Quantity discrimination in wolves (Canis lupus)

Utrata, E., Virányi, Z.& Range, F. 2012. Quantity discrimination in wolves (Canis lupus). Front.Psychology, 3: 505, 1-9.

Project Cognitis abilities and emotional background
Authors Zsófia Virányi, Friederike Range
Year of publication 2012
Journal Frontiers of Psychology

Download of the publication (PDF 1 MB)

The ability for discrimation of quantities has been investigated already in many different animal species. We tested 11 hand-raised wolves. The animals had to choose between two quantities and had only one choice. We put from 1 to 4 pieces of cheese into a non-transparent tube and asked the wolves, whether they choose the larger quantity. Additionally we executed two controls, to see, whether the animals distinguish the quantities due to the different times, that are needed to put a varient number of pieces into the tube. Our results show, that our wolves are able to discriminate between 1 and 4 very well without orientation on other factors as volume or time. In difference to previous studies with dogs and coyotes our wolves did not improve themselves with a decreasing proportin between the quantities to be discriminated (Weber's law). however it will be necessary to perform further studies on this topic with larger sets of numbers.