Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Coop d'Etat

From the Department of Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Crazier comes this article my daughter sent me last night: Chickens Exhibit Machiavellian Tendencies, Scientists Discover.

Yes, Dear Readers, chickens - the clucking, comical fowl made yummy by Col Sanders, Popeye's, and Chic-fil-A, and lampooned by generations of cartoonists - may be more intelligent and crafty than we thought. According to the article, we have "greatly underestimated" the intelligence of chickens, which have "demonstrat(ed) thinking skills that are similar to mammals and primates."

For instance, roosters have been observed to make sounds which announce the presence of food even when no food is present, for the purpose of attracting hens ... a variation on the human practice of inviting a female to one's apartment to view etchings. Indeed, chicken communication has been found to be very complex, consisting of "a large repertoire of different visual displays and at least 24 distinct vocalizations," placing chickens - at the very least - on a par with Donald Trump in their ability to communicate.

Dr Loro Marino, a scientist quoted in the article, noted that,

“... chickens have the capacity to reason and make logical inferences, a capability that humans develop at approximately the age of seven*. They perceive time intervals and may be able to anticipate future events. (They) are behaviorally sophisticated, discriminating among individuals, exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions, and learning socially in complex ways that are similar to humans.”

The bottom line, Dear Readers, is that we need to pay more attention to the potential threat around us posed by machiavellian chickens. Perhaps they are quietly grooming their own General Tso and preparing for the day they rise up and make Kiev their capital.

They could hardly do worse than the current administration.

Have a good day. Be careful when crossing the road.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* As we see every day, some children do not develop this capacity, and nevertheless go on to enjoy successful careers in politics.


Mike said...

ECTHINGS! Not come to my place to view me itching. This explains a lot.

Duckbutt said...

All to improve their places in the pecking order!

allenwoodhaven said...

Very interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if most life is more complex and capable than is thought. Our dominate culture has long underestimated other species.