African Grey Parrot Named Griffin Battles Humans in Shell Game Memory Game

Posted on July 10, 2020

Harvard researchers put an African grey parrot named Griffin up against children and adults in a version of the classic shell game. The memory game involved four little colored pom poms hidden under four cups.

Harvard researchers found that Griffin was able to match or beat his human competitors for up to three moves.

So how did the parrot fare? Griffin outperformed the 6- to 8-year-olds across all levels on average, and he performed either as well as or slightly better than the 21 Harvard undergraduates on 12 of the 14 of trial types.

The parrot vs human shell game experiment study was published in Scientific Reports. A Harvard release has additional information.