Crows Are Smart—Aesop Edition

16:46 Fri 07 Aug 2009
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Apparently the story about the crow using stones to raise the water level in a pitcher was no fable. I already knew about crow tool usage being pretty impressive, and this just reinforces that notion.

Not just clever, but very clever:

The birds were … highly accurate in their ability, adding the exact number of stones needed to raise the water level to the necessary height. Additionally … they apparently estimated the number needed from the outset and waited until the appropriate water level was reached before dipping their beaks into the tube.

I think that one of the most interesting thing about this is a researcher’s speculation that the crows have the ability to use tools in the wild but don’t because they don’t need to, as it leads me to wonder if the crows are doing other things with the “extra” intelligence. Douglas Adams would have us believe they spend all their time talking about air speed and turning ratios, and who knows, that could be the answer.

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2 Responses to “Crows Are Smart—Aesop Edition”

  1. Jonesy Says:

    I remember a crow in Tokyo placing a walnut in the middle of the street and waiting for the weight of a vehicle to crack it open

  2. Tadhg Says:

    That’s pretty damn smart. Now, if they started driving the cars over the walnuts themselves…

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