Thread: Elephants show flair for arithmetic

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  1. #1 Elephants show flair for arithmetic 
    Super Moderator bijou's Avatar
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    The elephant's memory is legendary, but in a large, grey surprise to science the mighty Asian elephant turns out to have a distinct flair for maths as well

    Under carefully controlled experimental conditions essentially comprising a large cage and two buckets of assorted fruit one elephant at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo managed to get its sums right 87 per cent of the time. A slightly less gifted pachyderm across the country in Kyoto scored a still respectable 69 per cent.

    The curiously accurate adding skills of Elephas maximus have been discovered by Naoko Irie, a behavioural ecologist at the University of Tokyo putting the finishing touches to her doctoral thesis. In her tests, three apples were dropped into one bucket and five into a second one next to it. Two more apples were added to each bucket, leaving the first with five and the second with seven apples.

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    Nothing like a good elephant thread. :)
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  2. #2  
    noonwitch
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    There's an article in the September National Geographic about elephants. This article studied their family patterns-there was a photo of a grandmother elephant caring for her own child and her grandchildren, whose mothers died.


    I love National Geographic. They get the best photos of animals in the wild.
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  3. #3  
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    There's an article in the September National Geographic about elephants. This article studied their family patterns-there was a photo of a grandmother elephant caring for her own child and her grandchildren, whose mothers died.


    I love National Geographic. They get the best photos of animals in the wild.
    At the STL Zoo, one of our elies had been nursing both her own child and her granddaughter, as her other daughter who had the baby elie wasn't particularly interested in being a mom. Elie (her name) is a super elephant.

    We had another pair of female elies who were friends for years, When the older one got feeble, her pal Carolyn would chew the food for her, then carefully place it in the other one's mouth. She also would stand next to the older one, to prevent any falls. She grieved so much after the loss of her friend that she died shortly after.

    They are wonderful animals, loyal and loving.
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  4. #4  
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    One of my favorite 60 Minutes (I think) was the one that showed the elephants painting down by the river. They really seemed to enjoy it. I think abstract art is pure bunk, but if I could afford it I would buy one of those paintings.
    :)
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  5. #5  
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    one elephant at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo managed to get its sums right 87 per cent of the time. A slightly less gifted pachyderm across the country in Kyoto scored a still respectable 69 per cent.
    In a bizarre coincidence, these are also the same percentages at Carbondale College and Chicago High School, respectively.
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