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Esther Rudolph
2,465 followers -
more human than human
more human than human

2,465 followers
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"It creates this illusion that this is the way it is, how it has been, and how it shall be."

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Black and white

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if you saw the world the way everybody else did, how smart could you really be?

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Production line in place. Friends of the PDR, "magic" postcards coming your way!!! (http://buff.ly/1S3Gzmr)
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Ab dem 29.12. zeigt 3Sat noch einmal alle drei Folgen der Universum-Doku über uns! 

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The "Kaspar-Effect" or string-pulling tests pt. 2

For quite a while now we have been carrying out special string-pulling tests to investigate the collaboration skills of our wolves and dogs.

During cooperative string-pulling tests, two animals have to pull on different ends of one rope simultaneously to get a treat. The table-like apparatus we built for this task will only bring the desired food into reach, if both animals really pull the string at the same time. If one animal pulls without his partner, the string will detach from the apparatus and the chance to get the treat is gone for both. To check, if our animals have really understood the task, the test is divided into three so-called "conditions".

During the first so to speak basic level the animals have to demonstrate, that they are able to correctly "operate" the apparatus as a team. Most of our wolves and dogs have learned this skill.

Than it's getting a bit trickier. Two identical tables are arranged in the enclosure. The animals have to agree where they want to go first. Depending on their relationship and their roles in the pack, this is always very interesting to observe.

But the biggest challenge constitutes the third condition. That's when one animal is allowed to approach the table ten seconds earlier than its partner - and than has to wait patiently while the delicious treat teases their eyes and nose. It's pretty obvious how hard it can be to resist the temptation, and many teams (just like most small children, when tested in a comparable scenario) fail at this point.

In fact, so far only our black pack passed the complete test. We surmise, that Kaspar was the first to really "get it", and that he passed this knowledge on to his pack. We're now aiming to try out this "Kaspar-Effect" with our dogs. Therefore one of our team dogs will act as a "teacher" for the leaders of our dog packs. We're already excited about the outcome.

Photos: Joachim Henckmann (Kaspar), Rooobert Bayer (string-pulling)
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collaborative string-pulling
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