Scientists have discovered that chimps had better memories than most humans. Ayumu, a seven-year-old male, did three times as well as 30-year-old British memory champion, Ben Pridmore, at a computer game which involved remembering the position of numbers on a screen. Mr Derby is capable of memorising the order of a shuffled pack of cards in under 30 seconds.
Both the chimp and Mr. Derby watched a computer screen on which nine numbers flashed up (for just a fifth of a second) at various positions before being obscured by white squares. They then had to touch the squares in order of the numbers they concealed, from lowest to highest.
The chimp got it right almost 90 per cent of the time while his human opponent scored a rather less impressive 33 per cent.
It is thought that young chimps are blessed with photographic memories, allowing them to remember patterns and sequences with amazing accuracy. Mr Pridmore, who spends his evenings memorising 400-digit numbers, ruefully acknowledged that he had met his match.