Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Video Memorial of Alex The Parrot

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Alex was a famous African grey parrot who could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials. He died about five weeks ago, after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain. This streaming video below the fold has a wonderful tribute to Alex and his many talents. [2:39]


  1. #1 biosparite
    October 29, 2007

    This is actually the first time I have listened to
    Alex talk, after reading much about him over the years. Thank you for posting this tribute on your blog.

  2. #2 Shelley Batts
    October 29, 2007

    Ok, it was pretty good until they superimposed Einstien’s hair onto Alex. Then I just started laughing. 😀

  3. #3 Thomas
    October 30, 2007

    I don’t like how they describe Alex as some kind of parrot genius. He wasn’t selected for high intelligence, he is just an average parrot who got to live in a very stimulating environment. There are likely to be lots of potentially smarter parrots out there being bored to death because their owners just leave them in a cage.

  4. #4 Shelley Batts
    October 30, 2007

    Irene actually emphasizes the fact that she chose Alex precisely because he was average, nothing special. She didn’t want to get the criticism later that Alex wasn’t representative of what a Grey parrot was capable of.

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