Rats can make friends with robot rats and will rescue them when stuck

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2186464-rats-can-make-friends-with-robot-rats-and-will-rescue-them-when-stuck/

Two friends hanging out

Two friends hanging out

Laleh Quinn

Would you help a trapped robot? Some rats would. The rodents can form social bonds with robots and will even help rescue a robotic rat that’s trapped in a cage.

Animals, including rats, need to be highly attuned to social signals from others so they can identify friends to cooperate with and enemies to avoid. To find out if this extends to non-living beings, Laleh Quinn at the University of California, San Diego and her colleagues tested whether rats can detect social signals from robotic rats.

They housed eight adult rats …