Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today's Trivia - Not A Dirty Rat, After All

According to recent studies, rats are not the disgusting, filthy and greedy creatures that most of us believe them to be. In fact, they demonstrate compassion, the desire to help their furry friends.

In repeated tests, rats freed another trapped rat in a cage, even when chocolate treats were offered as a tempting distraction. Twenty-three of the 30 rats opened the trap by pushing in a door. In some cases, the free rat took the chocolate out of the container, but did not eat it. Then it would free the other rat and share the food. Females were much more consistent with their empathy than males. All of them freed their trapped friend while 17 of the 24 males did.

It seems that empathy is not limited to humans and primates, after all. You might want to think twice about calling someone a dirty rat next time!


10 comments:

  1. Believe it or not, I was thinking of doing a post about a rat! You are always reading my mind!
    Look out for it and I will put a link to you, if I may, if I can only figure out how to link to someone!

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    1. Great minds think alike! I'll keep a lookout for your post.

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  2. Have you ever read the book called "Dr. Rat"? It's by an author named . . . . William Kozlinski or something like that? Anyway, it's about a rat who leads an uprising of lab rats. Great read!

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    1. I haven't read it, but it sounds like something I'd enjoy. I'll have to add it to the 'book list'.

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  3. I guess Kay would like to call you a dirty rat for stealing her idea, lol!! I remember reading this and thought it was very interesting, in fact I listened to a CBC Radio interview of this scientist. Like the poem, I think mice (& rats) are nice :)

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    1. Ha ha ha...yeah, she probably would! The domesticated rats and mice are very sweet animals.

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  4. Well isn't that interesting! I wonder if david suzuki has ever done a show on rats. The one he did on the intelligence of crows was a real eye opener. I promise I will never call anyone a dirty, rat again!!

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    1. I don't know if he has, but it would make for an interesting show. I watched his show on crows and thought it was great. Those birds are so intelligent!

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  5. I had rats as pets growing up, they were cool little creatures. Super smart,excellent parents, affectionate..

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    1. They sure are cool as pets. A friend I used to work with had a pet rat and she said it was the sweetest animal she'd ever had. Very affectionate and docile.

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