Animals learning tricks

I published the first post on my website exactly one year ago.

Most of my pieces concern animal cognition and learning. In this anniversary post, instead of going more in-depth into one specific case, I decided to show you some examples of what animals can learn. These behaviours are not something they would do in nature and most required training by humans. But these examples show how flexible animal learning (and cognition) can be.

Quite some years ago, pigeons were trained to play “ping pong” with each other. Whenever one of them lets the ball drop from the table, its opponent gets access to food.

While fish are usually not thought to be clever pets, they can also learn all kinds of tricks. Here are gold fish scoring goals. Search the internet for “fish tricks” and you will find many more examples and even tutorials on how to train your fish.

When humans make trash, birds can learn to recycle. Magpies learned to collect bottle caps and exchange them for food.

Check here for the explanation of the learning process.

Even bumblebees can learn tricks:

I described another example of bumblebees learning in my earlier post: “Did you know that bumblebees find efficient ways to move a ball to a target?

Since my first post was about rats, I couldn’t forget about them now. This time rats (but not mine) playing basketball. Note, that each of them knows that only one hoop lets them score points/reward.

If you have a pet remember that reward-based training is a great way to enrich their lives.

Want to know more about animal learning?

Check out the tag “Learning” or one of my earlier posts:

The hidden depths of carp

Do sharks see optical illusions?

Did you know that opening waste bins is a cultural trait in cockatoos?

Did you know that rats can learn to play hide-and-seek?

Did you know that great tits are conformists and can form traditions?

And my own rats learning to open LEGO puzzles boxes.

Polską wersje tego wpisu możesz znaleźć tutaj.

Magpie photo: KleeKarl from Pixabay.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *