Scientists discover evidence for the first ‘grinding’ tool associated with non-humans

Scientists discover evidence for the first ‘grinding’ tool associated with non-humans

Humans are not the only animals that can use tools. Now, scientists and researchers have found proof for the first ‘grinding’ tool linked to a non-human. The animal that uses it is quite unexpected, its wild parrots.

Wild parrots use pebbles for grinding supplements out of shells, and there is a possibility that they do so to make their puke more nutritious for their partners.

Researchers from the University of York and University of St. Andrews published this and the other findings in Biology Letters on Tuesday.

Researchers observed something quite interesting for more than eight months. They found that 50% of the parrots received a calcium push by breaking up seashells in their cages using their beaks. And the rest 50% used pebbles or date pits for grinding and scraping those shells into powder. Washington Post reported that afterwards they licked them from the tool.

Megan Lambert, lead study author and doctoral student of psychology at the University of York, said, “What’s also particularly interesting is that we observed a lot of tool transfer, where one bird would actually approach group members and steal the tool directly from their beak, and then go on to use it on a shell”.

This is quite rare. In a press release, Lambert said that the tools’ usage by non-human animals is an exceedingly rare phenomenon. Lambert added that the observations will provide new insights into parrots’ tool-using capabilities, giving rise to more queries as to why tools are used by this species.

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