Ming the Mechanic:
Talkative Parrot

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Talkative Parrot2004-01-31 17:49
8 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Here's the story of a rather stunningly capable parrot.
The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.

The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.

N'kisi's remarkable abilities, which are said to include telepathy, feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.

N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a wide range of material.
He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and uses humor. Are you sure that's really a parrot? If so, somebody has some explaining to do. The telepathy is particularly cool.


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8 comments

31 Jan 2004 @ 18:59 by Jon Husband @24.87.29.214 : Let's Elect Him POTUS
Wow ! That's really something. If he has a real sense of humour, he's already more qualified than GWB.

I wonder if anyone has tried to actually figure out if he can read - how would we know of he didn't say anything ? He must have some sense of alphabet, somehow ?  



1 Feb 2004 @ 09:54 by ming : President
950 words, and he can use different tenses - he's already way ahead of GWB.  


6 Feb 2004 @ 22:12 by John Abbe @69.36.228.174 : That damn bird!
Another gray parrot, Alex, is apparently known in some circles as "that damn bird" (as in, my grand theory describes all the data except for that damn bird). [link] :)  


7 Feb 2004 @ 06:03 by ming : The Bird
Hah, very interesting and entertaining story too. Yeah, why can't those birds just behave as they're supposed to!  


12 Feb 2004 @ 16:03 by amara : Intelligent Life
Has anyone heard of the experiments with crows? It is widely speculated that they are the most intelligent spiecies -- next to humans. Beyond what researchers were expecting, one crow actually ~made~ a tool to accomplish it's "task" when its given tool was unavailable. I'll see if I can find reference and blog it.  


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