Some elephants get the point

By Sarah Zielinski, 12:28 PM October 10, 2013

Not all animals understand what a human means when he points at something. Dogs get it, as do several other domesticated animals. Now we can add African elephants to that list.

The pointing test, known as the “object-choice” task, is one of the ways that scientists investigate whether animals, including humans, understand social cues. The set-up is simple: A reward, often food, is placed in one of two containers, and then an experimenter points at the container with the reward. If the animal b...

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