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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Can you count faster than a chimp?
Chimps
Chimps are very good at subitizing
It was once suggested that an infinite number of monkeys given an infinite number of typewriters would produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

But in reality numeracy rather literacy could be their strength according to some researchers who believe chimpanzees are better at counting smaller numbers than humans.

People have two counting faculties.

We can "see" instantly a handful of things and without knowing how many there are - this is called subitizing.

The other way of counting is enumerating - counting up individual numbers.

We can subitize up to about four or five, then we resort to enumerating.

Chimpanzees usually start at six.

Try our subitizing test.

Once your times are getting longer you are enumerating, not subitizing.

This game accompanied BBC Radio 4's More or Less on Monday 23 April at 1630BST. Click here to listen to the latest programme.



SEE ALSO
Chimpanzees 'hunt using spears'
22 Feb 07 |  Science/Nature
Chimps are cultured creatures
16 Jun 99 |  Science/Nature
'Life code' of chimps laid bare
31 Aug 05 |  Science/Nature

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