Do Animals Possess Consciousness Research Paper

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Do animals possess consciousness? Are animals programmed to be slaves to nature or do they possess consciousness: the ability to be aware of one’s surroundings? While we don’t know what animals think or say, we can speculate on their brain activity and behavior in nature. As Darwin has said, “We differ from our closest relatives in degree, not kind.” We may not be as different from the animal kingdom as we have thought. Alex, an African grey parrot, was subject to a scientific study for thirty years. Scientists criticized this experiment, since Alex had a “birdbrain,” which was the size of a walnut. The popular test subjects were chimpanzees, whom were thought to be more intelligent. However, Alex surely proved the scientists wrong; he had knowledge of around one hundred English words, and skills to distinguish colors and sizes. Not only that, Alex had made up a word for…show more content…
For example, dolphins have talent in echolocation: the reflection of sounds to locate things. They also have the potential to imitate their instructors. While it may seem like a simple skill, imitation requires the dolphins to retain a mental image of their instructor, and then copy the movements with their own bodies. Two dolphins, Akeakamai and Phoenix, without training improvised a trick of circling underwater to spinning clockwise in the air in perfect synch. Dolphins are clever mammals and are heavily implied to have consciousness. As Herman states,” There are many things they could do that people have always doubted about animals. For example, they correctly interpreted, on the very first occasion, gestured instructions given by a person displayed on TV.” Another underwater creature that shows signs of consciousness is the octopus. They can block their dens with rocks as well as entertain themselves by shooting water at targets. Roland Anderson comments, “They may even express basic emotions by changing
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