March 31st, 2008

Yote Button

Rats discover raking.

Japanese researchers have trained Chilean degus rats to use rakes to get food, demonstrating that animals other than primates and birds can learn to use tools.  The researchers placed sunflower seeds just out of reach of the rats, and tiny rakes nearby.  After 60 days of practice, the rats had taught themselves to use the rakes to bring the seeds within reach.  Because they did not learn through mimickry, and would not try to use other tools that wouldn't bring the food closer, the rats showed they understood the rakes' function.
  • Current Mood
    impressed impressed