Can Animals Count?

Yesterday in an input with Richard we were thinking about our number system and how we teach children everyday how to use it, how to count from 1-10 and so on.

The subject then progressed to if humans can count can animals count? We were told of different case studies including lions, ants, chicks and chimpanzees, which were the most interesting to me.

Here is the link to the video Richard showed us in class:

When watching this in class I found it fascinating! It was unbelievable how quick the chimpanzee could process where the numbers were in the correct order and get them all right even once covered up. We then tried this as a class through an online game. We were only successful one time out of three attempts, which I think was partially down to a bit of luck and guessing. Personally, I could only remember three numbers in each game which was definitely nowhere near as impressive as the chimp.

Although this video appears to show the chimpanzee is counting up to 9, I’m not convinced if it’s really counting or he just knows the symbols and shapes of the numbers and that’s what he has to do to get food. Either way, it certainly shows how much quicker the chimp’s brain can process the numbers and store the order and picture on the screen in his brain to be able to complete the task so quickly, impressive.

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