Lizards as clever as mammals and birds

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LIZARDS can be just as clever as mammals and birds, researchers have found.

They were able to solve novel problems in a recent study, challenging the widely-held view that reptiles have limited brain power.

After learning how to recognise the reward well from its appearance, Rican anoles, a species of green tropical lizard, were placed on a wooden block with two wells.

2_webOne contained a tasty treat and was covered by a tight-fitting blue lid, the other was empty and either with a different coloured lid or without a lid.

Four out of six lizards worked out how to dislodge the lid of the well containing the treat by biting or using their snouts and in fewer attempts than birds typically needed, said Biologist Manuel Leal of Duke University (US).

Two of the lizards were able to spot when scientists switched the reward to the other well.

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