Mental Floss

Penguins Play an iPad Game

Erin McCarthy

Have you ever wanted to see penguins play an iPad game? Now you can. Sara Mandel, an aviculturist at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, downloaded the iPad app Game for Cats for her felines, but found that the Magellanic penguins she cares for are interested in it, too. "I was pretty new to the position," she says, when she decided to see whether or not the penguins would be into the app she had originally gotten for her cats. "I put it down, and [one penguin] just started biting it, messing with it, and I was like, 'Well that's kinda interesting.'"

Mandel now uses it as part of their enrichment, which she explains is "something that's either mentally stimulating, physical exercise, or animal husbandry, and basically it's helping them with their health care." While the penguins are otherwise occupied with the game, Mandel can examine them more closely than she might have been able to otherwise. She also thinks that this kind of enrichment factors in to keep the penguins fit—and fit penguins are, apparently, more likely to procreate. "[Penguins] Newsom and Jeremy became obsessed with [the iPad]," Mandel says. "And that was actually the year that [a nearby penguin] was born, so I must have done something right because we got Anderson and Heidi out of it."

[h/t Fast Company]