Performance on a means-end task by African elephants (Loxondonta africana): A replication study
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Performance on a means-end task by African elephants (Loxondonta africana): A replication study

  • Author(s): Highfill, Lauren
  • Burns, Mike
  • Przystawik, Kristina
  • Vincent, Joy
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

The current study tested five female African elephants (Loxondonta africana) on a means-end behavioral task of pulling a support to retrieve a distant object; a replication of the Highfill, Spencer, Fad, and Arnold (2016) study. Each elephant was tested on three conditions of increasing difficulty. Specifically, subjects were asked to select from a choice of two trays where one tray was baited with a produce item and the other was A) empty; B) baited on the ground next to the tray; and C) baited on the far side of a break in the tray. Results indicated that all five elephants (3 adults, 2 calves) met the criteria established for conditions A and B, and the two calves met criteria for Condition C.  The performance by the adults was similar to the performance of the Asian elephants (all adults) in the previous study.

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