Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 11:48AM
Drew Wolfe

Math Bee: Honeybees Seem To Understand The Notion Of Zero

"Honeybees understand that "nothing" can be "something" that has numerical meaning, showing that they have a primitive grasp of the concept of zero."

"That's according to a newly published study in Science, which shows that bees possess a mathematical ability once thought to exist only in dolphins, primates, birds and humans who are beyond the preschool years."

"This is quite amazing, in my view, that bees can really do it," says Andreas Nieder, a scientist who studies how animals' process the idea of 'nothing' and was not part of the research team."

"He says zero was discovered relatively recently in human history, and was essential in the development of both mathematics and science. 'It's a hard and very abstract concept,' Nieder says. 'It is a sort of eccentric uncle in the number family.'"

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