Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Guinea pigs not 'dumbed down' by domestication

Date:
March 25, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Despite reductions in brain size, domestication has not reduced the ability of guinea pigs to navigate a water maze. Researchers tested domesticated and wild animals ("cavies") and found that they both performed well at the test, with the domestic animals actually being slightly superior.

Two guinea pigs.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kristo Hunor

Despite reductions in brain size, domestication has not reduced the ability of guinea pigs to navigate a water maze. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology tested domesticated and wild animals ('cavies') and found that they both performed well at the test, with the domestic animals actually being slightly superior.

Related Articles


Lars Lewejohann worked with a team of researchers from the University of Mόnster, Germany, to investigate the differing abilities of the two types of guinea pig. He said, "Both wild and domestic guinea pigs were able to learn the water maze task. Interestingly, it seems that domesticated animals had the advantage in spatial orientation, while wild cavies were the stronger swimmers. This suggests an adaptation to the man-made environment in domesticated animals that allows more efficient problem solving."

The researchers used 15 male domestic guinea pigs, 13 female domestic guinea pigs, 13 male cavies, and 13 female cavies. They had to find a platform hidden under the surface of a circular pool of water using symbols on the walls of the tank for guidance. Wild animals were significantly stronger swimmers than domestic. Domestic guinea pigs, however, were better at deciphering the guidance symbols and using them to swim straight to the target area. According to Lewejohann, "Overall, our findings indicate that these animals will be suitable for further investigations of learning and memory."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lars Lewejohann, Thorsten Pickel, Norbert Sachser and Sylvia Kaiser. Wild genius -- domestic fool? Spatial learning abilities of wild and domestic guinea pigs. Frontiers in Zoology, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Guinea pigs not 'dumbed down' by domestication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324211142.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, March 25). Guinea pigs not 'dumbed down' by domestication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324211142.htm
BioMed Central. "Guinea pigs not 'dumbed down' by domestication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324211142.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — The Australian Museum has taken in its fourth-ever goblin shark, a rare fish with an electricity-sensing snout and &apos;alien-like&apos; jaw. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) takes a look. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) — Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — A goblin shark, a rare sea creature described as an &apos;alien of the deep&apos; is found off Australia and delivered to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Duration: 01:25 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kenya President Sets Fire to 15 Tonnes of Elephant Ivory

Kenya President Sets Fire to 15 Tonnes of Elephant Ivory

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory Tuesday, vowing to destroy the country&apos;s entire stockpile of illegal tusks by the year&apos;s end. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins