Elephants have awesome olfaction (better than dogs): the pachyderms are the only animals to date that can distinguish different amounts of food by smell alone

Why Evolution Is True

This is another recent paper from PNAS, and I’ll put the link in the screenshot (pdf here), but I’m not going to report on it in detail. Rather, this is an excuse to show a video that demonstrates the paper’s main point: while some animals can distinguish greater from smaller amounts of food using vision, elephants can do it using smell. This appears to be the first example of the use of olfaction in cognitive tasks by an animal.  You might think dogs have a keen sense of smell, but they fail the smell test used in this paper.

The journal Science gives the video below as well as presenting a short popular summary of the paper.

To conduct the research, scientists presented six Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at an educational sanctuary in Thailand with two opaque, locked buckets containing 11 different ratios of sunflower…

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