Hummingbirds remembered the sequence number of flowers

Scientists have found that Buffy hummingbirds are able to determine the ordinal artificial flowers — at least from the first to the fourth. Count to four birds were studied longer than one, but in the end chose the correct feeder equally well. Knocked a Hummingbird confused and the change of the distance between the flowers and rearrange a whole range of feeders. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Man is the only living creature that knows how to perform complex mathematical operations. The key here was the ability of speech — we can call the number and computing actions, we are thus accessible to a wide mathematical apparatus. However, the basic arithmetic concepts can be used in the lack of vocabulary: this is known for people whose language has no numbers, or some animals.

An example of a simple mathematical notions are the number and order of elements in the set. The first implies the ability to distinguish between sets with different number of objects (e.g., cards with four and six circles); this ability is in many animals, from birds to insects. The second case requires to understand the relationship between numbers and the concept of a sequence number of the object: the second number after the first and the third behind the second.

There are several examples of how animals in the laboratory were determined the numerical order of the items. So, the scientists were able to teach a grey parrot to call out the numbers from one to eight, and that without additional training made conclusions about their relationship (which is seven, for example, more than six and three). Select objects based on their index number, were also rats, fish, bees and monkeys, however, the drawback of most of these experiments were in their dissimilarity to the natural environment of animals.

Biologists from the UK and Canada under the leadership of Mary Tello-Ramos (Maria Tello-Ramos) from St. Andrews University tested the ability to understand the concept of ordinal numbers males have Buffy Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). In their natural habitat have placed the feeders, like the flowers, the birds flew up to him, drinking the sweet water and returned again and again. Nine Hummingbird caught, marked with non-toxic ink and released back.

Then animals were trained in a series set ten artificial flowers, but only one (with a specific serial number) has been filled with sweet water. When hummingbirds find the feeder and flew away, the flowers are rearranged in places, but the reinforcement was placed in the trough with the same number — thus the birds were not allowed to focus on the look of a particular flower. If Kolibri four times in a row immediately flew to the feeder, the task is complicated. This time rearranged the whole series of flowers, so that the first (second, third, or fourth) the feeder was in a different place, and the line was located from a different angle.

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