Hey guys Julia here for D News so we know how crazy smart animals like dolphins, pigs, chimps and octopuses, octopi are… right? Oh god I might have to talk about some other kind of animal in a future episode, god they’re cool. Anyway, have you thought about that murder of crows sitting outside your house? Yeah those guys are crazy smart. Scientists used to think that one of things that separated humans from animals was the making of and use of tools, like spears and stuff. The crows are also known by the Aarakocra names and Kenku names at some places.
But that all changed when researchers like Jane Goodall realized that chimps use sticks as tools to get ants out of logs. Suddenly humans didn’t look so smart anymore. Scientists consider the corvid family, which includes crows, magpies, and ravens, some of the smartest among birds. I guess big things come in small packages. Despite that tiny brain span, crows are no bird brains. One of the most famous examples of crow intelligence is the way they make hooks to get food.
One study published in the journal Philosophical Transactions B found that crows on New Caledonia, a South Pacific island, take stripes of leaves and shape them into hooks to get food out of tricky places, like grubs out of tree stumps. Another study in PLOS One found that the yunderst and complex concepts like water displacement. Like in Aesops fables when a bird drops a pebble in a glass to raise the water level so he can drink it, they can actually do that.
There’s all sorts of stories of crows getting clever for food. In Japan, crows will place walnuts in the middle of the road, then fly away and wait for a car to drive over them, cracking it open. If it doesn’t work the first time, the crow will move the walnut to another place in the road and try again. I mean most human kids don’t know how to use a tool to get something they want before the age of two and can’t understand volume displacement until the age of 5 or 7.
So you could say crows are smarter than your average child. And some studies show that they understand analogies and there’s some anecdotal evidence that crows do stuff for the fun of it, likes ledding down a snowy roof on a bottle cap or putting poop in deer’s ears. Yeah I’mnot kidding on that one. How do they do this if they have such tiny and different brains. Well one study published in the journal Nature Communications describe show. Most of our big brained smarts lies in the prefrontal cortex.
Scientists think this area is responsible for things like reason and controlling emotions. But birds don’t have this. Their smarts evolved convergently, or independently from ours. Instead, the seat of crow’s intelligence lies in the nidopallium caudolaterale. This part of the brain helps the crow form memories, learn and even make predictions. Why did they evolve such complicated brains?Researchers think their environment plays a big role.
The crow family can be found invariety of eco systems and eat a variety of food, so they’d have to be able to adapt to changing land scapes. Like humans, they are very social creatures. And solving both social and ecological problems required bigger brains. and one last thing for you guys, don’t be a dumbo to a bird. He’ll remember. Scientists from the university of Washington found that the birds would remember faces that were mean to them in the past.
Whenever the researchers walked around campus, the birds that they had previously captured or trapped would scold them! But not just those birds, other crows that had never been trapped before also scolded there searchers! Which means the crows are a talking