Oct 21, 2009

Pigs Using Mirrors

More pig news from another stupid study. A study of domesticated pigs has found that with some experimenting they can find food based on a reflection in a mirror.

In the study, four pairs of domesticated pigs were allowed to familiarize themselves with a mirror for five hours. The study was conducted at Cambridge University in the U.K. and found that, given a chance to familiarize themselves with a mirror, many pigs can find food based only on its reflection in the mirror. The findings will be published in the journal 'Animal Behaviour'.

After familiarization, each pig was placed in a pen with an angled mirror and a partition, behind which were treats such as apple slices or M&Ms. Seven of the eight pigs immediately looked behind the partition and found the food. A control group of pigs that had never seen a mirror before searched behind the mirror for the food.

A researcher said the study shows pigs have a high degree of assessment awareness, or the ability to use memories and observations to quickly learn to assess a situation and act on it. It is hoped the conditions in which pigs are raised, including overcrowding, which do not meet the needs of the animal, may be improved as a result of the study. Yeh, and maybe pig farmers will also be adding brushes and lipstick in the pig sties. Do you think this proves eating bacon makes you smart?

PS - Did you know the mirrors on motorcycles are called pig spotters?