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Questions:

  1. Have you ever wondered what animals think and feel? What conclusions have you arrived at?
  2. What examples of animals’ intelligence does the presenter share with us? What other examples can you think of?
  3. Why does the presenter say that “They (elephants) know us better than we know them”.
  4. What does the presenter say about the idea that must never attribute human thoughts and emotions to other species? Why does he think so?
  5. What examples of people’s cruelty towards animals does the presenter talk about?
  6. What, according to the presenter, makes us human? Do you agree?
  7. What is the main idea of the talk?

 

Vocabulary:

capacity = the ability to understand or to do something

There are capacities of the human mind that we tend to think are capacities only of the human mind.

to give rise = to cause something to exist

Jellyfish gave rise to the first chordates.

burrow = a hole or tunnel in the ground made by animals such as rabbits for them to live in

It turns out that if you give a crayfish a lot of little tiny electric shocks every time it tries to come out of its burrow, it will develop anxiety.

invertebrate /ɪnˈvərt̮əbrət/ = any animal with no backbone, for example a worm

moray eel

Moray Eel

sea otter

Sea Otter

off the shelf = in a form that is ready to be used

When evolution makes something new, it uses the parts it has in stock, off the shelf, before it fabricates a new twist.

vigilant = very careful to notice any signs of danger or trouble

They have found a patch of shade under the palm trees under which to let their babies sleep, while they doze but remain vigilant.

empathy =

Empathy is the mind’s ability to match moods with your companions.

be far/further/furthest removed from something = to be very different from something

Then there’s something that I call sympathy, a little more removed.

to attribute = to say or believe that something is the result of a particular thing

People who seem to know only one thing about animal behavior know that you must never attribute human thoughts and emotions to other species.

stronghold = an area where there are a large number of a particular type of animal

In 1980, there were vast strongholds of elephant range in Central and Eastern Africa.

precocious = having developed particular abilities and ways of behaving at a much younger age than usual

She was getting too much attention from two new males, and she was the precocious one.