Honey Bees Can Tell The Difference Between Different Numbers At A Glance

By | January 29, 2009

The remarkable honey bee can tell the difference between different numbers at a glance. A fresh, astonishing revelation about the ‘numeracy’ of insects has emerged from new research by an international team of scientists from The Vision Centre, in Australia.In an exquisitely designed experiment, researchers led by Dr. Shaowu Zhang, Chief Investigator of The Vision Centre and Australian National University and Professor Hans Gross and Professor Juergen Tautz of Wurzburg University in Germany, have shown that bees can discriminate between patterns containing two and three dots – without having to count the dots.

And, with a bit of schooling, they can learn to tell the difference between three and four dots.

However at four, bee maths seems to run out: the team found their honeybees couldn’t reliably tell the difference between four dots and five or six. …

via Honey Bees Can Tell The Difference Between Different Numbers At A Glance.

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