Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Tortoise smarts

It must be Friday. I found myself perusing YouTube videos and I came across these showing pet tortoises that have figured out how to solve some interesting problems such as:

Using the doggie door to enter a house…

If that does not work, many have figured out how to just open the back door…

Some have even figured out how to open the refrigerator…

After watching these videos, I naturally went in pursuit of any information I could find as to whether tortoise intelligence has been tested scientifically. In support of many pet owner claims, tortoises do exhibit signs of intelligence. In fact, a study showed that red-footed tortoises could solve simple touch screen activities that resulted in a reward (who doesn’t like strawberries?). In addition, the animals were able to apply the knowledge learned to real world tasks. Check out the video from LiveScience:

The ability to open the door alone makes these tortoises smarter than my dog.

Just in case you might be wondering what the difference is between a turtle and a tortoise, I found this handy guide as well:

Explanations of the difference between a tortoise and a turtle from:



Categories: Intelligence and Neuroscience, Pets

Tags: , , ,

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