Numerical ordering of zero in honey bees

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Science  08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6393, pp. 1124-1126
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4975

Understanding zero

It has been said that the development of an understanding of zero by society initiated a major intellectual advance in humans, and we have been thought to be unique in this understanding. Although recent research has shown that some other vertebrates understand the concept of the “empty set,” Howard et al. now show that an understanding of this concept is present in untrained honey bees (see the Perspective by Nieder). This finding suggests that such an understanding has evolved independently in distantly related species that deal with complexity in their environments, and that it may be more widespread than previously appreciated.

Science, this issue p. 1124; see also p. 1069

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