Can Animals Count?

                  Can Animals Count?                 


I go back to my kiddy days. Animal circus was an exciting one.  I had thrilled to note when birds and animals performed some shows; especially when the circus crew made them to show their extraordinary ability to count by making them to select the right number.
But I was not aware about the inside story at that age. The one, how animals were put to pain during the learning process to do what the man wanted to do. The next, it was unknown to me that such ability is differing from actual human mathematical ability.
The two things that make the animal or bird to count are, one is the human training and the other is the innate ability. The training makes some animals to understand the body language of the trainer. The innate ability that’s the rudimentary ability makes them to count, which make their natural life and survival.
Wild lions apparently have a rudimentary ability to count, or at least have a vague concept of 'more than' or 'less than'. For example, when lions hear a neighboring pride roaring, they calculate how many lions are roaring compared how many are in their own pride. If there are more lions in their own pride, the numbers are equal, or the other pride outnumbers them by up to three to one, they will always roar back. If the other pride outnumbers them by more than three to one, they stay quiet. 
Nearly all animals will know one is missing if you remove one of their young. They may not 'count' in the way we understand it, but they know how many young they have and if one isn't there.
*Scientist Elizabeth Brannon of Duke University feels that animals do not have a linguistic sense of numbers—they aren’t counting “one, two, three” in their heads—they can do a rough sort of math by summing sets of objects without actually using numbers.  She believes this innate ability that it might have evolved from the need for territorial animals “to access the different sizes of competing groups and for foraging animals to determine whether it is good to stay in one area given the amount of food retrieved versus the amount of time invested.”
*Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-animals-have-the-ability-to-count
Let us discuss next week about those animals that can count!

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