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Exploring Animal Intelligence: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 10 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Exploring Animal Intelligence Reading Passage:

Humanity's fascination with animal intelligence has spurred countless studies and debates throughout the centuries. From the early musings of Aristotle to the complex experiments of contemporary scientists, we have continually sought to understand the minds of the non-human beings that share our planet.

Recent advancements in cognitive science have allowed us a more profound insight into the intellectual lives of animals. Investigations into various species have revealed surprising levels of problem-solving abilities, social intelligence, and even emotional complexity.

One landmark study on African Grey Parrots demonstrated their ability to perform tasks that require understanding of cause and effect, an attribute once believed to be exclusively human. Similarly, observations of dolphins interacting with mirrors have led researchers to conclude that these marine mammals possess a sense of self-awareness.

The intelligence of animals is also exhibited through their use of tools. Chimpanzees, for example, have been observed using sticks to extract termites from mounds, displaying not only an understanding of the tool's function but also an ability to plan ahead.

However, testing animal intelligence presents unique challenges. Unlike humans, animals cannot verbally express their thoughts or follow instructions as precisely. Therefore, researchers must design experiments that are intuitive for the animals and which allow them to demonstrate their natural behaviors and cognitive abilities.

As we continue to explore the depths of animal cognition, we must also question the ethical implications of such studies. Recognizing intelligence in animals invariably leads to discussions about their rights and the moral responsibilities of humans.

The quest to comprehend animal intelligence not only satisfies human curiosity but also has practical implications, such as improving conservation efforts and enhancing animal welfare. As we unlock more secrets of the animal mind, we step closer to a greater appreciation of the rich tapestry of life on Earth.


Q1. Which species has demonstrated understanding of cause and effect through landmark studies?

A. Dolphins

B. African Grey Parrots

C. Chimpanzees

D. Elephants

Q2. Fill in the blank: Dolphins have shown a sense of self-awareness through interactions with ______.

Q3. True or False: Only humans use tools for problem-solving.

Q4. What challenge is unique to testing animal intelligence?

A. Animals can express their thoughts verbally

B. Animals are not as intelligent as humans

C. Animals cannot follow instructions as precisely as humans

D. Researchers are not interested in animal intelligence

Q5. Fill in the blank: Chimpanzees have been observed using sticks to extract ______ from mounds.

Q6. True or False: Animal intelligence studies have no ethical implications.

Q7. The study of animal intelligence can lead to improvements in:

A. Space exploration

B. Oceanic mapping

C. Conservation efforts

D. Urban development

Q8. True or False: All animal species possess the same level of intelligence.

Q9. Fill in the blank: Recognizing intelligence in animals leads to discussions about their ______ and moral responsibilities of humans.

Q10. Why do we study animal intelligence?

A. To satisfy human curiosity

B. To improve conservation efforts

C. To enhance animal welfare

D. All of the above


A1. B. African Grey Parrots

Explanation: The study mentioned highlights African Grey Parrots' understanding of causality.

A2. mirrors

Explanation: Dolphins' recognition of their reflections indicates self-awareness.

A3. False

Explanation: Various animal species are known to use tools for problem-solving.

A4. C. Animals cannot follow instructions as precisely as humans

Explanation: This limits how experiments can be conducted and interpreted.

A5. termites

Explanation: Chimps using sticks to get termites is a classic example of tool use.

A6. False

Explanation: The recognition of animal intelligence raises significant ethical questions.

A7. C. Conservation efforts

Explanation: Understanding animal intelligence helps in devising better conservation strategies.

A8. False

Explanation: Intelligence levels vary widely among different animal species.

A9. rights

Explanation: Intelligence acknowledgment in animals brings their rights into consideration.

A10. D. All of the above

Explanation: Animal intelligence studies serve multiple purposes, from satisfying curiosity to promoting welfare and conservation.

Concluding Paragraph:

For IELTS candidates, this article serves as a valuable resource in preparing for the reading section of the exam. The passage provides rich content to practice comprehension, while the questions challenge learners to analyze and interpret text accurately, skills essential for IELTS success. By engaging with such material, students can enhance their reading abilities, broaden their understanding of complex topics, and prepare themselves to excel in the IELTS examination. Understanding the nuances of animal intelligence not only enriches our knowledge but also sharpens our ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively—qualities that are crucial for achieving a high band score in IELTS.

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