A male meerkat attempts the "jar-opening task"
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Male meerkat solves brainteaser

Subordinate male members of meerkat troops are the most "innovative" when it comes to foraging, according to scientists.

A team from the University of Cambridge found that low-ranking males were best at solving problems that earned them a food reward.

In this clip, you can see a male meerkat tackling one of the tasks the research team set for the animals. The sealed jar contains the meerkat's favourite food - a scorpion.

Dr Alex Thornton, an animal behaviour specialist from the University of Cambridge, led the study. He explained: "If you're subordinate, it may pay for you to take risks and figure things out for yourself."

The researchers published their findings in the journal Animal Behaviour.

Footage courtesy of Dr Alex Thornton, University of Cambridge

  • 23 Apr 2012