The river otters at Charles Towne Landing’s Animal Forest are participating in cognitive research this summer. Dr. Parrish (Psychology professor) and Shona Sulzbach (senior Psychology major) of The Citadel are assessing otter numerical cognition abilities. The otters are presented with two quantities of food to determine whether they can differentiate and select larger food amounts from smaller food amounts of varying ratios. This ability to maximize is seen across the animal kingdom and is important to an animal’s ability to survive in the wild. Otters are known for their curious and playful nature, and cognitive research tells us more about their intelligence!
As you can see in the photos, the otter is shown the two food quantities and then you see him choosing from the two offers!