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October 11 2013

African Elephants Understand Human Gestures

African elephants correctly interpret human pointing cues to find hidden food, without being trained to do so.

It turns out African elephants really do get the point. New research suggests these gray pachyderms can follow human gesturesólike pointingójust as dogs are able to follow when we point to food or toys. An elephant's ability to understand such gestures could help explain how humans have been able to use them as work animals for thousands of years.

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