Wolves beat dogs when it comes to logic

September 5th, 2009 - 12:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 5 (ANI): Although dogs are considered intelligent, but when it comes to making logical choices, wolves walk away with the ’smart’ crown, say researchers.

The new study from University in Hungary showed that dogs followed human cues to perform certain tasks despite evidence they could see suggesting a different strategy would be smarter, while wolves made the more logical choice based on their observations.

The dogs’ responses were similar to human infants, who also prioritise following the example of adult humans.

During the tests, the researcher would repeatedly place an object in Box A and allow the subjects to find it.

When the experimenter switched and put the object in Box B, human babies and dogs were confused and continued to search for it in the first box.

Wolves, however, easily followed the evidence of their eyes and located the object in Box B.

The study could help scientists learn more about the evolution of social behaviour, not just in dogs but in humans as well.

“I wouldn’t say one species is smarter,” Live Science quoted Adam Miklosi of Eovos University in Hungary, co-author of a paper describing the results in the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Science.

“If you assume an animal has to survive without human presence, then wolves are smarter.

“But if you are thinking that dogs have to survive in a human environment where it’s very important to follow the communications of humans, then in this aspect, dogs are smarter,” he added.

Scientists think wolves and dogs diverged from a common ancestor at least 15,000 years ago.

The researchers think the differences between the dog and wolf subjects - both of which had been raised in human captivity in these experiments - arises from genetic traits that have been bred into dogs over 10,000 years of domestication by humans.

“This finding provides strong support for the domestication hypothesis, by again showing striking dog- wolf differences, and striking dog-human convergences - in this case, in a task with which most dogs have no previous experience,” said Michael Tomasello and Juliane Kaminski, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany in an accompanying essay in the same issue of Science. (ANI)

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