Tropical crow species is highly skilled tool user
Thursday, September 15 2016 @ 11:22 AM EDT
Contributed by: Windsong
- September 14, 2016
- Universitiy of St Andrews
- An international team of scientists and conservation experts has discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow is a highly proficient tool user.
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.
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