Monday, August 18, 2014

Tortoises Master Touchscreen Technology

Tortoises have learned how to use touchscreens as part of a study which aimed to teach the animals navigational techniques. The research, which was led by Dr Anna Wilkinson, from the School of Life Sciences, involved red-footed tortoises, which are native to Central and South America. The brain structure of reptiles is very different to that of mammals, which use the hippocampus for spatial navigation. Instead, it is thought that the reptilian medial cortex serves as a homologue, however very little behavioural work has actually examined this...Dr Wilkinson carried out the initial training while at the University of Vienna, giving the tortoises treats such as strawberries when the reptiles looked at, approached and then pecked blue circles on the screen. more

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