Beat By A Bird

Parrots can do more than mimic words. At least one of them can beat humans in a classic memory game. The LiveScience website reports that an African gray parrot named Griffin defeated 21 Harvard students in the so-called ‘shell game’. The game involves placing an object underneath one of three plastic cups, which are then moved quickly around. The goal is to keep track of which cup the object is under.

In the experiment, Griffin beat the 21 undergraduates in 12 of 14 games. Researchers note that he may not be average for a parrot, though. He’s 22 years old, and has been the subject of numerous cognitive and communication studies since the age of seven and a half weeks. His owner, a Harvard psychologist, has also taught him how to pronounce about 30 words and understand at least 40, including the names of colors.

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