The Savvy VetTech

Link: Horses Communicating Through Symbols

by Lori Hehn - October 12, 2016 at 8:25 AM
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Scientists have discovered that the animals can learn to use another human tool for communicating: pointing to symbols.
quotesVTP-SuccessfulBlue.jpg"Scientists taught 23 riding horses of various breeds to look at a display board with three icons, representing wearing or not wearing a blanket. Horses could choose between a “no change” symbol or symbols for “blanket on” or “blanket off.” Previously, their owners made this decision for them. Horses are adept at learning and following signals people give them, and it took these equines an average of 10 days to learn to approach and touch the board and to understand the meaning of the symbols. All 23 horses learned the entire task within 14 days."

Continue reading from sciencemag.org.

Dr. Hehn's Take

The article states that the horses were not just randomly choosing and how they could determine this. We know animals are extremely intelligent, and finding new ways to communicate with them is incredible! It makes me think about trying to find new ways to communicate with my own pets, and I suspect that in the future there will be more communication between people and animals in a "language" that we can both understand.

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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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