Beth-Ann sent along this fascinating story about a French experiment to find out if baboons can recognize four letter words.
It turns out they can.
Shown a series of letter clumps such as BRUU, ITCS and KITE, the baboons were able to distinguish word from non-word about 75% of the time. The highest scoring baboon got it right 80% of the time.
Does that mean baboons can read? Probably not. After all, the best word-baboon still got 20% wrong. I think my job is safe.
But it does show that baboons are able to recognize patterns with some consistency. And that they will do just about anything for a wheat pellet. But baboons telling words from non-words is just a first step. Though they don’t know anything right now about putting sentences together, can baboon poetry be far behind?
Baboons knows what words is
Baboons knows words what ain’t
In tests baboons shows plenty brains
baboons got no poclaint.
Poclaint – that one be not a word
It did not get me treat
I know them patterns pretty good
And which werarrds is sweet.
Werarrds? Is just a pile of sticks
I not be muchh correct.
But what baboon kind be would me
if always so perfect?
Do you compare yourself to others, smarts-wise? If a baboon was a better speller than you, would that hurt?