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Pigs Caught Using Tools in First-of-Its-Kind Video

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Researchers have recorded a video of pigs using tools, a hallmark of advanced intelligence exhibited by only the smartest species.

Pigs are one of the smartest animals on Earth, right up there with elephants, crows, and dolphins. But while scientists have caught all three of the latter types of animals using tools — a hallmark of advanced intelligence — they’d never seen pigs exhibit the same behavior.

Until now, that is, as a team of scientists has released the first known video of pigs using tools.

The ecologist behind the video, Meredith Root-Bernstein, told National Geographic she was watching a family of Visayan warty pigs at a zoo in Paris when she noticed one the animals picking up a piece of bark in its mouth and using the wood to dig around in the soil.

“I said, ‘Whoa, that’s pretty cool,'” she recalled to National Geographic. “When I looked up tool use in pigs, there was nothing.”

That visit became the first of many for Root-Bernstein and her colleagues over the next few years. During that time, they saw three pigs using tools to help them build their nests, activity the researchers detailed in a September paper published in the journal Mammalian Biology.

Root-Bernstein’s team may be the first to record tool usage in pigs, but she told National Geographic she suspects that wild pigs may use tools as well — we’ve just never noticed because the animals are rarely studied.

Now that scientists have caught this one species of pig using tools, however, researchers might be more compelled to hunt for similar activity amongst other species of pig. Either way, though, Root-Bernstein seems pleased to have been involved in the discovery that pigs have evolved to use tools — just like humans did millions of years ago.

“It brings us closer to animals,” she told National Geographic, “and helps us realize it’s all connected.”

READ MORE: Pigs recorded using tools for the first time [National Geographic]

More on tool usage: Cambridge Scientists: We Shouldn’t Define Intelligence According to Humanity

The post Pigs Caught Using Tools in First-of-Its-Kind Video appeared first on Futurism.

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cjheinz
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Mini pig-like fossils captured in amber

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This newly discovered animal reveals a unique lineage from 30 million years ago.
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cjheinz
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Tardigrade cousins!
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Traffic-light system can predict repeat earthquakes

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Detecting the size of aftershocks could help manage them. Richard A Lovett reports.
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Early Cretaceous predator discovered in Thailand

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Siamraptor is the first carcharodontosaur to be found in Southeast Asia. Dyani Lewis reports.
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Dear Republicans: What is taking you so long?

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I know the answer to that question. You are bad people, every one of you. You are morally, ethnically, and intellectually incapable of doing the right thing. Every single one of you who considers yourselves still a Republican is not worthy to breathe the same air our children are being poisoned by as we speak. … Continue reading Dear Republicans: What is taking you so long?

The post Dear Republicans: What is taking you so long? appeared first on Greg Laden's Blog.

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cjheinz
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Take away his damn phone

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Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica”

When I was in 9th grade, I got in trouble on the phone.

A group of us had crashed a wedding reception in the church gym where we snuck red solo cups of beer from the keg. The next morning, desperate as I was for the cool kids to think I was cool, too, I dragged our hallway phone into my bedroom to brag. A girlfriend who’d spent the night got on our kitchen extension and, while I was doling out the details, thought it would be funny to hand my mother the phone.

It was funny, alright. I learned my cool friend wasn’t such a good friend, I got grounded, and I lost phone privileges for a month.

Forty years and a spate of smart technology later, I’m starting to think the president, much like 14 year-old me, isn’t so smart when it comes to the phone.

Two weeks ago, a Whistleblower rang the alarm about his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president—a call the president insists was perfect, even as his own transcript shows him asking for a personal, political favor (an investigation of the Bidens) before releasing military aid—which prompted the House of Representatives to launch an impeachment inquiry.

Then, as if he weren’t in enough trouble, he stood on the White House lawn and told reporters he thought China should investigate the Bidens as well, prompting the following response from Republican Sen. Mitt Romney: “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

So how did the president spend the first weekend in October? With friends? With family? With his grandchildren or young son?

Of course not. He spent his weekend the way he always does, like a lonely teenager, pouting in his room, on the phone, desperately trying to prove he is one of the cool kids.

In a few long-winded tweets, he attacked Sen. Romney, who was pictured spending time with his grandchildren at a pumpkin patch, calling the senator “a pompous ass” and suggesting it is Romney who should be IMPEACHED in all-caps. (Note: there is no such thing as impeaching a senator.)

He then went on ad nauseam, tweet after raging tweet, about how mean Democrats are, about whistleblowers and losers and Sleepy Joe.

But he saved his biggest, most dangerous, hurrah for Sunday night, when he reportedly blindsided the Pentagon in a phone call with Erdogan wherein he promised immediate withdrawal of American security forces from the Syrian border, abandoning the Kurds who have fought beside our troops and against terrorism, exposing them to almost-certain slaughter by Turkey’s military.

The same withdrawal he committed to back in December that prompted the immediate resignation of General James Mattis, his Secretary of Defense. Remember him?

I wonder, where are the pro-lifers at times like this? Maybe our very own Gov. Matt Bevin, Sen. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell, or Rep. Andy Barr could explain what exactly is pro-life, or even pro-American, about leaving our friends, the Kurds, to die on the battlefield.

As my mother would say, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Consider the leaders of the countries he calls friends—Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China, Russia, Turkey—authoritarian regimes with little to no respect for basic human rights. What is his attraction and supplication to these tyrants about? What is in it for him, and for them?

In this latest episode with Erdogan, President Trump’s “chumminess has unsettled both appointed and elected officials suspicious of Mr. Erdogan’s repressive policies, Islamist sympathies and deepening relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Three years into his presidency, you have to wonder if the president does not understand the national security implications of his phone conversations, the embarrassment that is his Twitter feed, or the dangers of his chosen friends. Or if he simply doesn’t care.

How, I ask, is there not one family member, cabinet appointee, senator or congressman in Washington D.C. who is concerned enough to take away his phone, to direct him to better friends, to keep him out of trouble?

How is there not a single person in the president’s orbit as smart as the mother of a 14 year-old girl?

 



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cjheinz
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A grifter's gotta grift.
It's the only thing he's good at.
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