Video: New Caledonian Crow making Own Hook-Shaped Tools for Foraging

Video: New Caledonian Crow making Own Hook-Shaped Tools for Foraging

Not only humans are born with engineering skills, you will be surprised to know that crows too have engineering skills. Latest video released shows how New Caledonian crows actually make their own hook-shaped tools for foraging. From past one decade, the South Pacific island-dwelling crows are known for their shrewd tool-use. Two biologists in the United Kingdom built tiny cameras that they attached to the birds' tail feathers to capture video of the wild crows' natural foraging behaviors. The video shows how crow uses its hook-shaped tool to pull grubs, insects, larvae and other tasty morsels from crevices in logs beneath leaf litter.

Jolyon Troscianko, one of the study's authors, said that at first glance you will not be clearly able to recognize what actually is happening in the video as the cameras as bouncing all over the place. But, the University of Exeter behavioral ecologist said that on slowing down the video and looking it frame by frame helped them to known how the crow was shaping a stick into a hooked tool. In order to shape the tool, the bird peels bark off the stick, removes the leaves attached and work till end to fashion it into a sharp hook. Jolyon said that crow uses a twig with a V-shape in it to make the tool. The bird snaps the stick in two places, just above the joint where the twig branches and just below it.

Jolyon added that the complete process of shaping tool by the crow takes about a minute and continues till perfection if gains failure on repeated tries. “Tool use is fairly rare in the animal kingdom, but manufacturing tools is exceedingly rare. There are very few animals, apart from humans, that actually manufacture anything that resembles a complex tool”. Researchers cited an example of Chimpanzees, one of the humans’ closest living relatives, who manufacture things, but crows are at par with the chimpanzees in terms of complexity. Another creature that habitually uses tools is the Galápagos woodpecker finch that uses cactus spines to get insects out of crevices.

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