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Readers weigh in on mathematical animals and more

Your letters and comments on the December 10, 2017, issue of Science News

3:05pm, January 25, 2017

Critter calculations

Savvy for judging quantities is turning up across the animal kingdom — even among spiders and other invertebrates, Susan Milius reported in “Animal math” (SN: 12/10/16, p. 22).

Some astute readers pointed out that designing experiments to test animals’ quantitative skills takes great ingenuity, but sometimes human bias may skew the results.

“Articles on animal cognition often presuppose that animals are non-intelligent. Thus, when researchers find that a dog can distinguish between a small and large number of items, it’s hailed as significant,” Matthew Fisher wrote. “If we think of cognition

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