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 November 22, 2014 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 November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
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