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Elephants Ace Intelligence Test

Elephants Ace Intelligence Test

Elephants recently tested for their intelligence and ability to work with others, astounded scientists with their aptitude to learn and solve problems.

Two of them even outsmarted the scientists who developed the test.

A story from Discovery News reported that 12 male and female elephants from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand participated in the study that was published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It placed elephants on the same intelligence level as chimpanzees and dolphins.

The Study

Researchers placed tasty corn on a sliding table with ropes tied to it. A volleyball net blocked the elephants from walking to the table and helping themselves to the corn. The only way for the animals to get the treat was by pulling on the ropes and moving the table closer to them.

When the elephants were tested individually, each one successfully learned how to maneuver the ropes.

Next the scientists rearranged the sliding tables so that it took two elephants working as a team to bring the food to them. Again the elephants quickly learned the task with some waiting up to 45 seconds for their partner to arrive to help out.

According to Discovery News, “If the researchers did not release this second elephant, the first one basically looked around as if to say: ‘You’ve got to be kidding. It takes two to do this.’”

But two elephants named Neua  Un and JoJo figured out ways to outsmart the scientists.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see the youngest elephant, Neua Un, use her foot to hold the rope so that her partner had to do all the work,” said Joshua Plotnik, Cambridge University researcher.

“I hadn’t thought about this beforehand, and Neua Un seemed to figure it out by chance, but it speaks volumes to the flexibility of elephant behavior that she was able to figure this out and stick to it.”

JoJo was so intelligent that he didn’t even bother to walk to the volleyball testing area, unless his partner was released with him.

Plotnik said, “In the wild, there are fascinating anecdotes of elephants working together to lift or help fallen members, and forming clusters to protect younger elephants.”

“We tend to think that elephants and humans are greatly different,” said Satoshi Hirata of Japan’s Great Ape Research Institute. “But the study results show that we share some social mind skills with elephants.”

 

Click Here for Video of the Study.

 

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Photo from: Creative Commons - Sarahemcc

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128 comments

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8:01AM PDT on May 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:53AM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

Ok, if people understand how intelligent animals are they MAY stop treating them as objects to be used. But women are intelligent, and men in some cultures still see us as inferior so what hope for animals? We ought to treasure them for what they are, not make them out to be furry four legged versions of us!

1:15AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

I used to spend up to three days a week, at our local zoo just watching the elephants and the tests you did were way to easy for them! They are an intelligent set of animals who need to free in their own protected environment! Zoo's aren't even a good place for them to live in, they need to be free with their own families!

4:42AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

I've seen human beings that wouldn't pass these tests. Yet we treat these animal horribly.

4:27PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

The elephant is a friend to man More than the dog, it’s constant. And now indeed our turn has come to be the Friend of the elephant..
what else would they be but intelligent....&so loving as well.....

10:18AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

*** sensible and intelligent creatures...not surprising tks

3:28PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

animals r smarter than we give them credit for...we should respect them and protect them and their environments more.

11:08AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

I wanted to say NO! in the poll but sometimes scientist "push" animals natural environmental by giving to them materials and problems to solve that they never seeing before, and they take those materials, make some tool, solve the problem in very little time and leave us with our jaws on the floor.
So I think they are really patience to us, solving problems they don't need to solve just to give us a humility lesson and giving us the opportunity to understand that we are animals too, and we should treat them the way they deserve: as equals.
In this case, actually Neua Un demonstrate seeing possibilities that the scientist didn't. Is kinda lame from the guys to say that she did it by chance, just to justified that they didn't think in other way to solve the problem but the one the presented and that the "object of study" kick them in their pride

5:35AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

it will force some ignorant people to grasp the reality of intelligence in animals. If, they aren't on thier bilr babble drugs of choice.

8:16PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

I found the "voter poll" hard to answer - wanted to say NO - knowing that animals are intelligent doesn't benefit them at all - we humans still declare them substandard to us and have no compulsion about hunting, killing, and using them for laboratory research! But no way do we use other HUMANS in that capacity! As to the "amazement" of the researchers I want to say, "WELL, DUH!!!" Many of us humans have been pointing this out for years! Yet the killing and cruelty continue cause "they are JUST animals!" mentality rules on this planet.

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