Scientists from the universities of Padova and Trento demonstrated chicks' ability to add and subtract objects as they were moved behind two screens.
Lucia Regolin, an animal recognition expert at the University of Padua i Italy and author of the study, said the animals "performed basic arithmetic" to work out which screen concealed the larger group of objects. He showed that 3 and 4 day year old chicks can add and subtract!
What makes this a landmark report is that no other animal at such a young age has been noted to have this mathematical aptitude.
The findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.