The Ultimate Team Players

amazingteamplayersmainElephants -- the word conjures up pleasant childhood memories of circuses and zoos, playful antics with their agile trunks, gentle giants whose memory is legendary. And ... team players?

In recent experiments, elephants have shown an amazing capacity to recognize when cooperation is essential to reach a common goal. And then, as a team, they quickly learn how to get the job done.

The experiments, originally designed for chimpanzees, were conducted on Asian elephants at an elephant conservation center in Thailand. A table holding a tasty snack was placed in a separate enclosure from the elephants. A rope was then attached to the table. By pulling on the rope, a single elephant could drag the table close enough to his pen to claim the treat.

But then the researchers changed the setup. They wove the rope through loops around the table -- like a belt through belt loops -- then dropped both ends of the rope in the adjoining elephant enclosure, attached to nothing. Now if a single elephant dragged only one end of the rope, the rope would move freely through the loops, but the table wouldn't budge.

[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]