Santa Cruz, California
Rio the sea lion has scientists flipping out over her amazing memory. Several years ago, Rio was taught to look at three pictures, then match the two that were alike. The amazing part was that she could match the same pictures after not matching them for years! Then she matched new pictures, proving that she wasn’t just repeating a learned behavior.
BRAIN WAVES Before Rio, many scientists thought a species needed a spoken language to have such memory and logic. Of course, Rio isn’t talking yet. But she does communicate her frustration when she matches incorrectly. “She shakes her head, barks, and storms around the pool,” says lead scientist Colleen Kastak. Looks like the scientists aren’t the only ones who can flip out.
Text by Lisa Sonne
Photograph by Zysman, iStock Photo
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