cently Richards (this volume) have shown that dolphins can exhibit vocal mimicry. Clearly there are whole classes of "higher mental processes" that animals share with humans. Table 12.1 contains a listing of behaviors that may indicate either higher learning abilities, or if you like "cognitive" abilities for selected species of mammals. Note that although vocal mimicry is not uncommon in birds, it is rare in mammals and curiously absent in infrahuman primates. The demonstration of vocal mimicry in the harbor seal ( Phoca vitulina) by Ralls Fiorelli , and Gish ( 1985) is nothing short of sensational. Wemmer and Mishra ( 1982) have offered an elegant example of intraspecific vocal mimicry from the Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus). These latter two examples do not necessarily indicate "higher mental processes" but they do indicate abilities heretofore unsuspected by ethologists.
Restricting myself to the class Mammalia I must admit to the following: Large, long-lived species with a low reproductive potential probably offer the best subjects for demonstrating "higher mental processes." They tend to have relatively large brains (for whatever that is worth) and seem to be less "hard wired" than their small-brained compatriots. If we could agree on a set of operational definitions we could very probably reach the goal that King Solomon achieved three thousand years before. He was so wise he could "speak also of beasts and of fowl and of creeping things and of fishes" (First Kings 4:33, as noted by Lorenz, 1952).
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