Book cover of Can Fish Count?: What Animals Reveal About Our Uniquely Mathematical Minds by Brian Butterworthby Brian Butterworth

An entertaining investigation of the numerical abilities of animals and our own appetite for arithmetic 

The philosopher Bertrand Russell once observed that realizing that a pair of apples and the passage of two days could somehow both be represented by the concept we call “two” was one of the most astonishing discoveries anyone had ever made. So what do we make of the incredible fact that animals seem to have inherent mathematical abilities? As cognitive psychologist Brian Butterworth shows us in Can Fish Count?, many “simple” animals—such as bees, which count trees and fence posts, and guppies, which can size up groups—have a sense of numbers. And unlike humans, they don’t need to be taught. 

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for Inquiring MindsInquiring Minds 
Can Fish Count? What Animals Reveal About Our Uniquely Mathematical Minds
5/17/22           43 min

Podcast art for Instant Genius a Science Focus PodcastInstant Genius 
The animal kingdom’s mathematicians, with Brian Butterworth
3/27/22            21 min

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