VSL:WEB // Meet the world’s smartest mouse

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown may be the greatest animal athlete of 2008. But Brain Storm — an especially smart rodent that roared through the “world’s longest and hardest mouse agility course” — came in a close second.

Last year, Brain Storm navigated a remarkably challenging obstacle course — climbing ladders, zigzagging around pencils, and leaping through mug handles in the precise order that her handler (yes, Brain Storm’s a she) demanded. The trainer, a 28-year-old Austrian woman named Marina, used clicks, light signals, and the requisite promise of tasty rewards to instruct her charge. But watch this amazing YouTube clip once, and you won’t need much prompting to click on it again . . . and again . . . and again.

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