April 12, 2017 by Bob Yirka report
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from the University of Padova and the University of Ferrara, both in Italy, has found that unlike most other animals studied to date, ruin lizards (Podarcis sicula) are unable to understand numerical differences in groups of objects. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they conducted experiments with the lizards and what they found.
Multiple studies have been conducted over the years to determine if animals have numerical cognition—the ability to see and understand that one group contains more or fewer objects than another—until now, every vertebrate tested has been able to determine whether a plate of food contains a larger number of items than another. In this new effort, the researchers found that ruin lizards are the lone exception.