Call us today: London office 08448844696 / Hull office 08448849041 | Follow us online:

Many animals can count, some better than you!


Every night during breeding season, the male túngara frog of Central America will stake out a performance patch in the local pond and spend unbroken hours broadcasting his splendor to the world.

The mud-brown frog is barely the size of a shelled pecan, but his call is large and dynamic, a long downward sweep that sounds remarkably like a phaser weapon on Star Trek, followed by a brief, twangy, harmonically dense chuck.

Unless, that is, a competing male starts calling nearby, in which case the first frog is likely to add two chucks to the tail of his sweep. And should his rival respond likewise, Male A will tack on three chucks.

Back and forth they go, call and raise, until the frogs appear to hit their respiratory limit at six to seven rapid-fire chucks.

Behind the frog’s surprisingly sophisticated number sense, scientists have found, are specialised cells located in the amphibian midbrain that tally up sound signals and the intervals between them.

Scientists have found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from 10, 40 from 60.

Frogs, fish, spiders and chimpanzees are just a few of the animals that have proven their understanding of numbers.

For the full story follow the link below.


Back to Posts
Copyright © S3 Science 2019. All rights reserved.