Wild Minds – What Animals Really Think
May 17 – August 31, 2014
Through videos, games and displays, discover the similarities between human and animal cognition.
Is This Thinking? – Using a large, touch screen monitor, weigh in on whether the animal behaviors you observe (via video clips) are hard-wired or require “thinking.” After recording your opinions, you can hear what scientists think the behavior demonstrates.
Wild Minds at the Zoo – A video display that tells the story of zoo enrichment programs showing how zoo animals are provided with ways to exercise their brains.
Brain Power – A display of five plastinated brains from a parrot, dog, chimpanzee, dolphin and a human allows a comparison of human and animal brains by size and complexity.
Get-the-Peanut Experiment –Think about how you would get the peanut out of the tube. Then, view a video of children and apes taking this challenge.
Birds with Big Brains – Consider how you would get a piece of meat (lodged in a small basket) out of a tube, using only a straight piece of wire. This is the same experiment originally solved by Betty the Crow.
Remembering Numbers at a Glance –Take the same numbers and spatial memory test posed to a chimpanzee and see how you compare.
Learning Colors, Shapes and Numbers – Learn about Alex, the famous African gray parrot known for his skill at cognitive challenges.
Is That Me I See? – Watch a video showing dolphins examining themselves in front of a mirror. Do they recognize themselves?
The Thinking Octopus – After watching a video of a mimic octopus (a species of octopus with a strong ability to mimic other creatures), try to guess the type of poisonous animal being mimicked.
Mimicking Sounds for the Environment – After watching a short clip about the lyrebird, try to determine the sounds being mimicked by the bird.
What Dogs Want – Listen to a variety of barks and try to figure out what the dog is communicating.
Recommended for ages 6 – 14. Free with NYSCI admission
Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Wild Minds is a project led by the New York Hall of Science in partnership with the Staten Island Zoo, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Oregon Zoo, the California Science Center, Santa Barbara Zoo, Science Central, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, COSI (Center of Science and Industry), and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.