General, Research, Technology

Scientists have found that rats are capable of mutual assistance

People have always avoided rats. Moreover, associating them with a variety of dangerous diseases, a man tried to place his home away from these thieves. Only at the end of the 19th century did a man look at his little neighbor with respect and that was only because the rats were used for scientific purposes. So, it was thanks to rats that antibiotics appeared at the disposal of mankind; it was the rats that helped us establish how and why alcohol, drugs and radiation affect us, and it was the rats that helped mankind come closer to unraveling the human genome. A new study, conducted by specialists from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Bern in Switzerland, allowed us to learn that rats have a number of social qualities, in particular, these incredibly intelligent animals were able to mutually help.

Rat genome is comparable in size to the human genome

Rat intelligence

As you know, most animals preferstay within the place of birth throughout life. This seemingly universal rule of survival does not apply only to two representatives of our planet - humans and rats, who often find themselves in previously unknown places due to their irrepressible curiosity. In addition to the constant thirst for adventure, man and a rat are brought together by another ability - the ability to language. It is known that rats are distinguished by incredible intelligence, allowing them to use up to 5 thousand different sounds when communicating with relatives. Among other things, rodents happily help each other in difficult situations, but, as it turned out, only if the other rat helps them first.

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The presence of rats of such an interesting quality canexplain that animals use this trick to reduce the information load during communication, according to phys.org. Literally doing a favor to each other, the animals collaborate with relatives, remembering the individual, which will need to reciprocate in the future. Dr. Manon Schweinfurt of the School of Psychology and Neurobiology in St. Andrews, who led the study, also noted that, compared to humans, rats remember only the last episode of a meeting with a partner, not combining several previous events.

High intelligence of rats and excellent analytical skills have helped rats survive for millennia

In order to understand why rats havemutual assistance, based only on the last meeting, the scientists decided to check the memory of rats, linking their unique quality with a lack of memory. As a result of a curious experiment, scientists found that rats can still remember what happened in the distant past, but when interacting with relatives, they use only the most recent data about a meeting with a partner. Thus, the behavior of rats brings these animals even closer to humans, since according to scientists, we interact with society in a similar way when for some reason it is difficult for us to recall the exact behavior of a partner after several interactions with him. Given that this described study was the first of its kind, scientists are confident that they need further research to understand how common this behavior is in nature.