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I missed this the other day – Alex, an African grey parrot renowned for his language cognition and communication skills, has passed away aged 31 (more here). Very sad to me personally, as I did a lot of research on Alex and Irene Pepperberg for a course I did a few years ago on consciousness and language. Even though our class was small, I found it interesting to watch the varying responses from individuals on Alex’s abilities – from ‘trick pony’ to ‘just like us’ – all based more on the person’s worldview than the actual data.

For more on Alex, SciAm has revisited an interview with Alex from a few years back. Also, Wired have a video with Alex in action. See you Alex, be good.