Smartest Elephant in Captivity Has "Aha!" Moment

08/19/2011

Aha! Smart Elephant Uses Insight to Solve Problems

The Washington Post's science writer Brian Vastag reported this week on how the National Zoo's youngest elephant showed researchers just how thoughtful the animals can be. 

Elephants are near the top of the brainiest creatures list, along with chimpanzees and dolphins. Now, scientists have added a new talent to elephants' mental repertoire: The ability to solve a problem using insight...that aha! moment when your internal light bulb switches on and you figure out the solution to a puzzle. Previously, only a limited number of species, including certain primates, crows, and parrots were known to have this ability.

[When elephants get po'd - check out deadly elephant attacks here]


The National zoo's youngest elephant, Kendula, a nine-year-old, discovered recently how to reach food hanging from a branch by spontaneously and creatively moving a cube and standing on the cube to get to the food. This problem-solving activity has proven Kendula to be one of the the smartest elephants if anyone has ever seen in captivity! So cool!

Check Kendula out in action in the video below and read more about Kendula and the study at ScienceMag.com

 


Follow fascinating, funny, tragic or otherwise compelling and timely stories about animals, as chosen by our editors and writers, including Daily Treat blogger, Janet McCulley.
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