Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Pigeons Shown To Have Number Sense

OTAGO, New Zealand, Dec. 22 (UPI) — Pigeons can match primates in their numerical abilities, such as putting numbers in order, New Zealand researchers say.

Scientists at the University of Otago said their experiments showed pigeons can compare pairs of images picturing as many as nine objects and order them from the lower to higher number with a success rate above chance.

Until now, only humans and primates were thought to possess the ability to use abstract numerical rules in this way, lead study author Damian Scarf said in a university release Thursday.

“Our research not only shows that pigeons are also members of this exclusive club, but, somewhat surprisingly, their performance is on a par with that of monkeys,” he said.

In experiments, the pigeons were presented with 35 sets of three images — each with one, two, or three objects of different sizes, colors and shapes. When they pecked the images in the correct ascending sequence, they were rewarded with wheat.

In further experiments they were presented with images of one to nine objects and still demonstrated the ability to order them.

“While this is obviously a long way away from how humans can count, it shows that an animal with a brain structured quite differently to ours is still able to perform complex mental tasks of which only humans were once thought capable,” Scarf said.

“Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that pigeons are among a number of avian species exhibiting impressive mental abilities that really do give the lie to the old ‘bird brain’ insult,” he says.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Pigeons Shown To Have Number Sense”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.