Pet rodents smarter than wild relatives, courtesy owners

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Washington, March 29 (ANI): Domesticated animals such as rodents have been found to showcase more intelligence than their wild relatives, thanks to owners, says a new study.

Researchers from the University of Munster, Germany, based the main focus of their study on guinea pigs.

Lars Lewejohann and colleagues examined how domesticated guinea pigs and wild cavies found their way through a water maze.

Boffins noticed that while the performance of both the groups was at par, domesticated animals displayed superior behaviour.

"Both wild and domestic guinea pigs were able to learn the water maze task," Discovery News quoted Lewejohann as saying.

"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," Lewejohann added.

Lewejohann concluded, "Overall, our findings indicate that these animals will be suitable for further investigations of learning and memory."

The study has been published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. (ANI)

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