CUTTLEFISH COGITION BETTER THAN CHILD'S says cuttlefish match crows in delayed gratification, while the independent says crows beat a 5-year old child at puzzle-solving. transitive inference thus implies that cuttlefish are better than children at delayed puzzles  

original article: Schnell et al., 2021 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences), reported in: The Scientist by Asher Jones on 5th March 2021 & The Independent by Harry Cockburn on 13th March 2021

this story was in episode 6 #cuttlefish #corvid #crow #child #delay #task

the error bar says

in an ingenious study, psychologists at Cambridge have replicated the 'marshmallow test' in cuttlefish

the 'marshmallow test' was first described in humans - will children wait a few minutes to get two marshmallows, or take a single marshmallow now? the ability to delay gratification for a future reward may relate to the child's intelligence and success in later life

cuttlefish don't like marshmallows, but they did prefer a live shrimp over other offerings. and some cuttlefish would wait up to 2 minutes to receive a tasty shrimp rather than take the immediately available fast food option

the scientist magazine notes that the cuttlefishes' ability to delay gratification is comparable to that of crows

are cuttlefish as good as crows at this task?

no. the same research group reviewed data in a 2019 paper showing that some crows would wait more than 10 minutes to receive a higher-quality food reward - that's 5 times longer than cuttlefish

as for the second claim - that crows are as good at solving puzzles as 5-year old children - this is just a teasing anecdote plugging a forthcoming BBC nature programme with TV's Chris Packham, called Animal Einsteins


while we have learnt something new and important about cuttlefish, their cognitive capacities are highly unlikely to be equivalent to corvids. as for equating cuttlefish with crows and crows with children, that transitive inference sucks


The Scientist: fact - scientific story reported well