If you give two apple buckets with 6 fruits and 7 fruits, an Asian elephant will choose which apple is the most apple.
The elephants are famous for their superior memory, now they also find their ability to do math equally well.
Naoko Irie from Tokyo University, Japan, found that the Asian elephant named Ashya could add small numbers together with an accuracy of up to 90%. The female elephant could recognize in two experimental apple buckets, which bucket contained more.
In the experiment, the trainer drops 3 apples into a bucket, and 1 fruit into the bucket. Then she added 4 fruits to the first bucket and 5 fruits to the second bucket.
As a result, the 31-year-old elephant realized that 3 plus 4 fruits were more than 1 plus 5, and chose a bucket with a serving of 7 apples.
Naoko Irie was surprised to find that big animals also succeeded in distinguishing between 5 and 6 apples, as good as distinguishing between 5 and 1.
She checked on 4 elephants and found them to pick more buckets in 74% of cases.
Experts believe that counting can be useful for Asian elephants, who live in tight family groups of 6 to 8 children, to ensure that the whole herd is always together without straying members.