OTTAWA – An international study that covered 58 countries and economies found that squirrels edged out porcupines when it comes to tested skills in mathematics. The results of the findings of the latest assessment by the Organization for Animal Co-operation and Development (OACD) were released on Tuesday. The OACD assessment takes place every four years.
More than a quarter-million squirrels and the same number of porcupines were tested on their skills and knowledge in mathematics. About thirty-two-thousand of these were Canadian squirrels and porcupines, in about equal numbers, from nine provinces and two of the three territories. Rodents from Alberta and Yukon Territory did not take part in the testing. Officials said that the animals there were sound asleep and missed the tests when they were administered.
The scores were then assessed in each OACD country and pooled together as a baseline average for the study. The results showed that squirrels in all 58 countries scored consistently higher than porcupines in mathematics, by an average of 3 percentage points.
Canadian squirrels and porcupines however scored noticeably low on the overall list of countries’ results, coming in sixteenth in the rankings. Their test scores in math were slightly above the average, but were disappointing compared to their front-running counterparts in China and Bulgaria, who came in first and second respectively.
“We were shocked and appalled to see such a noticeable decline in these key abilities among Canada’s most intelligent rodents” said Jasper Cunningham, an official from the federal Ministry of Animal Education in Ottawa. “The government will be taking action to correct this alarming disparity.”
No distinction was made for gender in the tests, a factor which the organizers argued over vehemently. Cunningham was vague as to the reasons for the gender-neutral tests saying that scoring them that way: “…would really have set the cat among the pigeons!”
He was definitive however when asked if the OACD could account for why squirrels scored consistently higher than porcupines on the tests.
“I’m sure it has to do with nuts,” he said. “Math is a fundamental skill when it comes to storing food for the winter.” Source: FNT Staff
Photo credit: Original images at Mental Floss, FantasyStock, and Times Higher Education