Rats’ natural abilities are on display at LSC’s Rat Olympics

LSC News

Did you know LSC has its own version of the Olympics? It’s called the Rat Olympics, and it stars – you guessed it! – our very talented rats.

After months of training, our rat-letes are ready to return to the Olympic games. On display during Conservation Week, April 19 - 28, the Rat Olympics showcases the amazing natural abilities of our rats. Watch them go for gold by leaping hurdles, jumping off diving boards, climbing across tightropes, and more.

Everything you see in the Rat Olympics is a demonstration of behaviors that rats might use in the wild. For example, their ability to jump reflects how they might escape a predator, while their ability to run across a rope reflects how they might grab a piece of food off the other end of a branch.

The rats are trained using only positive reinforcements, such as having their backs scratched and receiving treats.

For the return of the Rat Olympics, we’re introducing a few new juvenile rats to participate in the competition, all named after famous scientists.

Marie is named after Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, who is known for her work with radioactivity. You may also see Irène, named after Irène Joliot-Curie, the daughter of Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for artificial radioactivity. Hélène is named after Hélène Langevin-Joliot, the granddaughter of Marie Curie and a nuclear physicist.

Catch the Rat Olympics every day during Conservation Week, April 19 - 28, at 2:00 pm in our Eat and Be Eaten exhibition. Click here to learn more.

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