Friday, December 9, 2011

Learn from the rats !

Rats kind-hearted, generous creatures

PTI | Dec 10, 2011, 06.01AM IST
LONDON: Rats don't deserve a bad reputation. They are actually kind-hearted and generous, says a new study.
Researchers from Chicago University, who carried out the study, have claimed that empathy is not unique to humans - the much-maligned rodents also possess a simple form of compassion. They housed rats in pairs so that they got to know each other. They then placed one in a transparent tube inside the cage, and found that the second rat was distressed until it was able to free the first one.

To their astonishment, not only did the creatures help cage-mates in distress, they also selflessly shared their treats with them.

Perhaps less surprisingly, the female rats seemed to be more caring than the males. During the experiment, the researchers found that the roaming rat became agitated at the sight of its trapped friend, meaning it had picked up on the animal's distress. But the free animal went much further, learning how to open the door, without being shown, and freeing its cage-mate

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