Amazing Animals 2 - Elephants Do Forget, but They're Not Dumb [LiveScience 2007-01-28]
10 Amazing Things You Didn't Know about Animals
Myths and mysteries make the animal world fascinating, but even odd creatures ought to be understood. We explore a few recent findings, common misconceptions and amazing adaptations.???Ben Mauk
[Photo] Photo Credit: George Wittemyer
Number 2: Elephants Do Forget, but They're Not Dumb
Elephants have the largest brain???nearly 11 pounds on average???of any mammal that ever walked the earth. Do they use that gray matter to the fullest? Intelligence is hard to quantify in humans or animals, but the encephalization quotient (EQ), a ratio of an animal's observed brain size to the expected brain size given the animal's mass, correlates well with an ability to navigate novel challenges and obstacles. The average elephant EQ is 1.88. (Humans range from 7.33 to 7.69, chimpanzees average 2.45, pigs 0.27.) Intelligence and memory are thought to go hand in hand, suggesting that elephant memories, while not infallible, are quite good.