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Pigs use mirrors

Smart swine can figure out how to find a bowl of food

7:50pm, October 7, 2009

Forget lipstick on a pig. The first report of pigs learning to use a mirror is about finding the food.

Give pigs a chance to experiment with a mirror first and most of them can find dinner based on only a food bowl’s reflection, says Donald Broom of the University of Cambridge in England, who studies animal cognition and welfare. Pigs that don’t have a chance to learn about mirrors first tend to poke around behind the mirror, Broom and his colleagues report in an upcoming issue of Animal Behaviour.

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