Using tools is typical for humans. Even children can improvise to put together a few pieces to come up with a tool that would be used for different purposes. However, what about animals? Can they use tools? According to a recent study, crows are more clever than apes, for example, at least at building compound tools.
More specifically, one species of crows are indeed smarter than apes. We’re talking about New Caledonian crows which are well-known for their intelligence and toolmaking skills. In comparison to apes, the scientists say, these birds seem genius.
“We wanted to know how inventive they are, whether they can solve a novel problem, they don’t usually encounter by putting components together in order to reach. It’s really testing their creative ability,” said the study’s leading author Auguste von Bayern, a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology and the University of Oxford, for Gizmodo.
Crows Are More Clever Than Apes At Building Compound Tools
To test crows’ toolmaking skills, the scientists captured eight wild New Caledonian crows and placed them next to a transparent box with some food inside it, put on a track. If pushed to the end, the food would come out of the box. The researchers also offered wooden dowels long enough to reach the food and push it along the track, says Gizmodo.
Four of the birds developed tools long enough to push the food on the track until it was accessible for the birds to eat it. The other crows did not manage to come up with adequate tools to push the food out of the box.
However, it is a small study only, and further research might be needed to estimate the intelligence and the toolmaking skills of crows precisely. Despite that fact, it’s a “truly amazing” research. “It’s not surprising that chimpanzees can do stuff similar to human children, but to find such similar feats in distant relatives suggests that they‘ve developed their cognitive abilities independently,” said von Bayern.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.