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To automate is human

• arclein

The chimp is the opener in a relay race that repeats itself time and again in the study of animal behaviour. Scientists concoct a new, intelligent task for the chimps, and they do it - before passing down the baton to other primates, who usually also manage it. Then they hand it on to parrots and crows, rats and pigeons, an octopus or two, even ducklings and bees. Over and over again, the newly minted, human-defining behaviour crops up in the same club of reasonably smart, lab-ready species. We become a bit less unique and a bit more animal with each finding.

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