Wasps passed this logic test. Can you?

A study has found that paper wasps have the ability to compare things indirectly, based on previous juxtapositions.
A study has found that paper wasps have the ability to compare things indirectly, based on previous juxtapositions.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Here's a pop quiz for you. Tom is taller than Dick. Dick is taller than Harry. Who's taller, Harry or Tom?

If you said Tom, congratulations! You just demonstrated what's called "transitive inference" - the ability to compare things indirectly, based on previous juxtapositions. But before you pat yourself on the back too much, you should know that this skill was recently demonstrated by another creature: the humble paper wasp.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2019, with the headline 'Wasps passed this logic test. Can you?'. Print Edition | Subscribe