Elephants understand pointing better than chimps

Elephants understand pointing better than chimps

[Ed. note: Do they understand it’s rude?]

If you ever need to show something to an elephant, just point to it and most likely he’ll understand what you mean. At least, that’s what a team of researchers from the University of St Andrew’s, UK concluded from their study.

The results raise the interesting possibility that elephants have a much deeper social perception than we previously thought. ”With  the possible exception of domestic dogs, no other animal spontaneously interprets pointing correctly,” says Prof Richard Byrne, lead author in the study, speaking to Decoded Science.

Finding elephants to conduct this study wasn’t easy. But after some perseverance, Prof Byrne’s PhD student, Anna Smet, found ’Wild Horizons‘ in Victoria Fall, Zimbabwe. As an ethical enterprise, this group rescues elephants and use human training methods to get the animals used in gentle ‘employment’ as riding elephants.

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