Pigeons rival primates in number task | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Pigeons rival primates in number task

Trained on one-two-three, birds can apply the rule of numerical order to such lofty figures as five and nine

By
3:55pm, December 22, 2011

Pigeons, who aren’t even distant uncles to a monkey, have matched primates in a test of learning an abstract numerical concept.

Trained on one-two-three, the pigeons then had to put pairs of numbers up to nine in order, says comparative psychologist Damian Scarf of the University of Otago in New Zealand. Pigeons rivaled rhesus monkeys tested earlier at the same task, Scarf and his colleagues report in the Dec. 23 Science.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content