'cat <' and just 'cat'

In exercise 5, doing cat < lakes.txt and doing cat lakes.txt do the same thing.

am I missing something here, or are they meant to do the same thing?

From the man page:

NAME
       cat - concatenate files and print on the standard output

SYNOPSIS
       cat [OPTION]... [FILE]...

DESCRIPTION
       Concatenate FILE(s) to standard output.

       With no FILE, or when FILE is -, read standard input.

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