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Exchange Exemplar: Thinking About Animal Thoughts

Meerkats at work.

If you live with pets, you probably wonder what they're thinking, and marvel to the things they appear to figure out with their brains.  But how high is your confidence in knowing what they're thinking? 

This is a question the famed biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal forces us to consider, in his book Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

He brings in examples from his own extensive work, and that of other scientists, to demonstrate how often we underestimate the intelligence of animals.  Frans de Waal visited in 2016, and we revisit the interview here.  

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.