Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Marino summarizes research showing that chickens perform cognitively and emotionally at a higher level than previously assumed. Here, I describe capacities of teleost fishes that parallel those of chickens, including the ability to recognize human faces, perspective-taking, and referential communication. Research on chickens and on fishes reveals an emerging trend in cognitive ethology: abilities once thought limited to a scant few highly intelligent non-humans may actually occur broadly across taxa.

Author Biography

Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist and author of several books on animals’ capacity to think, feel and experience pleasure. His most recent book, What a Fish Knows, explores the remarkable lives of the planet’s most misunderstood and maligned vertebrates. Balcombe lectures widely, and currently teaches a course in animal sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute.