dimanche, juillet 30, 2017

Really nothing to say about this

Konrad Lorenz, the great animal behaviorist, was scrupulous about cultivating
fruitful confusion. Lorenz lived among his research subjects: dozens of
species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fishes. He did not quantify, control,
or consciously experiment. He got to know each creature individually, then
threw them together, watching for the unexpected, the unusual, or the bizarre
in the chaos that followed. For example, his interest in one of ethology's
most important concepts, that of intention movements (motions with meaning,
such as the head bobbing in birds that serves as an alarm signal before
flight), derived from an inadvertent experiment. He had trained a free-flying
raven to eat raw meat from his hand and had been feeding the bird for several
hours one day. He would reach into his pants pocket and take out a piece of
meat, and the raven would swoop down to grab it in its bill. By and by, Lorenz
went to relieve himself near a hedge. When the raven saw him put his hand
into his pants and pull out another morsel of meat, it swooped down, hungrily
grasping the new mouthful in its bill. Lorenz howled in pain. But the event
left a deep impression on him -- about how faithfully animals respond to
intention movements, that is.
-- The Sciences, May/June, 1988, N.Y. Academy of Science.


on the dimanche 30 juillet 2017, 03:34:01 (UTC+0200)

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