Tropical crow species is highly skilled tool user

Wildlife News

 

Date:
September 14, 2016
Source:
Universitiy of St Andrews
Summary:
An international team of scientists and conservation experts has discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow is a highly proficient tool user.
A captive Hawaiian crow ('Alal?) using a stick tool to extract food from a wooden log. 'Alal? have relatively straight bills and highly mobile eyes -- morphological features that may aid their handling of bill-held tools.
Credit: Copyright Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

An international team of scientists and conservation experts has discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow, or 'Alalā, is a highly proficient tool user, according to a paper published today in the scientific journal Nature.

For decades, another species -- the famed New Caledonian crow -- had baffled researchers with its remarkable tool-using skills. These birds, which only live on the remote South Pacific island of New Caledonia, use tools to winkle insects and other prey from deadwood and vegetation, exhibiting an astonishing degree of dexterity. The big question was why they, but apparently no other members of the crow family ('corvids'), had evolved such technological prowess. But without other tool-using crow species for comparison, the New Caledonian crow remained a puzzling oddity.

Read the rest of the story here:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160914135925.htm


 

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