Science Raccoons Pass Famous Intelligence Test—By Upending It

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Raccoons are notoriously pesky, but are they as clever as a crow?

    Scientists recently put the masked mammals through the Aesop's Fable test, which measures if animals can discern cause and effect by displacing water to access food.

    The experiment is based on the story in which a thirsty crow can’t drink from a pitcher with a low level of water. By dropping in stones, the bird raises the water level and is able to drink.

    In the new study, the researchers presented captive raccoons with a cylinder containing a floating marshmallow that was too low to grab. Next, they showed the raccoons how dropping stones in the water would raise the marshmallow.

    Two of the eight raccoons successfully repeated the behavior, dropping the stones to get the marshmallow. A third took matters into her own hands: She climbed onto the cylinder and rocked it until it tipped over, giving her access to the sweet treat.

    “That was something we hadn’t predicted,” and indeed, had designed against, says study leader Lauren Stanton, a Ph.D. student at the University of Wyoming.

    “It reaffirms how innovative and how creative they are in problem-solving.”

    Read more here. (National Geographic)

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