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Rats are going for joyrides in tiny cars, suggesting they are much smarter than experts have previously thought.
The rodents have been taught how to climb in a pint-sized vehicle, grip a pair of handle bars with their paws and propel a car towards food at the end of a track.
Team - Specimens - Car - Ways - Patterns
The team found that the specimens were able to 'navigate the car in unique ways and engaged in steering patterns they had never used to eventually arrive at the reward'.
The experiment was conducted by a team at the University of Richmond, who designed the car to operate once the rats completed an electrical circuit, New Scientist reported.
Parts - Plastic - Food - Container - Wheels
The tiny parts were designed using a clear plastic food container on wheels, an aluminium floor and three copper handle bars that act like a steering wheel.
In order for the car to run properly, the rodents would have to interact with different parts – stand on the floor and grip the copper bars with their paws.
Team - Female - Male - Rats - Car
The team taught six female and 11 male rats how to drive the car on tracks that were about 13 feet in size.
And they received a reward of fruit loops when they touched the steering wheel and drove the car to the...
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