As summer approaches and our lest favorite bugs start to emerge, here’s something to keep in mind: Wasps are capable of thinking logically, according to a study by the University of Michigan.
The research showed that wasps can use a form of reasoning known as transitive inference to “use known relationships to infer unknown relationships.”
That means wasps can work out that is X is greater than Y, and Y is greater than Z, then X is greater than Z. This thinking was also previously found in vertebrates including monkeys, birds and fish, but this is the first time transitive inference has been observed in an invertebrate.
The report based on evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts’s findings focuses on paper wasps, the species of wasp studied.
“This study adds to a growing body of evidence that the miniature nervous systems of insects do not limit sophisticated behaviors,” Tibbetts said in a press release.