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Curiosity in animals

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

What is curiosity? If animals only behaved according to basic principles of survival and reproduction, their lives would be entirely filled with the search for key resources: finding food, drink and mating partners; avoiding undue risks, even when asleep; building up useful relationships; rearing offspring; and all the other utilitarian and essential functions biologists study. But sometimes animals also do something else: they explore objects they haven’t seen before, they play around with all sorts of apparently ‘useless’ things. It is tempting to think that, just like us, non-human animals — or at least some of them — show interest in the world ‘for its own sake’. Humans, especially scientists, are quite proud of their curiosity…

By: Richard W. Byrne

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