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Oink-Oink Overload: Pigs Are Smarter Than We Think

When we think about pigs, we think that they are dirty, smelly and not particularly smart. Have you ever considered that we might be totally wrong?

The associations people have made with the word, ‘pig’, are less than glamorous. In fact, there are downright negative connotations attached to the word, which is why we use it to insult people. But, let’s put aside our preconceived ideas of what we think a pig is, and take a look at who they really are.

Pigs are not known as the smartest, or the cleanest domestic animals in the world. The phrases, “sweat like a pig” or “smell like a pig”, may come to mind. But, consider that pigs don’t have sweat glands, and therefore, cannot sweat (except on the very ends of their snouts). The lack of sweat glands means lack of odor – affording no credibility to either statement.

To compensate for the lack of a natural way to bring their body temperature down, pigs seek out water or mud. Pigs rolling in mud may look uncouth, but they are actually being quite smart. The mud not only keeps them cool, but keeps biting pests at bay, and prevents sunburn.

Did you know that pigs are as smart as the primates? Intelligence research was done with pigs in the 1990s. One of the experiments was to train the pigs to move the cursor on a video screen with their snouts. When the pigs used the cursors again, they were able to distinguish between the scribbles they already knew, and the scribbles they were seeing for the first time. The pigs learned this skill as fast as the chimpanzees.

All species of pig are smarter than dogs, and capable of abstract representation. “They can hold an icon in their mind, and remember it at a later date,” says Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University, who discovered that pigs dominate at video games with joy sticks. Curtis goes on to say, “Pigs are able to focus with an intensity I have never seen in a chimp.”

It might be hard to believe, but pigs are actually smarter than a three-year-old. Other tests were done where the pigs were taught the meaning of simple words and phrases. Several years later, the instructions were repeated, and the pigs still remembered what to do. The same thing was done with different objects placed in front of them. They were taught to jump over, sit by, or retrieve the item. Three years later, they could distinguish between the items.

The studies also showed that pigs lead complex social lives that behaviorists once believed to be true only of primates.

Mother pigs sing to their piglets while they are nursing.

They excel at video games that would be hard for a young child, and sometimes better than the primates.

Pigs have a good sense of direction, and can find their way home from long distances.

They learn from watching one another.

Pigs outsmart each other. One will often follow another pig to food before grabbing it away from him, and the pig who was tricked will change behaviors to reduce how many times it is tricked.

Pigs dream.

So next time somebody calls you a pig, be flattered 🙂 All of the pictures above are of the happy pigs who roam free at Todd Geisert’s Farm.

The information provided above is from: http://chris-mclaughlin.suite101.com/the-intelligent-pig-a84448

Todd Geisert Farms is located on 4851 Old Hwy 100 Washington, Missouri 63090. You can call Todd at 314.791.6942 or e-mail him attoadspigs@yahoo.com. Visit the Farms’ website here for a full list of the products that they offer and the locations you can buy Todd’s pork from. Don’t forget to like their Facebook page to stay updated on all the current events at the farm and the new edible innovations.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


One Response to “Oink-Oink Overload: Pigs Are Smarter Than We Think”

  1. I still think they are Yummy! Is that wrong?

    Posted by Rodney Stoyer | February 17, 2012, 4:56 pm

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