Clever and social

Raven feared and hated. They worshiped. Today it is proved that the intelligence of crows is not inferior intelligence of primates. But the more one tries to understand these mysterious birds, the more the question arises.


Observing the behavior of the birds showed that crows arrange something like a wake for fallen comrades. Found the body of a dead crow, they are on for 10-15 minutes and squawk loudly, and then silently sit on the branches. Why birds "mourn" their relatives? The answer to this question is trying to find a graduate student at Washington University Kylie Swift working on research projects under the guidance of renowned expert, Professor John Merzlifa.

When I eat, I am deaf and dumb

A researcher from the University of Vermont, zoologist Bernd Heinrich said that during a meal young and mature crows behave differently. First with loud cries gather a large company, believing that such behavior is not only discourage older relatives, but other scavengers. Adult crows, on the contrary, trying not to attract attention, preferring to dine in the sepulchral silence and solitude (in extreme cases, to share a meal with one of his comrades).

The experiment of Aesop's fables

A team of scientists from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Cambridge decided to once again prove that a crow different special intelligence and wit. They decided to test the veracity of Aesop's Fables, which tells of a crow, to come up with a way to quench the thirst of nearly filled pitcher.

Participated in the experiment birds offered two flasks (one containing water in the other - the sand), and different in size and weight of the stones and objects lighter than water. What was surprising to scientists, when the Ravens chose exactly the right diameter stones and lowered them one by one into the flask with water until the liquid level has not risen so much that the birds could drink. Flask with sand remained intact. Birds are also clearly different stones that can drown in water from the items that will be held on its surface.

Mirror, mirror, tell

Researchers from the University of Auckland decided to find out for what purposes crows will use a mirror. Observations of a dozen Caledonian crows showed that birds prefer to use the object is not for admiring his own irresistible good looks, and more practical purposes.

With it, they found a hidden treat, easy to identify the relationship between a mirror image and the actual location of the pieces of meat. According to one of the study's authors Felipe Medina Rodriguez, the ability to analyze information from the crows can be compared with the skills of primates and elephants.

Digging stick

Raven, in general, often referred to as "feathered apes" - their level of intelligence is not only comparable, but sometimes surpasses the ability of monkeys. German neuroscientists Lena Veit and Andreas Nieder demonstrated how easily crows can use a variety of handy tools to get food.

They are perhaps the only ones able to select birds hooked branches, which are best suited to extract insects from narrow slits. They also use a blade of grass as a "fork", which you can chop careless "lunch". Laboratory studies have shown that crows not only competently use ready-made solutions, but also easy to create new tools. Thus, they are a straight wire or hook shaped cardboard strips break, which is used as a multipurpose scraper.
Ornithologist at Cornell Laboratory Keven McGowan confirmed that crows use sticks specially shaped for good "hunting", adding that sometimes they will retain the most convenient and functional tools to use them again.

Know the enemy in the face!

Wildlife researcher at Washington University John Merzlif sure that crows are not only able to remember her abuser, but also transmit information about it the rest of the birds. During their work, scientists have repeatedly faced with similar behavior of crows. They were loud, terrifying screams haunted set traps researchers. It was found that even the chicks will be unfriendly to those who are "cursed" by their parents. So, Merzlifu know a case where the police Everett in Washington state were attacked by crows after the shooting of birds carried 25 miles north of Seattle. Birds Avengers did a distance of about 50 kilometers, to bring down his wrath upon their heads offenders.

Family values ​​

Researcher Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory studies Raven for 20 years, in particular, watching the birds from several generations. It turns out that the young ravens can stay with their parents for five years, and the family, at times, has 15 members: parents and their children, nephews, brothers. In case of death of parents relatives help "raise children on their feet": feed them and protect the nest.
Makgoueta study also showed how much different the ravens that live in the cities, from those who prefer to settle in the villages. So, urban crows have fewer offspring, because they have not so many natural enemies, and therefore - more chances to survive. It is interesting that those who live in cities crows less demanding food and adapt quickly to new conditions. They do not disdain to check the dumpsters and are satisfied with the food of lower quality than their rural relatives.


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