- An experiment reveals that elephants not only cooperate, but that they understand the logic behind teamwork.
- Some elephants even figured out shortcuts that researchers hadn't thought of to obtain food rewards.
- Elephant intelligence and ability to cooperate at least equal these same skills in chimpanzees and dolphins, scientists believe.
Elephants recently aced a test of their intelligence and ability to cooperate, with two of them even figuring out ways that the researchers hadn't previously considered to obtain food rewards.
The study, published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlights not only the intelligence of individual elephants, but also the ability of these animals to cooperate and understand the value of teamwork.
Scientists now believe elephants are in league with chimpanzees and dolphins as being among the world's most cognitively advanced animals.
"Elephant sociality is very complex," lead author Joshua Plotnik told Discovery News. "Social groups are made up of matriarchal herds (an older female is in charge), and varying levels of relatedness among members. Cooperation in elephants was most likely necessary in a context of communal care for, and protection of, young."