Elephants Get the Point of Human Gestures

A simple experiment involving an elephant, a gesturingscientist, two buckets, and a single treat has shown that the intelligent pachyderms appear to have an instinctive understanding of human pointing. The experiment involved placing the two buckets, only one of which contained a treat, in front of an elephant and then having the animal choose which bucket to reach for while a person pointed to the one containing the hidden snack. Researchers hoped to teach the elephants how to interpret the gesture and were surprised to find that the creatures seemed to understand it from the outset. The next step is to investigate whether elephants use gestures in their own communicationMore… Discuss


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