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Alex The Parrot

Alex (1976 – September 6, 2007[1]) was an African Grey Parrot and the subject of a thirty-year (1977-2007) experiment by animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg, initially at the University of Arizona and later at Harvard and Brandeis University. Pepperberg bought Alex in a regular pet shop when he was about one year old.[2] The name Alex is an acronym for Avian Learning EXperiment.[3]His successor was Griffin. Before Pepperberg’s work with Alex, it was widely believed in the scientific community that birds were not intelligent and could only use words by mimicking, but Alex’s accomplishments indicated that birds may be able to reason on a basic level and use words creatively.[4] Pepperberg wrote that Alex’s intelligence was on a par with that of dolphins and great apes.[5] She also reported that Alex had the intelligence of a five-year-old human[3] and had not even reached his full potential by the time he died.[6] She said that the bird had the emotional level of a human two-year-old at the time of his death.[7]

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32 Responses so far.

  1. raptors11111 schreef:

    Smart parrot.

  2. Kyle Vetrano schreef:


  3. lostindreams3 schreef:

    Imagine if other animals could produce speech. My mom lost the ability to move her tongue and face the last few years of her life. I wish so badly I could have known her thoughts and wishes during that time.

  4. charlesandhisworld schreef:

    Mind = Blown

  5. Madman6231 schreef:

    That’s because he was a king

  6. lightThatcherry schreef:

    i was sad when i saw him in a lab and put under so much pressure of learning…parrots can learn a few words..doesn’t mean you can teach him the complete human ways..this bird would have lived for years if left in the wild..and still would have lived a happy long life if it was under a good owner..but you made him nothing more then a test subject..Fuck science!
    R.I.P Alex

  7. zombieinajar schreef:

    i was so so sad when alex died 🙁

  8. WackySquirrels schreef:

    i’m just finishing up Irene Pepperberg’s book about alex, Alex & Me

  9. psychochinchilla393 schreef:

    awwwwwwww i love the way he talks

  10. peachygirl510 schreef:

    wow what an amazing and intelligent creature. Love em.

  11. albertogarcia206 schreef:

    alex, what matter?

  12. ParrotTrainingSchool schreef:

    Your pet is so cute and very talented.. Nice!

  13. aviannightmare schreef:

    I agree!

  14. aviannightmare schreef:

    Well Said!

  15. aviannightmare schreef:

    @MintMoviesThis is NOT Molting. Even the Dr had explained that Alex had a health issue in regards to his feathers missing. Again, feather plucking can be for many reasons and SB taken seriously! Diet, Stress, illness, boredom, environment, (too small a cage, aggressive other birds etc). Please, if your parrot looks like this, do not assume it is molting. Molting only means they are losing their old feathers and growing in new ones. Molting is not pulling feathers out and going bald.

  16. aviannightmare schreef:

    It is not normal to have this kind of feather destruction. Parrots do have a molting time, but it never sb be this severe. If you are finding your cockatoos are experiencing this, I would have an avian vet check them for health or behavioral issues. It can be for many reasons, diet, illness, stress, boredom, an aggressive bird plucking another. Eventually if they continue to pluck, the feathers may even stop growing in. Good health to your parrots, they are wonderful creatures!

  17. desii197 schreef:

    but he was also a pet that bird lived 31 years she treated him like a king so no he wasn’t only an experiment

  18. MintMovies schreef:

    He’s MOLTING, you sillies!

  19. PhidippusAudax schreef:

    what’s wrong with his feathers? too much stress?

  20. uce85 schreef:

    He was under a lot of stress as you can see from the feather plucking. I’m all for science and research but this was just inhumane. You shouldn’t have pushed him so hard. Poor bird died way too young. 🙁

  21. fancigal schreef:

    why is it a shame? he was treated no differently from any other bird in a home, sometimes I think better cause he was always given attention and love. Irene considered him more of a colleague and a friend than an experiment.

  22. kathylolful schreef:

    he died in 2008

  23. lucyyelding schreef:

    She asked how many corners before what shape. he said 4 corners

  24. lucyyelding schreef:

    He was not plucking his feathers, this type of “fluff” instead of his normal plumage develops quite a lot while molting. If he was plucking it would appear raw and sore. My parrots get this all the time! Especially my cockatoos.

  25. lucyyelding schreef:

    Alex was loved dearly by all of his researchers. They’re avian scientists. They’re passionate about birds. Parrots don’t tend to cooperate well unless they’re having fun, so rest assured that he was always loved, played with. He must have found all of the research fun or he wouldn’t learn it, like a todler at preschool. He was used for research, but research isn’t always a bad thing. He had a happy life, probably more so because he had so much attention. Parrots want attention and to play.

  26. rogerpenna schreef:

    very interesting. I guess parrots, along dolphins, chimps and maybe dogs, should be uplifted by humans. We should give them full sentience.

    Look for extraterrestrial life? We can create other fully sapient and intelligent life out of Earth animals. And they will then help us colonize the galaxy.

  27. karenctran schreef:

    Wild animals are humans’ friends! God put them out in nature not putting them in a lab or cage! It’s just not fair to torture animals because of curiosity! When humans didn’t exist, this didn’t happen! Everything followed the circle of life until humans exist! I’m sad to be one of those humans! Alex is dead!:(

  28. karenctran schreef:

    Scientists should know better to torture wild animals and just use them for scientific research! They call themself smart, but they’re stupid enough to use wild animals for just study! It’s just so sad that scientists just use these poor wild animals for study or use them for an experiment that could threaten their lives like when the Soviet Union put a dog named Laika in outer space and the Sputnik 2 that it was put in was never planned to come back and the dog died!

  29. karenctran schreef:

    I believe that birds and other wild animals should be put in their natural environment if somebody want to have a bird then play with it and give it care and love! I’m so mad at sicentists now a day! Just leave animals alone! You just can’t torture these birds because you’re curious of them! They are living things!!!! They need love like humans do! Treat animals how you want to be treated! Put them back in their natural environment if you’re not going to give it love! Does anybody agree?

  30. aviannightmare schreef:

    Read the book The Alex Studies which chronicles the details over 20 years, of the the experimental training completed in the lab by the Dr and her Staff on Alex. And yes was not a pet he was very much a study.

  31. aviannightmare schreef:

    His poor feather condition is not caused from old age or molting it is caused from plucking, which can be from a variety of reasons. In his case most likely stress because his replacement, Griffen is doing it too! RIP Alex you did a lot for man kind studies!

  32. aviannightmare schreef:

    His feather plucking may be caused from stress from working long hours in a laboratory setting.

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