On this week’s Science Night, we explore the minds of animals and the history of people. NOVA brings you inside the brains of birds to discover if their talents are evidence of high intelligence or the result of training and instinct. And First Peoples explains how diversity was created in humans.
NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius at 7 pm
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? The revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. Meet a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle; and a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography.
First Peoples Americas/Africa at 8 pm
How closely related were the First Americans and today’s Native Americans? It’s a matter of huge controversy. There are very few other skeletons in the world that engender such strong feelings. Africa – 200,000 years ago, a new species appeared on the African landscape — Homo sapiens. Scientists imagined eastern Africa was a Garden of Eden, but the latest research suggests we evolved in many places across the continent at the same time. DNA from a 19th Century African-American slave is forcing geneticists to re-think the origins of our species.