Tag Archives | elephants

dallas zoo gorilla

Clicker training gorillas to “trade”

Last spring, I spent a very fun day at the Dallas Zoo. My professor and advisor, Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, spoke at a weekly lunch lecture series the zoo has for their staff, sharing information about some of his research on poisoned cues. I wrote most of this post then, but never got around to completely finishing […]

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photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/beggs/6589768817/">beggs</a>

A talking elephant (Really!)

So, elephants can’t mimic human speech. Right? Actually… wrong. Koshi, an Asian elephant at a South Korean zoo can do just this. Scientists from the University of Vienna saw video clips of Koshi on YouTube. At first, they thought just what I did — this must be fake! However, they’ve been studying Koshi and his […]

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photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/93014478@N00/3358790995">Stuart Bassil</a>

An Elephant Never Forgets (Ever?)

Does an elephant forget what she’s learned? Do other trained animals forget what they’ve learned? What implications does this have for training dogs, horses and other domestic animals? Elephant Memory Tests In 1964, Leslie Squier used operant conditioning to train several elephants at the Portland Zoo. He presented his findings that year at the meeting […]

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What’s a good reinforcer for an elephant?

Regarding finding valuable reinforcers: “One keeper I met learned that an elephant will perform for a single miniature marshmallow.” This is from Temple Grandin’s latest book, Animals Make Us Human. (I also blogged recently about her discussions on introducing scary objects and stereotypical behaviors.) I find many people object to adding a clicker to their training […]

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Amazing animals from the WEIT blog

I really like Jerry Coyne’s blog. (Coyne’s a University of Chicago professor, who I actually had for a bio class. He’s recently started a blog to promote his new book Why Evolution Is True.). Over the past few days, he’s posted some links of some really awesome animals, you should check them out. Sheepdogs and […]

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