Alex the Parrot
Alex, a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), was known for his extensive cognitive and communicative abilities. He was the subject of a 30-year research project to determine similarities and differences between his capacities and those of humans and various other nonhuman subjects. A description of his life and achievements follows.
Hand-raised by a Chicago area parrot breeder, Alex was sold to a local pet store at about 4 months of age, where he resided, in a large cage with other Grey parrots, until approximately 13 months of age. He was then chosen, at random by the store manager, to become a research subject. Random choice ensured that any experimental success was not a consequence of having been bred specifically for intelligence or vocal ability.
Although Alex was a research subject that lived in a laboratory setting at various universities...
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