Tiny Degus Can Learn How to Rake
With few exceptions, rodents aren’t big tool users. Beavers and their dams are one exception. Degus are another. In a study in Japan, degus in a lab could be trained to use rakes to grab food. The rodents were placed on one side of a fence with food on the other side. After providing the degus with a rake, they trained them to use it to pull seeds to their side of the fence. After two months of practice, all of the degus were able to use the rakes. The experiment is the first time rodents have been trained successfully to use any tool. The same technique has been used to train other animals that don’t use tools in the wild.