Scientists have always assumed that humans have better memories than our close cousins the chimpanzees, but in a recent contest, the chimps won!

BBC News quotes Japanese researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa as saying, “Here we show for the first time that young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection?better than that of human adults tested in the same apparatus, following the same procedure.”

The researchers pitted three pairs of mothers and 5-year-old chimps against college students, who were all shown a computer with groups of numbers from one to five arranged in boxes on the screen. They had to remember which number appeared in which location and show that by touching the right square.

The conclusion? Matsuzawa says, “Young chimpanzees have a better memory than human adults. We are still underestimating the intellectual capability of chimpanzees, our evolutionary neighbors.”

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