Are You Smarter Than A Duckling?
New research shows ducklings can recognise the concepts of "same" and "different". Can you?
A scientific paper out today shows that ducklings might be smarter than you thought.
In this experiment, the researchers imprinted the ducklings on a pair of objects that were either the same or different.
The similarities and differences were either in colour or shape – for example, two red spheres (same), or a cube and a cuboid (different).
After they were imprinted, the ducklings were shown two new pairs of objects. Around two-thirds of the ducklings chose to follow the pair that had the same characteristic as the pair they'd imprinted on.
This ability – to recognise the concept of "same or different" – has been taught to other animals before, but only after "extensive reinforcement training", according to the paper's authors.