Éléphants, miroirs des Hommes
Elephants, about as unrelated to human beings as any mammal can be, seem nevertheless to have evolved intelligence, and possibly even consciousness. Though they may not be alone in this (similar claims are made for certain whales, social carnivores and a few birds), they are certainly part of a small and select group. Losing even one example of how intelligence comes about and makes its living in the wild would not only be a shame in its own right, it would also diminish the ability of biologists of the future to understand the process, and thus how it happened to human beings.
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