Monday, January 17, 2011

Curious crows use tools to explore dangerous objects

New Caledonian crows use tools to investigate unfamiliar and potentially dangerous objects, according to scientists.

New research shows crows cautiously investigating new objects using sticks as an extension of their beaks.

New Caledonian crows are known to fashion tools to access food sources such as wood-boring beetle larvae.

Scientists suggest this study is the first time birds have been recorded using tools for multiple purposes. ...

New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are known for their intelligent and innovative use of "tools", such as twigs, to extract nutritious insects from hard to reach places.

Studies have also revealed that the crows will craft tools into more suitable shapes and use more than one in order to reach food.

To understand more about their behaviour, researchers from the University of Oxford, UK, introduced a group of crows to a variety of objects including a rubber snake, a flashing LED bike light and a tin of paint.

The research team aimed to study how the crows reacted to objects that were not associated with food.

To this end, researchers placed unfamiliar objects into the birds' aviaries without their knowledge to avoid any associations between human interaction and food. ...

via BBC - Earth News - Curious crows use tools to explore dangerous objects.

The video of the crow testing the fake spider is infected with advertising and I refuse to link to it. Therefore, here is another crow making a tool:

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