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“You Be Good, See You Tomorrow, I Love You”

September 11, 2007

New England’s own Alex the world-famous parrot died last week at the age of 31. The brilliant African Grey was the subject of animal intelligence studies at Brandeis and Harvard and appeared on numerous television programs demonstrating his ability to form simple sentences and express emotions, distinguish colors and shapes, and even count from zero to six.

Alex’s owner, the comparative psychologist Irene Pepperberg, claimed that he “showed the emotional equivalent of a two-year-old child and intellectual equivalent of a five-year-old.”

From The New York Times:

Even up through last week, Alex was working with Dr. Pepperberg on compound words and hard-to-pronounce words. As she put him into his cage for the night last Thursday, Dr. Pepperberg said, Alex looked at her and said: “You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.”

He was found dead in his cage the next morning, and was determined to have died late Thursday night.

Listen to the NPR interview with Dr. Pepperberg and a 1996 audio excerpt of Alex

Also recommended: Friday Grey Matters @ Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

2 Comments leave one →
  1. truce permalink
    September 24, 2007 12:21 am

    What I want to know is, why was he so determined to die late on Thursday night???

    I think we should be told, sounds like a conspiracy to me…

  2. September 25, 2007 1:03 pm

    Yes, those African Greys…such pranksters!

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