Giant tortoises show surprising cognitive powers (Nature)
Giant tortoises can learn and remember tasks, and master lessons much faster when trained in groups.
Scientists trained Galapagos tortoises and Aldabra tortoises to bite a ball of a particular color — blue, green or yellow.
When tested three months later, the tortoises recalled the task. The authors tested three of the tortoises again after nine years and found that all three responded to toys of the correct color. The researchers also found that both species of tortoise could be conditioned with fewer training sessions if they were taught in groups than if learning occurred in isolation, hinting that tortoises learn from watching their peers.