Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Study shows high intelligence of the lizards

The results of a study by a group of U.S. biologists tropical lizards show share the same level of intelligence as birds and mammals.

The team from Duke University in North Carolina say their findings were "completely unexpected", according to biologist Manuel Leal, author of the study.

According to conventional scientific thinking, lizards have limited cognitive capacity compared to birds and mammals. Tropical Anolis lizard but is able to solve problems and even the skills learned to adapt to new circumstances, according to the report's findings have been published in the journal Biology Letters.

The scientists studied six Anolis lizards evermanni by making the task of locating a worm in one of the two holes. The hole that contains the worm was covered with a lid.

Four of the six lizards successfully completed the test, either by lifting the lid with the mouth or bite on the cover and then remove it. "This is a completely new way of attacking behavior," writes Brian Leal and Powell, the author of the study.

The lizards were also able to use the newly acquired strategy of opening the cover in other circumstances. When the two holes were covered with different types of tapas, lizards correctly identify the worm hole, showing that he had learned to identify the color of the lid that covered the worm.

Two of the lizards were even able to modify their newly acquired knowledge. When Leal and Powell put the worm into the hole until then had always been empty, all the lizards at first treated the wrong hole.

However, two lizards recognized the changed circumstances and found the worm in the new location.

"The ability to adapt their behavior is a sign that indicates an animal with a higher intelligence," says Harvard biologist Jonathan Losos independent.

Until now, the lizards were not among the creatures. The study authors believe the lizard Anolis learning capacity has contributed to its proliferation in the tropics.

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