During World War II, the Allies needed a way to make bombing more accurate. At the time, bomb accuracy was often measured in miles. Most bombs dropped by either side would miss their targets. Air armadas of hundreds—if not thousands—of bombers were necessary to ensure that just a handful of targets were struck.

The higher-ups had an obvious demand: better accuracy. But how? Contemporary computers were the size of school buses. The next best thing, according to noted behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, was a live pigeon. Yes, a live pigeon.

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Image courtesy of Plainly Difficult