Monkey math! Primates can use numbers and symbols to add up, researchers find

*.Discovery could give new insight into the evolutionary origins of our ability to count

*.Monkeys chose the symbol that represented the larger reward with up to 90% accuracy

*.Future experiment will test to see if the animals can multiply numbers.

HOW THEY DID it

the scientists taught three rhesus monkeys the values of 26 distinct symbols — the 10 Arabic numerals, and 16 letters. Each symbol was associated with zero to 25 drops of a reward of water, juice or orange soda. Given the choice of two different symbols, the monkeys chose the symbol that represented the larger reward with up to 90 percent accuracy. This suggested the monkeys learned to distinguish the symbols and assign them specific values, the team.