Many people know bees are pretty intelligent, but they can actually outsmart quite a big number of creatures. A recent research showed these insects are capable of dealing with an advanced subject, namely the concept of zero. After previous studies showing bees can count, this new research explains how they can also understand this complex concept.
Bees are more intelligent than we thought
Some animals are pretty intelligent and can perceive difficult concepts, but the concept of zero remains a mystery for most of them. This is why researchers were amazed to discover bees have this amazing capability. They already knew bees can count, but the zero concept is an entirely different thing.
To reach these findings, researchers trained the bees to get sugar water from two containers. Bees had to guess where the sugar water was, as on top of each container was a card with a various number of symbols. The reward was under the card with fewer symbols, so the bees were trained to learn what fewer meant.
Bees always chose the blank card as the one with fewer symbols
After some time, they brought out a card that had no symbols which, of course, hid the sugar water. Through this experiment, researchers saw bees could understand the concept of zero. In 70 percent of the cases, they selected the blank card as the one with fewer symbols. To make sure the study was foolproof, they also ran some control tests to see if blank cards weren’t just more appealing.
Researchers were amazed at the discovery, since the concept of zero seemed really hard to grasp for animals. However, they actually suspect more creatures might possess this type of intellect. With the right testing methods, they might prove others can understand the concept of zero as well. Researchers already know birds and monkeys are intelligent enough, but finding out about insects was truly remarkable.
The study in question was published in the journal Science.
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