TIL That rats can be trained to detect a chemical compound within explosives, meaning they ignore scrap metal and can search for mines more quickly. Also, an African giant pouched rat named Magawa has been awarded a prestigious gold medal for his work detecting land mines.

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If I remember correctly they incentivize them with bananas. They love bananas. Edit: ape can’t spell incentivize 😉


>Magawa is capable of searching a field the size of a tennis court in just 20 minutes – something Apopo says would take a person with a metal detector between one and four days. That’s exceptional!! He sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions in his career. He was the first rat to receive PDSA gold medal for animal gallantry.


I live in NYC and have seen a rat hop on and off the train like they know exactly which stop they want to get off at. The train I take isn’t the easiest certain doors open on side side and sometimes the other side. The rat knew his stop. I swear.


They can also be trained to find tuberculosis by sniffing sputum (phlegm) samples.


I was mad he got a gold medal but then I thought about it and I realized that he does deserve it and he is better than me.