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6 comments   Listen   Print   article:258993:11::0
In the Media

article imageAre Elephants Smarter Than Humans When it Comes to Mental Arithmetic?

New research from Tokyo University indicates that elephants pink, white and otherwise, are much smarter than expected when it comes to mental arithmetic. Read on, no matter how you may feel about addition, subtraction or fractions.
Dr. Naoko Irie from Tokyo University has developed a test using animals from the city’s Ueno Zoo, which consists of dropping varying numbers of apples into two buckets in front of the elephants and then recording how often they could correctly choose the bucket holding the most fruit.
According to news sources, sometimes the apples were dropped in clusters of up to three or four at a time, which forced the elephants to keep running totals in their heads to keep track of the count. Seventy-four percent of the time, the animals correctly picked the fullest bucket. An African elephant named Ashya scored the highest with an amazing eighty-seven percent. This may not seem so extraordinary, but when you consider than humans in this same contest managed a success rate of just sixty-seven percent, it does shed a different light on things.
All of the exercises were filmed to insure the accuracy of the test setting and Dr. Irie said of the test:
"Even I get confused when I am dropping the apples into the buckets.”
What can one say after one says, wow?
article:258993:11::0
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