Have you ever seen your pet do something that you never thought they could do until they showed you? This phenomenon is not new… in fact, proud fur parents show off their pet’s incredible abilities online. Scientists also conduct studies to learn more about our four-legged friends. In fact, one study found that dogs’ heart rates will increase when they hear their human say ‘I love you‘ to them. Plus, many iconic cartoon shows and movies have characters based on real-life creatures! Many folks brush off the idea of intelligent animals but the subreddit r/LikeUs beg to differ.
There is a subreddit for almost anything. And it goes without saying that pets are among its most popular subjects. But unlike most pet-centric groups that focus on cuteness and quirks, the subreddit r/LikeUs collects evidence of intelligence instead. The subreddit has been around since 2013 and they’ve definitely collected a lot of interesting content! But before joining the subreddit, one of the moderators – u/gugulo- recommends that people read “Are We In Anthtropodenial?” by Dutch Primatologist and Ethologist Frans de Waal so they can understand r/LikeUs. Another moderator, u/sydbobyd, wrote:
“r/LikeUs is a place to gather and discuss evidence showing animal consciousness, intelligence, and emotion. [It] is not simply another version of r/aww. Posts that are cute but show little intelligent or emotional behavior do not belong here.”
My fam got Louie (right) from a breeder years ago. Tell me why, Louie is at the park & stops dead in his tracks when seeing this dog (left). Turns out they are from the same breeder, have the same parents, meaning THEY ARE BROTHERS & RECOGNIZED EACH OTHER ? this shit made me cry pic.twitter.com/yfHxb74TEr
— Walela (they/them) (@itswalela) May 17, 2018
This subreddit collects photos and videos of intelligent animals doing extraordinary things
The group’s moderators also said that their subreddit is “not the place to post examples of animals (or inanimate objects) simply posing/dressing like a human or being personified”. This disclaimer appears to have stemmed from many previous occasions where people submitted content featuring dressed up pets. A lot of folks appeared to get confused with the group’s name.
“This seems to be a common and understandable confusion of the subreddit name, but our goal is not to show animals who just happen or are manipulated by humans to look human. This will always leave gray areas of course, but we hope that this may alleviate some of the confusion we’ve seen lately.”
TIL a pig named Lulu saved her owner’s life while the owner was having a heart attack. The pig heard the cries for help, forced her way out of the yard and ran into the road and ‘played dead’ to stop the traffic. A driver stopped and the pig led him to the trailer, he heard the woman and called 911. from r/todayilearned
The subreddit group collects interesting information about different animals
Since launching r/LikeUs, its moderators have picked up plenty of interesting bits of information about different kinds of creatures. And they have been very generous in sharing what they have learned so far. We’ve included some of the most surprising facts that the moderators have shared along with several of the most interesting contributions to r/LikeUs below.
Mammals are intelligent animals who have a good memory and are also capable of having feelings
“Mammals have a really good memory. Some orangutans learn how to fish, (and dogs can know) they’re at the vet. Having such good memories means they remember their suffering. For instance, (some) cows were recorded being happy for returning to pasture after a long winter.”
“Emotionally, mammals are very developed like us. They share with us many of our feelings, such as fear and love. Their emotions can be every bit as troubling as ours. They can be depressed so much, they won’t even eat!”
The group welcomes special content and stories about intelligent animals to
“Even our distant relatives, the cetaceans are very aware and very playful fellows. (One) Humpback Whale, for instance, realizes she’s been saved from a fishing net and lets her rescuers know she is thankful.”
“Non-mammal animals, on the other hand, appear to be quite different form us, but birds always find a way to puzzle us! Apparently, they like to have fun! The crow is probably the smartest bird there is! Bird in general are very aware of what their peers are doing.”
In order to maintain the quality of their content, its moderators sort the submissions into 5 categories
As mentioned above, the moderators of r/LikeUs keep a close watch on every post that’s submitted to the subreddit. So in order to maintain the content that they allow onto the subreddit, they sort everything that comes in into 5 categories: best, good, OK, bad and very bad. The content that gets branded “best” features what r/LikeUs wants to see: intelligent behavior, complex emotions. Scientific articles and philosophy discussions about intelligent animals are also very welcome at r/LikeUs. Post with creatures showing intentional behavior (doing something they’ve been trained to do), unintentional behavior and skillful behavior are considered good as well.
The categories range from “best” to “very bad”
Then, content with creatures who are able to do some facial expressions, have distinct reactions or reveal curiosity are also deemed OK or acceptable too. A lot of subreddit groups celebrate cuteness. But r/LikeUs prefers to shine the spotlight on their intellectual abilities instead. In fact, they label funny, cute or play-related content as “bad content”! Then, any content that’s misleading, fake or plain spam will get branded as “very bad content”.
Watch the most awesome documented instances of intelligent animals doing amazing things below