ALEX THE AFRICAN GREY.
It is a known fact that parrots are highly intelligent creatures, but this was not always the case. A 30 year-long animal psychology experiment changed the way that scientists and people everywhere view
The subject of this experiment was a male Congo African Grey Parrot named Alex. Alex was purchased by Animal Psychologist Irene Pepperberg from a Chicago pet store in 1977 when he was roughly a year old. Pepperberg brought the bird to the University of Arizona, where the experiment began. Alex’s name is actually a backronym for “Avian Language Experiment” or “Avian Learning Experiment”.
In his 30 years working in the experiment, Alex developed a vocabulary of over 100 words, but was exceptional in that he appeared to have understanding for what he said. For example, when shown an object and asked about its shape, colour, or material, Alex was able to label it correctly over 80% of the time. He could describe a key no matter what its size or colour, and could always distinguish it as a key. Alex could identify 50 different objects and recognize quantities up to six. He knew all of the basic colours and 5 different shapes. As well, Alex was able to understand concepts of “bigger”, “smaller”, “same”, “different”, “under”, and “over”. (CONTINUED IN THE COMMENTS)