Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Alex the Grey RIP ;-(

Today marks the passing of many souls and I add Alex, the wonderful African Grey to my list of goodbyes...

Famous parrot with big bird brain — and gift of gab — dies

Alex, an African Grey parrot with a knack for the English language, has died at age 31, apparently of natural causes.

The subject of a landmark study on bird intelligence, Alex had a vocabulary of more than 100 words, the New York Times writes in its obituary.

According to his Web perch (where there's a picture of Alex with his handler) he also could "identify 50 different objects, 7 colors, 5 shapes, quantities up to and including 6 and a zero-like concept." Research by Irene Pepperberg at Brandeis University was said to have "shattered the generally held notion that parrots are only capable of mindless vocal mimicry."

Her work showed that Alex had "the emotional equivalent of a 2 year-old child and intellectual equivalent of a 5 year-old."
Posted by Michael Winter at 07:51 PM/ET, September 10, 2007 in Animals/Pets | Permalink

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