The Intelligence of Animals


IN his review of Father Wassmann's book (NATURE, February 1, p. 351) Lord Avebury dissents from Father Wassmann's conclusion that the sagacity of ants is “instinctive and essentially different from intelligence and reflection,” and repeats the opinion which he has held for many years, that “it is difficult altogether to deny to them the gift of reason.” The following incidents, which I observed on a footpath in the Donetz Coalfield, in Russia, in the summer of 1898, appear to me to show that the insects here referred to possess both intelligence and the gift of reason, and, therefore, to lend a general support of Lord Avebury's views.

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