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Numbers In The Wild: How Much Maths Can Animals Do?

Team StoryWeavers|November 28, 2019|

Did you know that back in the 1900s there was a horse who was known for his maths skills?

Clever Hans was a horse whose trainer taught him how to count and solve basic maths questions. The trainer used to show Hans a maths problem along with answer options. In response, Hans would tap his hooves to indicate the option with the correct answer. However, a few years later, scientists discovered that Hans didn’t actually know maths! He used to select the right answer by observing the face of his trainer. The trainer’s facial expressions gave Hans clues about which option was correct!

In nature though, some animals do have basic mathematical abilities. Many animals are able to differentiate between quantities, something that we all must have learned in kindergarten. But for animals, this basic skill turns out to be very important.

Let’s have a look at how much maths can different animals do and how it helps them!

In the real world, maths helps animals make decisions about food, competition, and predators. Maths can help animals survive and animals are able to apply maths without a number system!

Humans that way are super-lucky to be able to perform complex maths, don’t you think? How do you think maths helps you in your daily life? Do let us know in the comments below. 

Read more stories like these at The Learning Tree

About the Author

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Deepthi Chakravarthy

Deepthi is an ambivert who is on a steady diet of good food, filter coffee, and self-improvement. Being an ardent reader, storytelling has been her first love and she enjoys exploring how to convey stories compellingly. Having studied psychology and experienced the learning and development field, Deepthi is driven to understand human behavior and to know what makes each of us unique. You are most likely to find her tucked into a cozy corner at a local cafe with a Kindle or a book in hand. If you find her there, stop by and say hello, she'd be eager to learn your story too. Until then, you can ping her at for anything you may like to share.

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