near the tree. She piled the crates into a pyramid, then climbed on them to reach her reward. The gorilla's insight allowed her to solve a new problem without trial and error. (3) The ability to use tools is also an important sign of intelligence. Crows use sticks to pry peanuts out of cracks. The crow exhibits intelligence by showing it has learned what a stick can do. Likewise, otters use rocks to crack open crab shells in order to get at the meat. In a series of complex moves, chimpanzees have been known to use sticks and stalks in order to get at a favorite snack—termites. To make and use a termite tool, a chimp first selects just the right stalk or twig. He trims and shapes the stick, then finds the entrance to a termite mound. While inserting the stick carefully into the entrance, the chimpanzee turns it skillfully to fit the inner tunnels. The chimp attracts the insects by shaking the twig. Then it pulls the tool out without scraping off any termites. Finally, he uses his lips to skim the termites into his mouth. (4) Many animals have learned to communicate using human language. Some primates have learned hundreds of words in sign language. One chimp can recognize and correctly use more than 250 abstract symbols on a keyboard. These symbols represent human words. An amazing parrot can distinguish five objects of two different types. He can understand the difference between the number, color, and kind of object. The ability to classify is a basic thinking skill. He seems to use language to express his needs and emotions. When ill and taken to the animal hospital for his first overnight stay, this parrot turned to go. "Come here!" he cried to a scientist who works with him. "I love you. I'm sorry. Wanna go back?" (5) The research on animal intelligence raises important questions. If animals are smarter than once thought, would that change the way humans interact with them? Would humans stop hunting them for sport or survival? Would animals still be used for food, clothing, or medical experimentation? Finding the answer to these tough questions makes a difficult puzzle even for a large-brained, problem-solving species like our own. 1. Crows use sticks to pry peanuts out of cracks. Which of the following is the kind of intelligence or conditioning the situation describes? a. rote learning

b. tools
c. communication
d. instinct
2. The underlined word upsurge, as it is used in the first paragraph of the passage, most nearly means a. an increasingly large amount.
b. a decreasing amount.
c. a well-known amount.
d. an immeasurable amount.
3. The concluding paragraph of this passage infers which of the following? a. There is no definitive line between those animals with intelligence and those without. b. Animals are being given opportunities to display their intelligence. c. Research showing higher animal intelligence...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • How is Whitman’s “passage” complicated by Forster? Essay
  • Jane Eyre: Interpretation of Passages Essay
  • reading passage Essay
  • Literature and Following Passage Essay
  • Passage to Africa Essay
  • Essay about From a Passage to Africa
  • 'A winter in Arabia' passage analysis Essay
  • An Essay on a Passage from Lolita

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free