Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Elephant Peels Bananas

Elephants are much smarter than they let us see. They normally eat trees, grass, and shrubs, but will nosh on fruit when given the chance. If they have bananas, they will eat them whole and enjoy them. But Pang Pha, an Asian elephant at the Berlin Zoo, learned by watching humans that if you peel a banana, it tastes even better! She also learned that the tastiest bananas are yellow with brown flecks, and those are the ones worth peeling.

But how does an animal without opposable thumbs peel a banana? Pang Pha peels them one strip at a time with a jerking motion, and allows the rest of the fruit to fall on the floor. She's smart enough to know that other elephants may take her banana when she does this, so she doesn't peel bananas when the herd is around, but saves the last banana to eat in private. Pang Pha's behavior was written up in a science paper published Monday in Current Biology. (via Gizmodo)

1 comment:

xoxoxoBruce said...

That close up slow motion is the best show of the trunks ability I've ever seen.