Penguins play iPad, set new high score (video)

Smartphones and tablets are proving entertaining concepts for the animal kingdom. First we have frogs, then lizards, cats and now penguins, all playing apps.

Developers have even started putting together apps to get animals excited. The Game for Cats app, went down well with a young group of penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Penguin Jeremy found the app especially exciting, but it was Newsom the penguin who set a new high score of 1600.

"Sure enough, when Jeremy and Newsom noticed the iPad in the exhibit they both waddled on over. Jeremy was the first to try it out but Newsom was the one that really got into it. Stalking the virtual mouse intently he tried to pick it up repeatedly with his beak," said volunteer penguin keeper Hugh Ryono.

"Newsom especially seemed to like the squeak that the mouse made when he put his beak on the virtual critter. The mouse was self-reinforcing for this penguin. Newsom set the penguin high score of 1,600 for the game."

The app awards points each time a cat, or penguin, taps a mouse moving about on the screen. It gives out a squeak whenever contact is made, encouraging the animal to play more. Newsom the penguin found this particularly exciting.



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