Pigeons Can Count, Sort Numbers Just Like Monkeys And Humans

Pigeons may appear to be doing nothing with their time other than eating and pooping on everything in sight but it turns out they could very well be the math nerds of the avian world.

Researchers over a one year period trained the birds to count and they found that the birds not only recognized groups patterns but could also handle abstract math. The only other animal outside humans that share the math trait to date are primates. In fact the pigeons according to early research were able to arrange numbers from low to high.

Scientists started by training the birds to peck out images in size order such as one, two and three. Next they were asked to use their lower number counting skill to peck higher numbers in the correct order.

Finally when shown quantities of six and nine they were able to peck out those numbers as well.

Speaking about the finding one researcher noted:

“I was surprised.”

Based on their findings the researchers say either Monkey’sand Pigeons evolved from the same common ancestor more than $300 million years ago or they learned to use math independently of their species.

Are you surprised to learn that pigeons are so smart? Given their ability to realize they can often live among humans and live off dropped food remnants I can’t say it overly surprises me that their analytic skills are so well refined.

[Image via ShutterStock.com]

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