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Scientists make turtles become highly professional spies


A scientist from Rostov-on-Don, southern Russian town, invented a device that upgrades a live turtle to a biorobot

Aleksey Burikov, the author of the research, equipped a turtle's shell with a small camera and gave it a motion path. Now the slowest reptile is to serve in military intelligence and help ecologists, NTV reports.

Today turtles are subject of many scientific experiments: tamed turtles were even taught to obey commands. The equipment makes a turtle move along a motion path, whereas scientists control the animal's movements. Small cameras on shells allow scientists to see what is happening around the subjects of their research.

"There is no carrot and stick policy, like in animal training," scientists say. Vibration makes turtles move in this or that direction, or make a stop when needed; it basically makes biological robots of turtles, researches say.

Rostov-on-Don biologists found that turtles are not so primitive as they seem to be at first sight. Land turtles are enduring creatures that can live without food for about a month. These qualities make turtles very useful for intelligence services: they can even carry explosives.

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12/2008 02/2009


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