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Professor’s ‘Test the Pet’ quiz

first_imgIs man’s best friend also the most intelligent of the animals? Do goldfish really have a three second memory? Following a similar idea to Test the Nation, the BBC’s new series Test Your Pet (airing 1 May) will pit domestic animals against a series of interactive challenges to test memory, perception and initiative. The programme is the brainchild of Dr Tim Guilford, Oxford University’s leading animal behaviourist, who was recently cleared of failing to acknowledge other scientists’ research in his investigation of how pigeons use the road network to navigate. Speaking to Cherwell, Dr Guilford said the aim of the experiments was to “get people to think differently about how their pets view the world around them,” and that the study will provide “a huge amount of interesting information that may well be of use to scientists of various sorts.” Pets whose owners have Digital TV will be able to watch Pet TV, looped images designed to examine animals’ response to stimulus. The study has the potential to be one of the largest performed, as an estimated 7.5m cats and 6m dogs are kept as pets in the UK. With the majority of research focussing on wild animals, it is hoped the study will be entertaining, as well as providing an interesting insight into a neglected field of animal behaviour.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more