It’s been a big year for penguins. Not only have they embraced their robot brethren and starred in the best John Lewis Christmas ad of all time, like orangutans before them, they’ve now started using iPads – with unexpected side effects.
As Fast Company reports, little magellanic penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in California have daily ‘enrichment’ sessions with their handlers to keep them mentally and physically active. One of the staff, aviculturist (bird expert) Sara Mandel, had the idea to give them an iPad loaded with the app Game for Cats, which comes with a laser pointer simulator and the option to try to ‘catch’ an animated mouse. Cool Hunting has video of the penguins in action.
It turns out a beak works as well as a paw (if you don’t mind a little wear and tear) and Mandel says two of the penguins, Newsom and Jeremy, became ‘obsessed’ with it. Not only did this make it easier for her to keep an eye on their health, but it apparently got the penguins in the mood for love, as two chicks were born in the following months.
Of course, it could just be a cute coincidence, and there’s no evidence this trend will cross to humans. But if a baby isn’t one of your new year’s resolutions, it’s not too late to ask Santa for a Nexus 9 or a Galaxy Tab S instead. You can never be too careful.
If you’re more interested in getting a new camera than new clothes this season, you might be interested in these camera accessories for your iPhone, which beg the question: Do you need a camera if you own a camera phone?