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Elephant Cognition: What We Know about What Elephants Know

Elephant Cognition: What We Know about What Elephants Know

Chapter:
(p.174) Chapter 11 Elephant Cognition: What We Know about What Elephants Know
Source:
The Amboseli Elephants
Author(s):
Richard W. ByrneLucy A. Bates
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.003.0011

Elephants have a reputation for formidable memory and intelligence, but research specifically investigating their cognitive abilities is still in a nascent stage. This chapter assesses what is currently known about the cognitive skills of elephants by reviewing evidence available from a wide range of sources: it includes observations from field studies of wild elephants and anecdotal reports gathered from the trainers of semi-captive, working elephants, in addition to the relatively few studies of elephant cognition published in scientific journals. To put this preliminary assessment into perspective, the chapter makes comparisons with primates.

Keywords:   elephant cognition, cognitive ability, memory, cognitive skills, primates, working elephants

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