Aug 29 2011

Do Tools Make You Smart?

Published by at 6:30 am under Crows, Ravens

Fall is coming, school’s in session and in about eight weeks the crows will be back in town.

For now they’re in no rush to get to Pittsburgh. I don’t expect large numbers until October, but when they come will I see a difference in them?  Did they learn new tricks this summer?  Will they be even smarter than last year?

Perhaps they’ve learned to use tools!

Here’s a year-old video from Science Friday that shows just how smart crows can be.  (Click on the image to get to the video website from September 2010.)  The birds in the film are New Caledonian crows who live on a Pacific island and are famous for using tools.

Are they smart?

Watch and see.

(video from Science Friday)

p.s. Don’t worry when the video ends with a pop-up window asking if you’d like to use their tool(!) to embed it on your own website.  It’s a nice tool .. but you don’t have to use it.   ;)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Do Tools Make You Smart?”

  1. Joshon 29 Aug 2011 at 8:03 am

    lol, that’s really cool. I knew that some birds used tools, but I didn’t know that this one poked grubs until they got mad enough to bite their twig. I guess its a lot faster to learn how to use a twig than to use a twig than to wait for your descendant’s beaks to turn into one through random mutations.

  2. John Englishon 29 Aug 2011 at 1:08 pm

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve seen them caching food (DeKay’s snake) for later use. So there must be considerable brain power there if they can remember where they cached food in a rather featureless lawn. After seeing this, I’ll never call anyone a bird brain again ;-)

  3. Peteron 18 Jan 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I don’t know if it counts as a tool, but maybe a toy? Came across this video of a crow using a lid to snowboard on a rooftop! http://youtu.be/3dWw9GLcOeA

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