Science (New York, N.Y.) | 9 Jun 2018
SR Howard, A Avarguès-Weber, JE Garcia, AD Greentree and AG Dyer
Some vertebrates demonstrate complex numerosity concepts-including addition, sequential ordering of numbers, or even the concept of zero-but whether an insect can develop an understanding for such concepts remains unknown. We trained individual honey bees to the numerical concepts of “greater than” or “less than” using stimuli containing one to six elemental features. Bees could subsequently extrapolate the concept of less than to order zero numerosity at the lower end of the numerical continuum. Bees demonstrated an understanding that parallels animals such as the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates, and even preschool children.
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