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Friday, August 12, 2016

Rethinking Intelligence

Crows Can Make Tools – and the Discovery Could Rewrite What We Know about Animal Intelligence

Bending twigs to make hooks was seen in 10 out of 18 New Caledonia crows

Libby Plummer | August 10, 2016

Biologists have confirmed that crows are incredibly adept at crafting tools from twigs - a revelation that could prompt a rewrite of textbooks on animal intelligence.
In 2002, a captive New Caledonian crow named Betty astonished University of Oxford scientists when she bent a piece of wire to form a hook in order to retrieve food from a tube.
[...] What the researchers were not expecting was 10 of the 18 birds to start vigorously bending twigs into tools, just like Betty had with the wire, even though bent tools were not required to solve this particular task.

New Caledonian crows, which are found on the Pacific island of New Caledonia, make the most complex tools of any animal yet studied apart from humans. For example, they will evolve and improve the shape of their tools over time, and will create left handed or right handed tools. These tools are usually made to help catch insects and other invertebrates.

[Click on link for video] (New Caledonian crows using Published July 18, 2010) "Dr Gavin Hunt from the U of Aukland has observed New Caledonian crows fashioning tools from local twigs." Source:
"A New Caledonian crow using a stick tool with a distinctly curved tool shaft." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Birds can grasp the basics of grammar. Researchers found budgies can understand the abstract relation between sounds. June 21, 2016) and (+Video) (Tool Use in New Caledonian crows. One species of bird in particular possesses an extraordinary ability to use tools - the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides). 2010-2011.)>

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