Science & Tech

They have tortoises that can use touchscreens now

They have tortoises that can use touchscreens now

Tortoises can now use touchscreens, possibly paving the way for smartphone-makers having a new demographic to target.

In a study published in the Behavioural Processes journal, University of Vienna researchers trained red-footed tortoises to use the technology in return for a tasty strawberry.

They had to peck a red triangle in the centre of the screen and then one of two blue circles that flashed up on either side.

Researchers also found that the tortoises could apply their newfound skills in real-life situations, heading to blue food bowls that looked like the circles in search of strawberries.

"Generally people see reptiles as inert, stupid and unresponsive," said study lead researcher Anna Wilkinson, a senior lecturer of animal cognition at the University of Lincoln, adding that tortoises were quicker on the uptake than dogs.

"I would like people to see that there is something much more complex going on."

Hat-tip: Live Science
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