Photo by Michael Nichols/National Geographic
Photo by Michael Nichols/National Geographic

Pointing At the Minds of Elephants: My Column This Week For the New York Times

Earlier this year, I wrote about a simple way to probe the mind of a dog: point to something and see if the dog understands your intent. Dogs generally do, and that’s remarkable. Many species, including our closest ape relatives, do a bad job of interpreting a pointed hand. This week in my “Matter” column for the New York TimesThis week in my “Matter” column for the New York Times, I look at a new study that suggests we add another species to the elite list of animals that understand pointing: elephants. Do elephants learn the meaning of pointing from humans? Or do these social behemoths use their trunks to point things out to each other?