Comments

  1. Considering how close the pachyderm – the end of its trunk, particularly – is to the buckets (if the accompanying photo. is representative), it actually looks like the elephant is getting ready to reward the human… for pointing at the correct bucket.

    • Because we’d get so much further if we only worked on just one problem at a time and didn’t bother to understand anything else. 8 billion cancer scientists, because why bother with any other problem,

    • I hear that. If my nose were 8 feet long, I’d probably be able to pick the one with the food – blindfolded.

  2. I’m not a scientist, I’m an artist so I like to make guesses based on exciting news like this. When I learned dogs are the only animal which understand pointing, I was very fascinated. Now to find that elephants understand it, I wonder if it is because of the long trunks of their noses. If you have a long nose, you can see it in your field of vision, though very blurry and you don’t usually pay attention to it. If you are taking pictures as a model, you can use your nose position to better gauge the position of your eyes and chin to make them balanced and symmetric. So I wonder if the very large trunks of the elephant, paired with the other essential biological functions of the trunk, act as pointers in their elephant world. A human arm might sort of resemble a trunk in its proportion and in that the arm retrieves objects, especially food. But I’m just flat out-guessing here :) Perhaps there is an even more fascinating explanation awaiting our discovery. Science is so inspiring to me!

    • I’ll bet when they get ‘confused’ it’s because they think we’re trying to bullshit them… they probably, routinely, play practical jokes amongst themselves, by attempting to fool each other into looking where(ever) they point.

  3. Every time we learn more of just how intelligent the elephant and dolphin really are, it just makes it more tragic as we continue to slaughter them.

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