Is this what you did to the poor creature, Ms Irene Pepperberg? Have him worked to death by your research?
8-12 hours a day, every day, of gruelling mental exercise, just to find out where the limits of avian intelligence exist! No wonder Alex died so young.
Both you and Brandeis University should be ashamed of yourselves!
Bird Brain Dies After Years of Research
WALTHAM, Mass. Emotion: travel - Alex, a parrot that could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials, has died after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain.
The cause of Alex's death was unknown. The African grey parrot's average life span is 50 years, Brandeis University scientist Irene Pepperberg said. Alex was discovered dead in his cage Friday, she said, but she waited to release the news until this week so grieving researchers could get over the shock and talk about it.
"It's devastating to lose an individual you've worked with pretty much every day for 30 years," Pepperberg told The Boston Globe. "Someone was working with him eight to 12 hours every day of his life."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jZeZSFfWilDZgoL8xPOU3KbQO2 g

http://vvi.onstreammedia.com/cgi-bin/visearch?user=pbs-saf&template=play220ram.html&query=%2A&squery=%2BClipID%3A4+%2BVideoAsset%3Apbssaf1201&inputField=%20&entire=No&ccstart=1895395&ccend=2687958&videoID=pbssaf1201
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
If Dr.Irene Pepperberg is not mad she ought to stop, and seriously re-think what she's doing. to these birds, before ... results following a more leisurely path. Had Alex lived another 10 or 20 years, he might have progressed farther. M.J.

What are you basing this tirade upon? The birds are not doing push-ups. They are thinking. Since when is thinking hazardous to health? I recall Alex being quite in control of ending sessions. He had the final word about his limits. Likely, he enjoyed the attention and stimulation. I recall that his "family" was small and he "tested" lab newcomers to see how much they understood. His worldwide recognition wasn't because he did bus tours. His videos were circulated. His life was probably as ordinary as any of our birds upon which we lavish time, energy and attention.

Sincerely,
Joanne
What are you basing this tirade upon? The birds are not doing push-ups. They are thinking. Since when is thinking hazardous to health? ..Snip

Apparently M.J. has proven beyond all doubt that thinking is hazardous when attempted by that ilk of animal rights 'experts'.

Dave
www.davebbq.com
If Dr.Irene Pepperberg is not mad she ought to stop, ... 10 or 20 years, he might have progressed farther. M.J.

What are you basing this tirade upon? The birds are not doing push-ups. They are thinking.

And thinking means the same thing for a human
brain and a parrot brain, right? Gosh, you lack
imagination, Joanne.
Since when is thinking hazardous to health?

Yours/humans, or a parrot's?
Have in mind the bird was subjected to rigourous 8-12 hour training days. Supposedly no vacations, few if any days off. Just constant training by a whole staff of graduate students etc.

All in hope of testing the limits of avian intelligence! Well, until an unexplained and pre-mature death at 31.
I recall Alex being quite in control of ending sessions.

Dr. Peperrberg was recently taking the bird to a more complex and mentally demanding level of training, i.e. teaching the bird 'compound words.'
He had the final word about his limits.

Exactly!!!
Likely, he enjoyed the attention and stimulation.

Please.
The bird was subject to continuous and prolonged
mental exercise, which, no doubt, traumatized its brain. Alex'es mental prowess may seem natural to a human TV viewer, but for the parrot it took years of unusually elevated brain metabolism to accomplish- read unusually hard mental labour (!) that most likely caused, or contributed to the birds demise.
These magnificent creatures evolved to burn thousands upon thousands of calories with the movement of their wings ...not continuous neverending straining of their brains!
I recall that his "family" was small and he "tested" lab newcomers to see how much they understood. His worldwide ... circulated. His life was probably as ordinary as any of our birds upon which we lavish time, energy and attention.

Alex'es life was not ordinary!
Please understand this fact?
M.J.
Alex, and Dr.Pepperberg's research has shown a lot, there is no point in streching it too far. Besides she may get better results following a more leisurely path. Had Alex lived another 10 or 20 years, he might have progressed farther.

Perhaps he could have retired and moved Florida where he could have learned to play shuffleboard.
What SHOULD an old bird do? Most just sit on a perch and watch the world go by, all to often without much companionship. In the wild old birds usually get eaten by predators.
If Alex didn't like the life he had he had the option of just sinking his beak into Irene P.'s hand and refusing to play her games. He had companionship and good food and even companionship of other CAGs. What more does a bird want? I expect Alex lived as long or longer than most of his wild relatives in Africa.
I don't feel sorry for Alex. It would appear he had good life, a lot better life than most animals use for research. I sure wouldn't want to be a bird in a research lab for Col. Sanders Inc. or Tyson Foods.
I strongly suspect that recent efforts to take the birds thinking to a human like level of abstraction ('compound words') may have dealt Alex a final blow. Complex abstract thinking is the stuff of most advanced creatures- primates/humans.

Dr.Pepperberg just started to introduce Alex's brain fully to this new world of more complex human like thinking.

M.J.
I strongly suspect that recent efforts to take the birds thinking to a human like level of abstraction ('compound words') ... primates/humans. Dr.Pepperberg just started to introduce Alex's brain fully to this new world of more complex human like thinking. M.J.

If you are right, wouldn't a necropsy have determined some abnormal brain tissue physiology? You can be sure this bird didn't get the slam-bam type of necropsy most pets and breeders do.
I hope they preserved his brain tissue (bet they did) for future, more advanced testing as it becomes available.
I wonder if they would have admitted to something as simple as a virus or an infection brought in by an assistant's lack of hygiene. (You know me - Queen of "the germs are out to get our darlings" theory!)

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

http://www.jobird.com
Wonders of Western Washington Video collection:
http://www.jobird.com/private/wondersindex.htm
I strongly suspect that recent efforts to take the birds ... this new world of more complex human like thinking. M.J.

If you are right, wouldn't a necropsy have determined some abnormal brain tissue physiology? You can be sure this bird ... by an assistant's lack of hygiene. (You know me -Queen of "the germs are out to get our darlings" theory!)

Can I just ask a question here?
How unheard of is a bird like this dying at 31?
I have a scientific colleague who had some type of bird like this (different species) for several years. One year it died suddenly and I'm guessing it was not wildly far from 31 based on what I know of the history. Jaws didn't drop.
sharon
Can I just ask a question here? How unheard of is a bird like this dying at 31? I have ... guessing it was not wildly far from 31 based on what I know of the history. Jaws didn't drop. sharon

It's a good point.
If 50 (I always believed the expectant age of a CAG was more comparable to a human) is a normal full life for a CAG then 31 would compare to a human, whose expected life is about 75, passing at age 47. It seems to me that something would show up on a medical autopsy to explain that premature of a death in a human. Why not in a bird?
31 is to 50 (50 may be questionable unless they are averaging pet birdsthat die of neglect very early)
as

47 is to 75.

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

http://www.jobird.com
Wonders of Western Washington Video collection:
http://www.jobird.com/private/wondersindex.htm
Any medical people have any thoughts?
Show more