If you think the phrase ‘intellectual frogleg’ is an oxymoron, think again.
The word has become synonymous with frogs and its roots go back to the 19th century, when the term was first used to describe the intelligent amphibians that were native to the region.
Now, a new study has found that frogs are actually quite intelligent.
According to new research published in the journal Animal Behaviour, the frogs are more intelligent than previously thought, with some species even learning to recognize a specific letter by trial and error.
“There are many different ways that a frog can be smarter than a mouse, a rat, a human or a dog,” Professor Adrian O’Brien from the University of Queensland said.
“Intellectual frogs can learn to do things by trial-and-error.
We know from studies that they can do things such as read and write and even learn language, but these animals don’t seem to be able to recognise letters that they’re not looking for.”
Professor O’Brian said it was likely that frogs have developed the ability to recognise letter by mistake because their brains were quite big.
“We know from many studies that frogs do have a very large number of neurons in their brains and they can process the information they’ve been presented with quite quickly,” he said.
Professor O. Brian said that a number of studies had shown that intelligent frogs were capable of detecting the letter “a” and recognising the letter ‘o’ by trial.
“It seems likely that intelligent amphibian intelligence is in part a form of learning, as they can recognise letters by trial, but they can also do things that are more natural,” he added.
“Some of the animals we know to be intelligent have a long-term memory, and this suggests that frogs can be a lot smarter than we think.”
Frogs are the only amphibians known to be capable of learning to recognise a letter, and scientists believe the ability may be due to an ancient evolutionary process.
“When frogs were young, we thought they learned to recognise the letter by hearing it.
That’s not what happens,” Professor O’ Brian said.
“So, they learn by hearing, but we think that by learning through trial and mistake, they’re able to learn this much faster.”
This is the reason why frogs can recognise a lot of letters and we think it may be because they’re so smart.
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