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Re: Raptor Intelligence
From: Garry Platt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>There was another sequence however which left me feeling a little uneasy
> The Raptor's level of intelligence was often referred to during the film as
> being exceptional (primate level?). But what evidence exists, what evidence
> can exist, that raptors or any dinosaur had 'intelligence ' as portrayed in
> the film,
Well, the evidence is that the dienonychids and troodontids have the
largest *relative* brain size of any known dinosaur.
However, this still puts them *well* below primate levels. In fact
they are even below median avian level in brain size (though they
had achieved a low-avian brain size).
Given their close relationship to birds, this suggests a bird-like
intelligence. That is, the *type* of intelligence would be similar
to that of birds, as well as the "amount".
> i.e. problem solving capabilities (door handle sequence) and the
> holding pen reference (testing the weaknesses of the holding pen)?
This is well within the behavioral repertoir of at least *some*
birds (for instance parrots). However, this type of behavior is
seen mostly in the more intelligent birds.
Testing the weaknesses of a cage in *some* manner* is normal
behavior for any captive animal - the only issue is how sophisticated
they are about it, and how quickly they figure out what *doesn't*
work. (Animals of low intelligence tend to have one, or maybe
two, escape behaviors which they continmue to use without any
variance for a long time).
> This was
> referred to by the game warden, the actors name escapes me for the moment.
> Is there any factual or scientific evidence that can support the
> representation of the creatures as having intelligence on apparently the
> same level as primates?
No, in fact quite the contrary.
However, much of the behavior shown does not require quite
a primate level of intelligence. Wolves hunt the way the
raptors were said to hunt at times.
> Or was this Hollywood taking liberties?
The peace of God be with you.