Monday, November 16, 2009

Pig smarts

Broom et al. observe that domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and will use their understanding of reflected images to scope out their surroundings and find their food. Angier reviews this work and notes that:
Other researchers have found that pigs are brilliant at remembering where food stores are cached and how big each stash is relative to the rest. They’ve shown that Pig A can almost instantly learn to follow Pig B when the second pig shows signs of knowing where good food is stored, and that Pig B will try to deceive the pursuing pig and throw it off the trail so that Pig B can hog its food in peace.
One researcher looks
... at the pig as a great animal model for human lifestyle diseases...Pigs like to lie around, they like to drink if given the chance, they’ll smoke and watch TV.

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