I am currently reading an interesting book about animal minds, and I was curious as to your thoughts regarding this. I often see on this forum, the point made that snakes don't have individual personalities. Personally, I believe that many animals do in fact have their own personalities.
First, take humans as an example. Humans are a type of animal, however advanced our brains are. (some people i'm not so sure...
) We obviously have different personalities. You give the same stimulus to three different people, and their reactions will be different, depending on their individual personalities. Say you yell and swear at all three people. Person #1 might start to cry, person #2 might just tell you that you are a moron and leave, and person #3 might start a fight. People are also able to learn and work things out.
So are many animals. Parrots have been proven to be able to learn and figure out simple puzzles. It has been proven time and time again, with many different species, that animals posess a greater intellegence than we initially thought. In fact, just a few days ago they had a piece on the discovery channel about fish being smarter than we thought before. If you have ever owned a dog or a cat, you will probably see that they all have different personalities, and they learn things. Rats and many other animals have their own social ranks, and they can recognise others and remember their individual personalities. So, are animals really intellegent? Do they really have their own personalities, not just different 'qualities' that make them react differently?
I think so.
Often it is a case of us humans having a bias towards some animals regarding how smart we think they are. We mainly think of animals like chimpanzees and other primates to be quite intellegent, almost 'equal to humans.' Dogs and cats are usually next in line. And parrots. The list goes on, but when we think of animals such as snakes, frogs, and fish, we tend to label them with a lower intellegence. But is this really true? Or is it just what we believe because of the way we were brought up? As I said, fish were recently proven to have a higher intellegence than originally believed.
We never really know what is going on in an animal's mind, but isn't it a possibility that they are almost as unique and intelligent as individual humans?
You may argue and say this is just me being anthropomorphic, but I will have to disagree. There is just too much evidence of animal intellegence and personalities to ignore.
What are your thoughts on this topic?