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Bird Brains.

Alex, a 23-year-old African gray parrot, won't be taking the SATs, but he's no featherhead, says his owner, University of Arizona scientist Irene Pepperberg. Disputing the belief that parrots only mimic sounds and learn by rote, Pepperberg says Alex can identify 50 objects, 7 colors, and 5 shapes, and understand abstract concepts like bigger, smaller, same, and different--proving that "animal intelligence is more widespread than we thought," she says. So is Alex's ego. Pepperberg recently acquired two new parrots, and "Alex doesn't like either of them," she reports.
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Author:Smith, Dinitia
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 13, 1999
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