A chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) experienced in counting arrays of 0-7 items and trained for comprehension of number symbols, spontaneously displayed a variety of indicating acts (e.g., pointing, touching, and rearranging items) during counting. Twenty-five sessions were videotaped, and all trials were evaluated for the relations among number of items presented, number of indicating acts displayed, and the Arabic number selected to represent the array. Significant correlations included the relations between number of items and the cardinal number selected by the animal, between the number of items and indicating acts displayed by the chimpanzee, and between the number of indicating acts and the numeral selected. These data suggest that the use of indicating acts by this animal may have functional significance and serves as an organizing schema, comparable to similar behaviors observed in children in the early stages of learning to count.
Boysen, S. T., Berntson, G. G., Shreyer, T. A., & Hannan, M. B. (1995). Indicating acts during counting by a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 109(1), 47.