translated from Spanish: [VIDEO] Pigs are registered for the first time in history using tools

A recent study would have recorded the use of tools by an endangered Visayan family of pigs, as reported by CNN en Español.The animals used sticks to dig and build nests, according to a public study Mammalian Biology. Both actions, both the construction of nests, as well as the use of elements as tools, as well as a stick, are behaviors not associated so far with pigs. In this regard, its co-author and conservation environmentalist, Meredith Root-Bernstein, stumbled upon the particular finds at a Parisian zoo, where he saw an adult warty pig – named Priscilla – dig with a stick in his mouth. According to the researcher, Priscilla «deposited some leaves, moved them to a different place on the mound and dug a little with his nose,» adding that «At one point, he picked up a flat piece of bark about 10 cm x 40 cm that lay on that mound and , holding it in his mouth, used it to dig, lift and push the ground back, with enough energy and speed.» Root-Bernstein was struck by what visited Priscilla several more times in 2015, 2016 and 2017 along with a team of researchers, who sought to deepen the potential use of tools by the animal. According to the reports, in 2016 Priscilla, and specifically her female offspring, moved the sticks – which were given to them by the researchers – in a rowing movement to dig and build a nest. Similarly Priscilla’s partner, Billie, also dug with a stick, although the studio indicated that his maneuver was rather «clumsy» compared to female members of his family. The next tester, as of 2017, showed that Priscilla actually handled the use of the tool, after using a new stick to dig seven times. The great unknown that arose in the study after this verification of the mastery of the use of the stick as a tool, was regarding motivation, since – apparently – it did not generate a more effective result for pigs compared to digging using their helmets or snouts. An alternative put forward by scientists is that they can simply enjoy it, and think it’s a reward, that it «feels good,» another option is that it was behavior derived from physical insufficiency, or that in the background it’s somewhat beneficial to the nest-building, and humans just don’t know why yet. Ultimately the study couldn’t determine why the pigs keep digging. But they do. Another noteworthy element is that this skill would have been learned among Priscilla’s family, as Visayan’s warty pigs live in families and – as with human children – they study each other to learn what works well.

Original source in Spanish

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