A sea lion in San Diego just learned to play videos thanks to the U.S. Navy!
Spike the sea lion uses his snout to press a button and maneuver a cursor through a maze. His eyes stay focused on the cursor until he eventually crosses the finish line and receives a treat for his good work.
As part of that program, scientists at the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific care for more than 120 sea lions and dolphins and offer them enrichment activites and training, which includes playing video games!
The press release explained that Spike was one of the three male sea lions who learned to play video games. He was also the “first to complete training on a game system Navy scientists created as part of their latest research on cognitive enrichment for marine mammals.”
Spike proved quite successful at navigating the game and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command even shared photos of him playing on Facebook!
They said in the press release, “His ability to understand the concept of controlling a cursor on a screen, then progress through a series of more challenging games, marks the first recorded success in testing cognition of California sea lions with an animal-controlled interface.”
Animals are really smarter than we give them credit for.