Sunday, 3 August 2014

Tortoises Show Off Smarts by Mastering Touch-Screen Tech

By Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | August 01, 2014 12:57pm ET

Touch-screen technology has ventured into the world of reptiles. Red-footed tortoises have learned how to use the devise in exchange for a strawberry, a new study reports.

Researchers taught the tortoises a few touch-screen basics in order to learn about the animals' navigational techniques. The tortoises not only mastered the task in exchange for strawberries, but the animals also transferred their knowledge to a real-life setting.

"Generally people see reptiles as inert, stupid and unresponsive," said Anna Wilkinson, one of the study's lead researchers and a senior lecturer of animal cognition at the University of Lincoln in England. "I would like people to see that there is something much more complex going on." [See video of a tortoise acing the touch-screen task]

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