Sunday, May 21, 2017

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Have you ever heard the saying monkey see, monkey do?  Or the saying copy cat?  These are examples taken from animals where one monkey watches another and then learns something and does it.  Cats learn by watching other cats.  This is where the saying copy cat comes from.  If you watch kittens you will see they copy what their mother does.

Below are videos where researchers at a university in England did an experiment with Bumblebees.

First they taught one bee in a step by step way how to get sugar water out of a fake flower.  The next thing they did was put the taught bee with an untaught bee.  Can you guess what happened?  The bee that knew how to pull get the sugar water taught the other bee to do it too.  This is called social learning. Watch this video on how the bees were taught:

We already knew animals were smart and could teach each other but now we know that insects can too.  I guess we can't ever call an insect dumb.