Hartpury College

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Animal and Land 18Nov 2015

As easy as 1, 2, 3 as Hartpury publish new research on maths maestro rodents!

As easy as 1, 2, 3 as Hartpury publish new research on maths maestro rodents!

While Monkeys and dolphins may generally be considered nature’s biggest brainboxes, a Hartpury duo have conducted research that shows a type of rodent could also be worthy of a mammal mastermind title.

Hartpury graduate Oliver Beasley and Hartpury lecturer Dr Tamara Montrose recently presented their research showing that degus can discriminate between different quantities of items at the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) summer conference - an international event showcasing animal behaviour research from around the world.

Degus were shown to display quantity discrimination. That means that when they are presented with a choice between more or less, they will more often than not choose more. This trait has been noted in various studies involving primates, birds, amphibians, fish and insects but this is believed to be the first study of its kind to test degus.

During the research conducted by Oliver and supervised by Tamara, it was noted that when the degus were presented with choices of more or less using 5mm carrot pieces in separate pots, the degus unanimously chose more when presented with 0 versus 1 and 3 vs 4. They also showed a preference for greater quantities when given a choice of 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 5.

“It’s a really interesting study as the degus show abilities which are comparable to what has been found in human infants and rhesus macaques,” Tamara said.

“Ollie completed the study during his final year as a Bioveterinary Science degree student here at Hartpury and it’s a testament to his hard work that the research was accepted to be presented at an international conference. I’m hoping to build on the study in the future to further explore the numerical abilities of degus.”

20 Sep 2016 Animal and Land

Funding boost to help give Tom an even brighter farming future

Agriculture degree student Tom Saunders, has become the second Hartpury recipient of the new Joe Henson bursary, aimed at helping aspiring agriculturalists to take their studies further.

07 Sep 2016 Animal and Land

Heaven opens gates to future in farming with bursary boost ahead of tug of war World Championships

Hartpury student Charlotte Heaven will be hoping a recent boost to her farming future will help spur her to victory as she competes for England at the World Tug of War Championships this week.

18 Aug 2016 Animal and Land

Students get set to meet Bruce, Wendy, Wonda and friends as new species wing their way into Hartpury’s magical menagerie!

From emus looking for love to coy crustaceans and even a dragon, Hartpury has experienced another animal explosion!

01 Jul 2016 Animal and Land

Kindergarten kids bring learning to life at Hartpury

Children from Hartpury Nursery enjoyed getting up close with Hartpury’s creepy and cuddly creatures this week.