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“A grey parrot named Griffin has outsmarted 21 Harvard students in a classic memory game, according to a study published in May in the  journal Scientific Reports. African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) can live for more than 50 years and were always known to be impressive; they can memorize dozens of words, after all. But now Griffin has shown that impressive is an understatement. Researchers gave Griffin and the Harvard students a memory task in which he had to find a colorful pom-pom under a plastic cup after it was shuffled around the table several times. Griffin did as well or better than the students in 12 out of 14 trials. To locate the pompom both Griffin and the students were using a feature of their working memories called “manipulation,” which based on Griffin’s amazing performance, may be an evolutionarily ancient capability, according to the researchers.”

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