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dc.contributor.authorVámos, Tas I.F.
dc.contributor.authorTello-Ramos, Maria C.
dc.contributor.authorHurly, T. Andrew
dc.contributor.authorHealy, Susan D.
dc.identifier.citationVámos , T I F , Tello-Ramos , M C , Hurly , T A & Healy , S D 2020 , ' Numerical ordinality in a wild nectarivore ' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol. 287 , no. 1930 , 20201269 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 269924011
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: d37d8dea-43db-4df0-ab3a-240655226100
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85087730303
dc.identifier.otherPubMed: 32635875
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8059-4480/work/79918768
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000552605500011
dc.descriptionThis work was supported by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (S.D.H.), the University of Lethbridge, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (RGPIN 121496-2003; T.A.H.)en
dc.description.abstractOrdinality is a numerical property that nectarivores may use to remember the specific order in which to visit a sequence of flowers, a foraging strategy also known as traplining. In this experiment, we tested whether wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) could use ordinality to visit a rewarded flower. Birds were presented with a series of linear arrays of 10 artificial flowers; only one flower in each array was rewarded with sucrose solution. During training, birds learned to locate the correct flower independent of absolute spatial location. The birds' accuracy was independent of the rewarded ordinal position (1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th), which suggests that they used an object-indexing mechanism of numerical processing, rather than a magnitude-based system. When distance cues between flowers were made irrelevant during test trials, birds could still locate the correct flower. The distribution of errors during both training and testing indicates that the birds may have used a so-called working up strategy to locate the correct ordinal position. These results provide the first demonstration of numerical ordinal abilities in a wild vertebrate and suggest that such abilities could be used during foraging in the wild.
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciencesen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectNumerical ordinalityen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.subjectBiochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)en
dc.subjectImmunology and Microbiology(all)en
dc.subjectEnvironmental Science(all)en
dc.subjectAgricultural and Biological Sciences(all)en
dc.titleNumerical ordinality in a wild nectarivoreen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Biological Diversityen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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